Integrity Tests: The Work Comp Playbook For Employers

In previous posts, we have discussed the role that employment drug tests and post-offer medical questionnaires play in making qualified hiring decisions. There is an additional measure that you can take prior to extending an offer that can prevent you from potentially making a mistake with your new hires: integrity testing. “Integrity testing” is an umbrella term that describes a number of different tests that all aim to assist your hiring process by weeding out applicants who may have tendencies to exhibit counterproductive and harmful behaviors. This is beneficial on two levels: keeping these bad behaviors out of your business improves safety and workplace environment, and the resultant safety increase will reduce unnecessary costs and claims.

Here’s what to look for

According to the United States Office of Personnel Management, an integrity test is “designed to assess an applicant’s tendency to be honest, trustworthy, and dependable.” Many integrity tests function similarly to standard personality tests and measure for traits such as conscientiousness, agreeableness, and emotional stability, while others are designed specifically to look for signs of poor behavior, particularly illegal behavior such as violence, theft, or illicit drug use along with general poor behavior such as absenteeism. These tests, referred to as “overt integrity tests”, are often more direct about asking the prospective hire about their illicit activities and can be more susceptible to applicant faking, so exercise caution when using such tests.

Integrity testing is important because…

Last month, we detailed just how costly a bad hire can be for your business. Statistically, integrity testing has proven to be hugely beneficial for employers. Screening applicants for integrity has shown a 23 percent increase in claims severity, and the claims that do occur have an average cost that is 40 percent less. One vendor in particular claims that their test can reduce workers’ compensation costs by up to 60 percent. In addition, as Criteria Corp states, integrity tests can serve the same function as a pre-hire background check, but background checks are far more expensive and only target those with illicit behavior in the past. An integrity test will reduce costs and will provide additional risk management by also looking for the potential to behave badly.

The benefits of integrity testing go far beyond the financial. While it is ideal to keep your costs at a minimum, the main purpose of integrity testing is improving safety for your employees and your clients. For this reason, integrity tests are most commonly used in the retail and hospitality industries, as well as other safety-sensitive fields and industries where employees have access to customers and their operations and information (or even their homes).

We recommend Merchants

As mentioned previously, there are multiple types of integrity tests that are administered in different ways and test for different traits, so be sure to look for the one that best suits your needs. In most cases we recommend the Merchants Integrity Test. It is generally used as a hire/fire integrity test and it only takes 8-9 minutes to complete. Merchants can also provide background checks if you so desire. The Merchants Integrity test is a proven solution to:

  • Increase productivity
  • Reduce turnover
  • Reduce workers’ compensation loss rates
  • Reduce employee theft
  • Reduce background screening and drug testing costs

To receive a discount on the Merchant suite of services contact your Compass Certified Consultant.

About Compass RMS

The risk management firm Risk Management, Inc. has specialized in workers’ compensation since 1996, creating the CWCP (Certified Workers’ Compensation Professional) program in 1999 and the P4 process in 2000. We launched our Compass Risk Management platform in 2008 and recently released version 4.0. For more information about our services, give us a call at (888) 519-6690 to speak with one of our consultants.