Merchants Integrity Test™ Features and Benefits
The Merchants Integrity Test™ represents the next evolution in the pre-employment assessment of job candidates. Merchants recognizes and commends you for your efforts to thoroughly screen job candidates by verifying prior employment, education and professional credentials, reviewing criminal history and applicants credit files (where applicable and subject to local law), performing drug/alcohol abuse testing and skills testing or similar. Those efforts pay big dividends in the form of better qualified new hires that are better performing employees and produce fewer headaches for your managers.
However, comparatively few of you presently utilize integrity testing to gain the deep insight into the behavior and attitudes of your job candidates on important topics such as: drug/alcohol abuse in the workplace, hostility or violence in the workplace, employee theft and fraud, and personal and professional integrity. These are issues that directly impact your company’s bottom line and you can ill-afford to ignore what they might have discovered about the job candidate before making an offer.
The biggest reason why most of you do not yet use the Merchants Integrity Test™ or Integrity Testing in general as part of your pre-employment screening process, is simply because you don’t fully understand the potential benefits. Read on and discover what Merchants clients have known for over 30 years; Merchants Integrity Test™ reduces unnecessary expenses and protect your assets and reputation.
Below are many of the benefits and features of the Merchants Integrity Test™.
Reduce Workers' Compensation Loss Rates by as Much as 60%
Too many employers mistakenly believe that workers compensation insurance costs are not controllable costs. While this is half right, it is also half wrong as well. You can and do have the ability to directly influence your experience rating. Safety education and awareness programs are an obvious element in maintaining a favorable experience rating. However, too many employers stop at the safety program and go no further. Through several decades of experience in working with employers to reduce workers compensation insurance costs, Merchants knows that hiring the correct employees can have a significant impact to the experience rating.
Some employees, if presented with the opportunity, would willingly participate in insurance scams. Other employees who are legitimately injured would, if presented with the opportunity, exaggerate the severity of the injury or deliberately lengthen the time to recuperate. Hiring either of these two types of employees can weigh down your company not only in lost productivity, but additional hard dollar costs in workers compensation insurance.
The Merchants Integrity Test™ has the capacity to identify (during the hiring process – pre-interview) which candidates would fall into these categories. Merchants can help you effectively avoid unnecessary expenses by identifying risky candidates before they become employees.
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Avoid Hiring Violent or Hostile Employees
For the calendar year 2007, the Bureau of Labor Statistics recorded 610 workplace homicides. Not to be confused with accidents resulting in death (fatalities), homicides are murders committed in the workplace. The previous year was 540. The 2008 figures are not yet released but expected to exceed the 2007 level of 610. Few events can have a more detrimental effect on a business, particularly small and medium sized businesses, like a murder on the job. When President’s and CEO’s go to jail and it can dramatically hurt the bottom line, but a homicide can kill a company.
This 13% increase in the workplace homicide rate over a single year should prompt you to take serious steps to protect your business, employees, and customers from this very real threat. There are some interesting solutions (many involving simple safety programs and video surveillance) but too many solutions lack the capacity to prevent violence. Video surveillance only serves to identify the assailant rather than protect the victims (small comfort indeed).
The Merchants Integrity Test™ has the capacity to identify (during the hiring process – pre-interview) which candidates have an admitted behavior of violence thus have a correspondingly greater propensity for violence. Merchants can help you avoid hiring violent individual and consequently avoid violence associated with that candidate. An ounce of prevention really is worth much more than a cure.
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Reduce On The Job Drug/Alcohol Abuse
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, part of the Department of Health and Human Services; estimated that in 2006, there were 1.7 million emergency room visits for drug (including alcohol) misuse/abuse. Estimates for 2007 and 2008 are not yet available, but expected to be similar. There are not that many companies with more than 100 employees. That means that if your company is a large or a medium sized business, chances are very good that one of your employees or coworkers made a trip to the hospital for emergency treatment for substance abuse.
Substance abuse is not only a very expensive habit for the abuser, but also for those that have frequent contact with the abuser such as family members or coworkers. The employment/substance abuse problem would not be so significant if the abuser always abused on their own time and was clean and sober while on the job - but that is just not reality. Employees working under the influence are all too common. They are involved in workplace accidents (automobiles, heavy equipment, power tools) and they make important mistakes (lawyers, financial planners, executives) that can affect your entire organization.
