Dear Workforce How Do We Stop Chronic Misbehavior?

By Staff Report

Feb. 18, 2009

Dear Beleaguered:

There are definitely options when it comes to using pre-employment assessments that can help to identify individuals who are likely to engage in counterproductive behaviors.

These assessments fall into two major categories: overt integrity tests and personality-based integrity tests. Overt integrity tests commonly come right out and ask the applicant to answer questions about drug use, stealing, absenteeism and other things that have been shown to be directly related to workplace “incidents.”

Believe it or not, these tests do work, and there is a good bit of evidence to support their effectiveness. These tests work best for helping to screen out those individuals who are the most unsuited and most likely to have problems. While overt tests do work, they can be somewhat unfriendly to applicants since they ask sensitive questions and may send a message to the applicant that the organization does not trust them.

Personality-based integrity tests evaluate certain personality traits that have been shown to relate to counterproductive work behaviors and incidents in the workplace. These tests usually do not ask questions that are obviously about stealing or absence. Instead, they generally involve questions that focus on the trait of conscientiousness, as this has been shown to be a strong predictor of things such as theft and absence.

Which type of test is better?

The answer to that depends on your specific situation. Things such as the type of job, the specific problems you are having and your existing hiring process are all things to consider. I strongly encourage anyone evaluating a test to actually take that test and view their results. In this situation, I would make sure to take some examples of both an overt and a personality-based test and see which one feels most appropriate for your situation.

SOURCE: Charles A. Handler, Rocket-Hire, New Orleans, February 2, 2009

LEARN MORE: Please read Job Candidate Assessment Tests Go Virtual for additional perspective.

The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.

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