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How a pre-employment survey cut candidate disqualification rates in half

How a pre-employment survey cut candidate disqualification rates in half

In the trucking industry, employee turnover rates run 94%. That keeps Trinity Healthcare busy on behalf of its trucking company clients. They see driver candidates who travel to the Springfield, Missouri clinic, for pre-employment health screening.

Before partnering with SurveyMonkey, Trinity saw between 500 and 600 drivers each month. However, 20% of the candidates didn’t pass the required medical exam. That means the trucking company was paying the travel costs for candidates who were ultimately disqualified.

According to clinic owner Dr. John Abraham, “We found that the majority of drivers who were sent home were disqualified for medical issues.”

Handwriting was also a challenge as candidate responses on forms were often illegible. Clinic staff spent hours following up to clarify and gather data.  

Dr. Abraham was looking to streamline the process of collecting candidate data up front to eliminate the costs, inefficiencies, and inconveniences of travel—and reduce time-consuming follow up.

Online surveys with HIPAA compliance built in

“I decided to use SurveyMonkey to create a general medical survey,” said Dr. Abraham. His plan was to make it part of the recruiting process to determine if a candidate was qualified before committing to travel. “After they talked to a recruiter, they would jump online and fill out the survey.”

Dr. Abraham chose SurveyMonkey Enterprise for a variety of reasons. This was his first major survey project and he relied on SurveyMonkey’s built-in logic to guide its creation. HIPAA compliance and PHI security were also important features, as many responses were health related.

Once a candidate completed a survey and passed the pre-screening criterion, they were invited for an on-site exam—with much better outcomes.

“We were able to reduce the rate of medical disqualifications from 20% to 10% by using SurveyMonkey to pre-screen candidates.”

Based on this reduction, the clinic realized an ROI on their SurveyMonkey investment in under 4 months.

Using survey data with other apps was also an important feature. Responses from the completed surveys were exported into an Excel spreadsheet, printed onto forms, and saved in the candidates’ records. This eliminated issues with handwriting, and many of the responses were used to auto populate other forms.

Dr. Abraham believes integrations are key to further cost reductions. “I can see the disqualification rate for medical conditions dropping to 1% to 2% as SurveyMonkey is fully integrated into the recruiting process.”

Dr. Abraham also uses surveys for other data gathering projects. For example, the clinic conducts annual OSHA-based audiology testing, involving approximately 320 associates. Each annual test is accompanied by a questionnaire addressing noise exposure, illness, or other variables affecting hearing. These are now completed online prior to the testing, saving clinic staff the time involved in manually entering this information.

Reduced costs, improved qualification, and retention

Reducing the disqualification rate for candidates has made a big difference in several areas. The company saves at least $250 in travel costs for each candidate that would have been disqualified—that potentially could add up to tens of thousands of dollars a month in cost savings.

“Cutting those costs has had an enormous impact,” says Dr. Abraham. “With the amount of patients we see, the travel expenses really add up.”

The clinic is also conserving resources. Instead of tying up staff members with health record requests and reviews—which could take 30 minutes per patient—Trinity starts with more accurate data.

“My staff is able to take action with SurveyMonkey data 5 to 6 times faster than before.”

For candidates, eliminating the frustration of traveling and being rejected is important. “Some of these drivers give up jobs thinking they have a new opportunity,” Dr. Abraham says. “It is difficult to send people home.”

For the trucking company, Dr. Abraham believes the benefits of a more personalized experience has impacted driver retention. The company has a turnover rate of less than two-thirds the industry average.

In the future, Trinity plans to open 2 new clinics in Utah and Pennsylvania. And, Dr. Abraham has more immediate plans for SurveyMonkey at the Missouri clinic: the launch of a wellness survey that collects diet, fitness, and lifestyle data in the hopes of encouraging a healthier and happier workforce.