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Honesty Tests—Paper and Pencil Psychological Testing

Jack L. Hayes International’s 22nd Annual Retail Theft survey reported that one in every 28 employees was apprehended for theft from their employer in 2009. As this report indicates, employee theft is a major problem, but how does management deal with it? The solution is not to hire the “bad apple” and hire only those who are honest and trustworthy.

Let us look at another of the Hayes survey’s findings relating to honesty tests. Hayes analyzed over 19,000 honesty tests given by IntegriView to job applicants. Of those 19,165 job applicants taking honesty tests, 12,283 (64.1 percent) were rated by honesty tests as “low risk” and 3,700 (19.3 percent) were rated by honesty tests as “high risk”, due to their admissions of previous wrongdoings, and their attitudes regarding honest and dishonest behavior. The remaining 3,182 applicants (16.6 percent) taking honesty tests were rated “moderate risk”.

So, are pre-employment honesty tests effective? I think so—our research tends to prove that the administering of honesty tests is more effective than a prescreening interview. Nevertheless, honesty tests can have an element of unreliability; they may not be perfectly predictable in each specific situation. However, data relating to honesty tests usually shows they are quite reliable and do a remarkable job of measuring honesty.

Additional effective pre-employment screening suggestions can be found in Chapters 9 and 11 of this book.

Learn more about conducting honesty tests by picking up a copy of Business Fraud: From Trust to Betrayal today!