Honesty and Integrity TestsWork Ethic. Hostility. Dependability. Reliability
Pre-employment testing to identify applicants likely to cheat, lie, steal, quit, or fight is experiencing a meteoric rise in business. This type of testing is called honesty and integrity tests or counter-productive behavior tests. Honesty and integrity tests were among the first personality tests used for employee screening. According to professor of industrial psychology at the University of Minnesota Deniz S. Ones, employee integrity testing was used for the first time more than six decades ago.
There is little question why honesty and integrity tests are becoming so popular. When it comes to excuses for poor employee behavior, employers have heard it all – from bad hair days to faulty alarm clocks. Rarely does the hiring of a candidate with high-risk behaviors and a bad attitude end well. While occasional success is possible, most of these situations still end up in termination after a parade of victims surface, ranging from the customer who refuses to do business with you anymore to the co-workers who files a sexual harassment charge to the employee who gets caught stealing from the company. Sometimes the excuses are part of a chronic problem and it’s best to identify these types of bad behavior right up front. Discovering chronic absenteeism, sticky fingers or bursts of aggressive behavior after the fact is not only bad for business, it’s stressful and expensive too.
Unlike personality and behavioral-based tests which describe a candidate’s potential job fit, honesty and integrity tests attempt to reveal a candidate’s attitude toward work. Using an integrity test for employment can help reveal information that a personality test won’t. Typical attitudes that are measured are honesty, hostility and dependability. In addition, several assessments include the option of evaluating a candidate’s attitude toward sexual harassment and computer misuse.
Big 5 Attitudes
The Big 5 Attitudes tool shows the candidate’s attitudes toward work and work-related issues by measuring for counter-productive behaviors. It measures honesty and integrity attitudes such as hostility and dependability during the pre-hire screening process.
The following scales are measured using the Big 5 Attitude Assessments:
Hostility (Aggression) Describes the degree to which the person is not able to suppress angry feeling but rather expresses anger physically or verbally to co-workers and thus poses a real risk in the workplace.
Conscientiousness (Dependability) Describes the degree to which the individual lacks persistence, work motivation, and organization, ranging from being lackadaisical and careless to being highly disciplined and dependable.
Integrity (Honesty) Involves the degree to which the person is likely to engage in pilferage, short-changing customers, falsifying expense accounts, lying to protect him- or herself, exaggerating one’s job qualifications and other acts of dishonesty.
Good Impression (Faking) A validity scale that measures the degree to which the person has responded truthfully to the test items or is responding in such a way as to make a good impression.
Additional Scales Measured (optional):
Sexual Harassment Involves the likelihood that this person will ask co-workers for sexual favors, make sexual remarks that upset colleagues, tell dirty jokes, or otherwise behave inappropriately at work.
Computer Misuse Describes the possibility that this person might abuse the organization’s computers to send and/or receive personal e-mails, surf the Web, transact personal business, or otherwise violate company computer-use policies.
Elite Integrity Profile
The Elite Integrity Profile is another popular tool to assess a candidate’s attitudes toward work and work-related issues.
The following scales are measured using the Elite Integrity Profile:
Trustworthiness describes the degree to which the candidate is likely to be honest and trusting of others.
Rules Compliance describes to which the candidate is likely to follow established rules and adhere to policies and procedures.
Non-Violent Attitudes describe the degree to which the candidate is likely to respect others and not engage in aggressive behaviors such as resorting to physical violence or verbal threats.
Responsibility describes the degree to which the candidate is willing to take responsibility for his or her actions, is dependable, punctual and conscientious.
Candidness measures the degree to which the individual is likely to be candid and accurate in his/her responses and is therefore not trying to outsmart the test in an effort to present him/herself in a more favorable light. The results of this scale should be used as a “red flag” to make you aware that some candidates may be trying to “fake” the test
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