Integrity testing takes shape

March 2010 News

The Security Association of South Africa (SASA) held its first monthly gathering of 2010 at the Johannesburg Zoo in January. The guest speaker for the event was Trudie van der Merwe, director of iPac Risk who delved into a different form of pre- and post-employment screening, integrity testing.

Van der Merwe said that generally speaking, 25% of employees will always be honest and 25% will be dishonest, the other 50% can be influenced one way or another depending on the ethics of the company’s leadership and whether those around them who are dishonest are seen to be rewarded in some way.

In South Africa, the pendulum seems to be swinging the wrong way as 62% of the South African respondents in a recent PWC survey indicated that they have fallen victim to economic crime within the last 12 months, compared with 30% globally. Furthermore, in South Africa, only 62% of companies are conducting credit, criminal and qualifications verifications before employing someone.

Companies that conduct integrity assessments and ethical guidelines are much less vulnerable to economic crime.

She warns that integrity tests can not be used in isolation, but should be part of a broader selection process. IPac uses the South African Integrity Scale (SAIS) test that was developed in the country using a large multicultural South African sample.

Furthermore, the test is relatively short (36 items) that can be completed in about 15 to 30 minutes either using a computer or with paper and pencil. The scores are calculated electronically and results are available almost immediately.

Integrity tests are in no way infallible, but they can assist employers in making better informed decisions about prospective employees





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