[IPAC-List] Use of integrity assessments in public sector

keith.poole at phoenix.gov keith.poole at phoenix.gov
Tue Jan 7 18:06:40 EST 2014

For what it's worth, we started using an overt integrity test in about the
mid 1990's. It's the Vangent (formerly Pearson) PSI-S, with the S meaning
extra items relating to safety attitudes. It costs us about $22 per
assessment. This assessment focuses on counterproductive work behaviors
and integrity, with scales for employee/customer relations, honesty, drug
avoidance, safety, etc. It's an option for departments to use this, and
it appears it was used to some success for entry level positions, mostly
blue collar. Historically about 60% pass and overall little to no adverse
impact. We had a blanket policy that this was only to be used for
external applicants, no existing employees had to take or pass it.

In recent years we've basically had all but maybe one department decide to
discontinue using the PSI. There were a variety of reasons including:
- Starting in the 2000's we instituted mandatory background checking
through an external vendor, including criminal checks, for both internal
(promotions) and external applicants. Some departments thought the PSI
was too redundant.
- We initially did mandatory drug and alcohol testing for all new hires
but have since pared this back to just safety-sensitive positions.
- Going back to mid-2000's up until the recession, some departments had a
very difficult time filling even basic entry level positions and it didn't
seem that the PSI added enough value to lose 40% of the applicants.
- Generally difficult to show success to departments without doing more
in-depth research. Some departments had decided to hire some applicants
who "failed" the PSI based on other valid info (reference checks, contract
employees etc), and even on this anecdotal level it was hard to see a
pattern. Another issue is that most departments wanted to limit costs and
only administer the PSI at the time of first or even second interview. We
had a hard time explaining to departments that it's really not a "sniper"
type assessment tool that can identify on a person-by-person basis at the
end of the selection process whether they had integrity.

In any case, it may see a resurgence at some point in our organization,
but the one department that is still using the PSI is looking at other
options or dropping altogether.

Keith Poole
Human Resources Supervisor
City of Phoenix HR Department
135 N 2nd Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85003
Phone: (602) 262-7140
Fax: (602) 495-5498
Email: keith.poole at phoenix.gov

From: Reid Klion <RKlion at panpowered.com>
To: "ipac-list at ipacweb.org" <ipac-list at ipacweb.org>,
Date: 01/02/2014 03:44 PM
Subject: [IPAC-List] Use of integrity assessments in public sector
Sent by: ipac-list-bounces at ipacweb.org

Happy 2014 to all!

I am curious about the group’s thoughts about a question that was recently
posed by a colleague regarding the use of integrity tests in the public
sector. Integrity tests are used fairly broadly in the private sector for
individuals applying for “positions of trust.” However, neither of us were
aware of their usage in the public sector (setting aside the use of
psychological assessments for the selection of public safety officers
which uses a different set of assessments much broader in scope ). Anyone
have any thoughts or anecdata? Thanks-


Reid E. Klion, Ph.D.
Chief Science Officer
pan - Performance Assessment Network, Inc.
11590 North Meridian St.
Suite 200
Carmel, IN 46032 USA
317.814.8808 Office
317.908.4312 Mobile
317.814.8888 Fax
rklion at panpowered.com
IPAC-List at ipacweb.org

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