Integrity assessments measure attitudes and experiences that are related to an individual’s honesty, trustworthiness and dependability. Many organizations are not aware of the high ROI resulting from integrity assessments being applied in businesses where counterproductive behaviors are highly disruptive to organizational functioning. If the business is highly vulnerable to theft of valuable property or theft of sensitive information or absenteeism, a high ROI can be expected. Integrity assessments are typically multiple-choice in format and administered online. A lack of integrity is associated with counterproductive behaviors such as theft, violence, sabotage, disciplinary problems, and absenteeism. Integrity assessments often measure some of the same factors as personality tests: conscientiousness, emotional stability and agreeableness. Integrity assessments were first used in the US more than six decades ago.

Today, there are two types of integrity assessments available in the marketplace: overt and covert. Overt integrity assessments ask questions that leave little doubt about what is being evaluated. Covert integrity assessments ask questions that are indirect. The answers give a sense of the individual’s conscientiousness and emotional maturity. Covert integrity assessments predict absenteeism better than overt ones.

Integrity assessments can also be valid measures of overall job performance. This is not surprising since integrity is strongly related to conscientiousness, itself a strong predictor of overall job performance. Like other measures of personality traits, integrity assessments can add a significant amount of validity to a selection process when administered in combination with a cognitive ability measure. Integrity assessments will not eliminate all dishonesty or theft at work, but the research strongly suggests that individuals who score poorly on integrity assessments also tend to be poor organizational citizens and usually are less productive employees.


Integrity assessments have been shown to be valid predictors of many counterproductive behaviors such as absenteeism, illicit drug use, and theft. The use of integrity assessments in combination with cognitive ability tests can substantially enhance the prediction of overall job performance.

Subgroup Differences

Generally, no average score differences are found between men and women or applicants of different races or ethnicities. Both overt and covert integrity assessments seem to be correlated with age indicating that younger individuals have the potential to be more counterproductive employees, possibly because of a youthful tendency towards drug experimentation and other social deviance.

Return on Investment (ROI)

Integrity assessment as a Candidate Assessment Strategy USA will yield a high return on investment in businesses where counterproductive behaviors (e.g., theft of valuable property or theft of sensitive information, or absenteeism) are highly disruptive to organizational functioning.

Common Uses

Integrity assessments are most widely used for entry-level positions for which reliability and rule-following are particularly important. These assessments measure whether applicants have the potential to be successful in jobs where performance requires a high level of honesty and dependability. This Candidate Assessment Strategy USA is most often used with as a screen- out measure.

Measurable Business Outcomes
  • Reduced workers’ compensation claims
  • Lowered absenteeism
  • Reduced inventory shrinkage
  • Fewer incidents of sabotage
  • Lower number of complaints where employees are working in customers’ homes, such as home health care aides and field service technicians
  • Fewer safety violations in manufacturing settings
  • Fewer reported thefts of intellectual property or business property

A Risk Management Strategy

The above listed business outcomes clearly show how integrity assessments can serve as a risk management strategy. Certain applicants represent a higher risk of engaging in counterproductive behaviors based on their assessment responses and their personality profiles.

By using integrity assessments early in the hiring process, employers can save time and costs and avoid workplace behaviors that can damage their organization.

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