Putting the wrong person in a job can be expensive in so many ways. It is labor intensive considering the unemployment numbers and record number of applicants for jobs. New studies show that by adding one small component to the hiring process, you can decrease the volume of applications and potentially decrease your Workers’ Compensation claims costs. An important step in the hiring process could be the introduction of Integrity Testing for potential employees.

Integrity testing is a personality test that looks at only negative character behavior to identify applicants with a mentality towards entitlement and a lack of conscientiousness. It is proposed that 25-30% of applicants completing integrity tests self-disclose undesirable behaviors such as on the job illicit drug use, theft, and violence in the workplace which have direct impacts on the frequency and severity of an organizations workers’ compensation claims. Research has been provided to show that integrity testing is valid for predicting job performance and counterproductive behaviors on the job.

Many HR representatives report that integrity testing helps streamline their comprehensive hiring process and more efficiently identifies the most qualified candidates for positions. Focusing on the most qualified worker can lower the risk of work-related incidents and absenteeism.

“Pacific University’s recently published research study involved more than 33,000 job applicants from four separate industries (publishing, nursing homes, food processing, and auto club) over 12-34 months. The research evaluated the propensity of applicants toward counterproductive behavior such as theft, drug use, violence and aggression. The study’s hypothesis was that employees more at risk for accidents are more likely to defy company policies, damage property and engage in on-the-job drug use, etc. In another relatively recent Cornell University study involving a large hotel chain’s 29,000 job applicants tested over 12 months, the screened group experienced about one-half the claims frequency and 39 percent less severity than the control group of unscreened applicants.

There are many integrity testing vendors offering various test batteries for the selection of job candidates. Not all specifically target workers’ compensation, but claims cost reduction is typically a secondary benefit to standardized test batteries.

  • PrWeb, Chicago, IL. (2013). For IT staffing firms, failing to verify candidates technical skills present the bigger risk, says new TechInsurance Alert. http://www.prweb.com/release/2014/4/prweb10599607.htm Accessed 4/10/2013.
  • Arnold, D. (2012). Integrity testing. White Paper. Wonderlic, Inc. Vernon Hills, IL.
  • Oliver, C., Shafiro, M., Bullard, P., Thomas, J. (2011). Use of integrity tests may reduce workers’ compensation losses. Pacific University Faculty Scholarship (SPP). Paper 8. http://commons.pacificu/sppfac/8