The Merchants Integrity Test™ has the capacity to identify (during the hiring process – pre-interview) those candidates whose behavior makes them a risky hire. Merchants can help you avoid hiring substance abusers that put your company’s profits and future at risk.
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Reduce Workplace Bullying
According to the Workplace Bullying Institute, the impact of bullying stretches far beyond the simple angst one feels when a co-worker or supervisor verbally abuses you. Workplace bullying is found to have both negative mental and physical effects ranging from nausea and headaches to hypertension and even heart attacks! In fact, there is research drawing a direct correlation between workplace bullying and domestic violence.
The Merchants Integrity Test™ has the capacity to identify (during the hiring process – pre-interview) which candidates have an admitted behavior of violence thus have a correspondingly greater propensity for violence. Merchants can help you avoid employing bully's in your workplace and consequently avoid the negative actions associated with that candidate. An ounce of prevention really is worth much more than a pound of cure.
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Improve Your Return on Investment (ROI)
The Merchants Integrity Test™ has shown excellent investment performance with savings exceeding costs by several multiples. Using the Merchants Integrity Test™ as a part of the pre-interview screening process for hiring can produce meaningful results in multiple categories including reduced absenteeism, reduced FMLA utilization, reduced workplace hostility and violence, reduced employee turnover, reduced workers compensation costs, reduced employee pilferage or shrinkage and reduced substance abuse in the workplace as some examples.
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Reduce Employee Theft
Employee theft is a serious problem even in good times. The difficult economy only serves to magnify the problem. Losses due to employee theft can add up very quickly. Transportation and warehousing are significant targets for employees, but it seems to be retailing that is most susceptible. The shoplifting threat is well-understood by retailers and they regularly feel the bite of shoplifting. However, many of these same retailers who have robust anti-shoplifting programs would be better served to address the issue of inventory shrinkage related to employee theft. The cost of employee theft is several times the cost of shoplifting on a per-incident basis. In fact, the 2007 National Retail Security Survey, published by the University of Florida, identifies the employee theft cost $1,442.67 while the shoplifting cost was only $344.91 each time they occurred.
Who stole your profits? Too often the answer is that some of your company’s employees did. But there is more that can be done besides shaking ones head in frustration and anger. The Merchants Integrity Test™ is designed to probe for behaviors that correspond to a pattern of theft. Candidates who make admissions about past thefts on the Merchants Integrity Test™ are not recommended for hire. Merchants can help you avoid hiring your next employee theft headache.
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Less Workplace Violence
Unless your company is involved in promoting Mixed Martial Arts or Ultimate Fighting, having a "throwdown" at work is not a good thing. The problem is that it is not terribly easy to spot which job applicants are prone to violence (hint: it has nothing to do with hair style or number of visible tattoos). There are existent tools for helping to identify which candidates are most at risk. The Merchants Integrity Test™ can reveal a pattern of violence in the responses of a job applicant. Knowing (and avoiding) the at risk candidate is the first, best thing an employer can do to keep their employees, customers, and partners safe from those who would commit acts of violence.
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Reduced Employee Turnover
Although reducing employee turnover is not the primary intent of the Merchants Integrity Test™; the use of it as a screening tool in the hiring process has serendipitously been found to help reduce turnover. Turnover costs are significantly and needlessly expensive. Recruiting, on-boarding, and training multiple people for the same position are costs can, could be, and should be avoided as they are "costs without value".
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Reduced Disciplinary Actions
Taking disciplinary action against an employee who has gotten off-track is necessary and important. But would it not be easier to have avoided the employee altogether? Hiring the wrong job candidate is a significant part of the problem. There exist tools which can help identify which job applicants would lie, cheat, steal, engage in substance abuse, or threaten fellow employees, customers, or partners with violence. The old adage of an ounce prevention is better than a pound of cure is not only correct; but an ounce of prevention is also vastly less expensive than a pound of cure. It is time your company started getting the benefits of the Merchants Integrity Test™!
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Reduce Negligent Hiring Lawsuits
Not only was that candidate a bad hire (sexually assaulted a fellow employee) but the victimized employee (now a former employee) is suing the company for negligently hiring someone with a propensity for violence. How much would it have cost to have had the proper tools in place to discover which job candidates have violent tendencies? The first and best solution to violence in the workplace is to avoid hiring those who would commit violence.
