Personality tests are tests administered on individuals to establish which aspects of a person’s character have a bearing on the person’s pattern of behaviour, feeling and thoughts. There are different types of personality tests but all of them accomplish almost similar tasks. Integrity and tests on the other hand are administered for the purpose of ascertaining y and adherence to laid down ethical principles. Such kinds of tests are normally used as pre-employment screening mechanisms to help organizations in identifying the integrity levels of applicants (Porter, 2001).
Further, integrity and tests can be used as follow-up strategies for ascertaining whether the people who are already employed are adhering to the organization’s code of conduct. Basically integrity tests are meant to identify potential risks such as employees who might steal, people who pose threat to other people or those who may not adhere to the rules. Thus integrity and tests can be used for selecting employees for a security organization but in conjunction with other tests like the personality test (Porter, 2001).
The development of a personality, and integrity test is a tedious iterative process that requires progressive redefining of the tests so as to ensure that they meet the diverse needs of varying individual characteristics. Normally the development, design administration and analysis of the test scores are done by experts who are well versed in the field of psychology. Whichever evaluation criterion is used it has to meet high levels of reliability and validity.
A major problem associated with the administration of personality and other test is that they normally make participants to become very complacent with their unique personal attributes and also the descriptions associated with them. This can be dangerous to especially those people who are suffering from problems of social identity disorders. Further, the test results may act as a catalyst for instigating a new pattern of behaviour on the personality of the individual participants (Houston & Solomon, 2007).
Another problem associated with such tests is that they are administered under varying laws and circumstances and these might not be legal in all cases. There have been cases of employees seeking legal redresses in respect of mental damages incurred in the administration of such tests. The severity of the damage that people can sustain was made clear in the famous case of Wilson and his employer, Johnson & Johnson, in which the plain plaintiff argued that repeated scrutiny and questioning of his personality and character was the cause of his strain and eventual breakdown. He won the case and was awarded close to five million US dollars in damage, the highest to be awarded in the history of such cases (Blinkhorn, Johnson & Wood, 1988).
There have been more such cases in several countries of late and the basic lesson to be learnt here is that such tests have not augured well with employees. Much as such those tests are based on right intentions their long term impact on company workers does not match their relevance. Legal ramifications can be avoided if the psychological impacts of these tests can be addressed before the actual administration of the tests. They can also be avoided by involving and informing the employees and recruits the importance of such tests so that they are prepared psychologically.
Finally, it is prudent that an organization maintains a good rapport between the management and the junior staff. This will provide a goof forum for discussing issues including those pertaining to the administration of personality and integrity tests. Under such a good relationship employees will see and understand the need and relevance of such tests.