First Impressions Work Both Ways

October 15, 2010

From Federated Insurance

An interview with a prospective employee may reveal characteristics that help you judge the person's safety attitude and behaviors. Generally, interviewers cannot ask about an individual's health, disabilities, sick leave, workers compensation history, or health benefits records. However, you may ask relevant questions about how the applicant might handle certain situations that can normally arise in the particular job. Merely asking these questions expresses your commitment to safety.

Even if the job description does not include driving, checking the prospect's motor vehicle record is recommended, if allowed under state law. Violations for speeding, recklessness, or other such behavior may indicate a lack of consideration for the person's own safety or that of others. Reference checks are always a good idea and criminal background checks may be warranted in some cases.

In a study of workers compensation claims, Federated found that a significant number of losses involve newer employees, particularly in their first six months. New employees want to appear knowledgeable and experienced and may hesitate to ask questions. They may rely on past job experience, observations, or hearsay to form work habits that may not always be correct.

An orientation program will help assure that new employees understand your safety procedures, conduct guidelines, and emergency instructions. Ongoing reminders help increase awareness for all employees. Finally, make sure new employees are properly trained on how to perform their duties and use all equipment safely.

First impressions set the direction for future success. Your hiring and training procedures can make an impression about your commitment to safety and get new employees off to a good start.


This article provided courtesy of Federated Mutual Insurance Company, your association’s recommended insurer.  This publication is intended to provide general recommendations regarding risk prevention.  It is not intended to include all steps or processes necessary to adequately protect you, your business or your customers. You should always consult your personal attorney and insurance professional for advice unique to you and your business.  ©Copyright 2010 Federated Mutual Insurance Company, All Rights Reserved. 

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