Publication Date

11-2009

Abstract

Integrity tests can be a hiring tool to help employers determine which of their prospective employees will be more likely to engage in unproductive, dangerous, or otherwise risky actions on the job. Candidates are surprisingly candid when answering test questions about their workplace theft or drug use, but the tests also have control questions intended to indicate when an applicant provides false answers in an attempt to answer “correctly.” Although tests represent an additional expense in the hiring process, a study of a large hotel chain found that the savings in screening out potentially expensive employees more than made up for the costs of conducting the tests, based on a substantial reduction in workers’ compensation claims. A conservative estimate is that the company experienced a 50 percent one-year return on investment from the test. It is important to note that the tests do not violate U.S. employment laws, as data show that the tests create no adverse impact on protected groups.

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© Cornell University. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

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