Document Type

Article

Publication Date

10-2-2007

Abstract

Although not commonly used for selecting hospitality employees, integrity tests can help employers determine which of their prospective hires are likely to engage in unproductive, dangerous, or otherwise risky actions on the job. Candidates are surprisingly candid in answering test questions about their workplace theft or drug abuse, but the tests also have control questions intended to indicate when an applicant is attempting to game the test. Moreover, the tests do not violate U.S. employment laws since they neither create adverse impact on protected groups nor violate provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act. 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. Not only could the chain count on employees who were reasonably honest and drug-free, but it found a substantial reduction in costly workers' compensation claims among the new hires. In the course of a year, the hotel chain administered an integrity test to just over 29,000 would-be employees, and hired just under 6,100 of those applicants. These data, which were made available by American Tescor, creator of the test, set up the opportunity to compare the workers' compensation claims from the new hires with the claims of already incumbent employees. The screened hires experienced a markedly lower incidence of claims compared to the unscreened, existing employees. The average cost per claim for the unscreened employees was $3,446, as compared to $2,119 for the screened group. The annual average cost per employee for workers' compensation claims was $97.77 for the unscreened group, but only $31.02 for the screened group.

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