Written by Patti Trimpin, HR Consultant


    Does your hiring process/employee in & out processing include integrity testing?  Keep reading to find out if this screening tool is a good fit for your business.

    Employment testing is an important method used to predicate a candidate’s performance.  Although there are many tools and levels of screening used by employers, I have read many articles specifically regarding Integrity Testing.

    What does an Integrity Test Measure?

    Integrity tests assess attitudes and experiences related to a person’s honesty, dependability, trustworthiness, reliability, and pro-social behavior.  They are designed to help identify job applicants who are likely to engage in employee theft and undesirable behaviors such as violence and other disciplinary problems.  This type of test can also help predict conscientiousness and dependability in the workplace – traits that are job-related for many positions.

    Pros and Cons of Integrity Testing in the Hiring Process

    Although Integrity tests have been demonstrated to reduce business costs (workers compensation claims) by identifying individuals who are less likely to be absent or to engage in other counterproductive behavior, there are several disadvantages as pointed out in a 2011 SIOP article and 2011 SHRM article by Bill Roberts.  Some of those disadvantages include:

    • Integrity testing may lead to individuals responding in a way to create a positive decision outcome rather than how they really are (i.e. they many try to positively manage their impression or even fake their response).
    • The tests may contain questions that do not appear job related or seem intrusive if not well-developed.
    • Certain tests may weed out more candidates than necessary.   Because all counterproductive behaviors are positively correlated with one another, the number of applicants filtered out may be higher.
    • All assessments used for employment purposes have false positives and false negatives.  The higher the validity of the test, the lower the error rate.

    In summary, well-developed integrity tests have been shown to be effective, objective and fair in helping employers screen job applicants with a focus on a person’s honesty, dependability, and trust-worthiness.  However, integrity testing is not devoid of criticism and it is imperative that employers use these types of tests appropriately and in a manner that is consistent with legal standards.

    Do you need assistance with your pre-employment screening process?  Contact a FosterThomas HR Staffing expert to help you through the process.