The Merchants Integrity Test™ has the capacity to identify (during the hiring process – pre-interview) which candidates have an admitted behavior of violence and thus have a correspondingly greater propensity for violence. Merchants can help you avoid hiring the violent individual and consequently avoid the violence and its costs associated with that candidate. An ounce of prevention really is worth much more than a pound of cure.
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Ever get the feeling that some of your employees are "milking" the sick time policy? Some employees have utilization of sick time that exceeds 80% each year. It would have been nice to know, before you hired them, that they were likely to abuse the company policy. The Merchants Integrity Test™ is designed to discover a background of behavior which indicates a lack of personal or professional integrity. A lack of integrity can manifest itself in many different ways, but one of the most frequent is the abuse of company policy.
Your company should start receiving the benefits of the Merchants Integrity Test™ in hiring today!
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Fewer Unemployment Insurance Claims
Unemployment insurance is one of several costs which must be borne by employers. There is no choice in the matter, it is just one of the costs of doing business. However, the frequency and duration of claims is something that can be influenced by the actions of the employer. For example, the employee that is hired and subsequently steals from the employer, abuses sick time policy, and is then subsequently discharged continues to rack up additional costs to the employer by making unemployment insurance claims against the employer’s account. With all of the costs of this very expensive former employee, would it not have been better to discover the attitude and behavior while still a job applicant (and avoid hiring them)?
The Merchants Integrity Test™ is designed to identify those job applicants whose behavior is contrary to accepted norms for personal and professional integrity. The use of the Merchants Integrity Test™ in the hiring process can add much needed insight into what type of behavior can be expected, if hired, from the job candidate. Armed with this information, you can make informed hiring decisions and avoid some of the costly mistakes that too often happen in environments where behavioral screening is not used.
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Reduction in Non-Occupational Disability Losses
Losses arising from injury, illness, or disease that are unrelated to the job can add up quickly when someone gets hurt. The problem is compounded when the injured willfully contributes to a lengthened recovery process in order to avoid returning to work. People do get sick or injured and need time for healing. However, a number of sick or injured employees will, if provided the opportunity, leverage the insurance benefits (ultimately costs to the employer) to the maximum extent. They seem to innately know how many days trigger a switch from sick time, to short-term disability, and then to long-term disability.
This week can be the first week for your company, as it begins profiting from the Merchants Integrity Test™ as a filter in the hiring process.
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Reduction in FMLA Utilization
The Family and Medical Leave Act is the law of the land and must be observed. It also can be quite expensive to cover employees on leave. Many of our customers have experience an additional benefit of reduced utilization of FMLA when they incorporate the Merchants Integrity Test™ into their hiring process. While not a direct goal of the survey, its use can and often does have that effect. There is a direct correlation between abusers of company paid time off, and users of FMLA.
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Improved Auto Liability Expenses
Pop Quiz: Which one of the job applicants for a position as a driver is susceptible to bouts of "road rage?" Would it not be nice to know the answer to that question pre-hire? Hiring the wrong candidate can cost your company plenty. A clean driving record can tell you about the candidate’s appropriate use of a turn signal and observance of speed limits, but provides no insight into whether they would endanger themselves and your company’s equipment and bottom line by driving aggressively or demonstrate hostility behind the wheel.
The Merchants Integrity Test™ has the capacity to identify (during the hiring process – pre-interview) which candidates have an admitted behavior of violence thus have a correspondingly greater propensity for violence. Merchants can help you avoid hiring the violent individual and consequently avoid the violence and its costs associated with that candidate altogether. An ounce of prevention really is worth much more than a pound of cure.
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Reduce your Experience Modification Rate (E-mod)
You may already know that your company’s workers’ compensation premiums are directly correlated to your e-mod rate. But did you know that by implementing the Merchants Integrity Test™ you could lower your e-mod over time, which, depending upon your existing rate, may have a direct and significant impact on our bottom line!
The Merchants Integrity Test™ is a validated pre-employment screening tool measuring four counterproductive behaviors:
- Drug or alcohol abuse
- Lying or faking
By avoiding these high-risk hires, before they cost you, you will reduce your controllable claim costs and consequently lower your e-mod.
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