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Pre-Employment Tests, Interview Skills & Hiring
Pre-Employment Test Research Helps You Stop Employee Theft & Stealing
By Michael Mercer, Ph.D.
Aug 22, 2013, 15:43

The best way to stop employee theft and stealing is to not hire thieves.  And the most scientific way to accomplish this:  Use a well-researched pre-employment test that helps you avoid hiring people who might steal. 


Unfortunately, most business owners cannot determine a job applicant is a thief while conducting job interviews.  After all, applicants will not tell interviewers they steal!  And background checks only uncover people who have been convicted, but not people who stole but never were caught and convicted.


Fortunately, there is a scientific way to avoid hiring thieves.  It is to use a pre-employment test that has been researched to discover if a job applicant might steal. 


For example, my research to create “Dependability Forecaster(tm) Test,” included me doing these research steps.  First, I wrote 50 questions I thought thieves might answer differently than non-thieves.  Second, I got 2 groups of research subjects answer my 50 research questions: (A) Thieves = 300+ people convicted of “property crimes,” i.e., stealing and (B) Non-Thieves = 300+ people never convicted of stealing crimes.  Third, I statistically compared Thieves’ versus Non-Thieves’ answers.  Fourth, I found 24 questions that Thieves answered “statistically significantly differently” than Non-Thieves.  Finally, I put those 24 questions in my “Dependability Forecaster(tm) Test.”


This pre-employment test assesses job applicants on five ‘dependability’ factors:  Honesty on DF, Work Ethic, Impulsiveness, Theft/Stealing concerns, and Substance Abuse concerns.


Managers have job applicants take “Dependability Forecaster(tm) Test.” If a job applicant gets scores like convicted Thieves, the manager definitely may feel concerned that person might steal from (a) the company, (b) co-workers, and/or (c) customers.  However, if a job applicant gets scores similar to my Non-Thieves research group, the owner or manager could have less concern about that person stealing. 


Dangerous pre-employment test research details:  My hundreds of Thieves research subjects were prisoners in five county jails.  I spent dozens of days locked-up in jail cells while the convicted thieves answer my research questionnaires.  I was locked in jail so the prisoners could not escape.  But, I could not get out until the jail guards came to get me.  I would arrive in the morning and leave late-afternoon.  While locked-up in the five jails, I saw and heard things I never saw nor heard before!  I also learned how to handle dangerous and “sticky” situations I encountered in the five jails. 


Important:  Beware of other tests that claim to “catch” thieves, but base that claim on research using college students or other people who are not actual thieves.  For example, I saw a pre-employment test that claimed it spotted potential thieves.  But, their research was unrealistic and ludicrous.  Specifically, they wrote possible test questions, and then had college students ‘pretend they were thieves’ while answering the questions.  That is ridiculous, lousy pseudo-research!  College students ‘pretending’ to be thieves are not actual thieves. 


So, if you hear of a pre-employment test that says it can help you tell which applicants are thieves, make sure you ask them how they did their research.  If their research used college students or others who ‘pretended’ to be thieves – but not real thieves – you should not use that pre-employment test.  And you are justified to laugh at their ludicrous research. 


Only use a pre-employment test that used real, verifiable thieves in its research to create the test’s theft and stealing section.  Do not use any test that created its stealing-related questions based on college students or others who ‘pretended’ to be thieves. 


Recommendation to stop employee stealing or thievery:  Use a pre-employment test based on scientific research that “catches” job applicants who have similarities to people who definitely are thieves.  Such a pre-employment test is quick, easy-to-use, and vastly cheaper than you putting on your pay role employees who steal.