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Integrity Testing in Australia: Is It Right for Your Recruitment Strategy?

Date Published: June 07, 2023 | Last Updated: January 25, 2024 | By Khai Ngo

In today’s competitive job market, ensuring the integrity of candidates is a must for any successful recruitment strategy. 

One option to consider is incorporating integrity testing into your hiring process, which aims to identify an applicant’s tendency to be honest, trustworthy, and likely to exhibit ethical behaviour in the workplace.

In Australia, integrity testing is becoming increasingly popular to predict potential counterproductive work behaviours, allowing employers to make more informed decisions about whom to hire.

Using this method, you’ll better determine whether a candidate can adhere to the high standards required for their position while maintaining an excellent company culture.

However, when deciding whether to include integrity testing in your recruitment strategy, you should consider a few things. 

Here’s what you need to know. 

What is Integrity Testing?

Integrity testing is a method used to assess an individual’s compliance with the ethical and honesty requirements of a job or role. In essence, it involves putting an individual in a simulated situation where they may be tempted to engage in corrupt behaviour and then observing their actions. 

This type of testing is particularly relevant for roles with a high level of trust and responsibility or where employees have access to sensitive information.

Danny Mikati, Founding Director, Precision Integrity Services, elaborates further:

“Let’s say you’re a large corporation with sensitive intellectual property, such as an energy supplier, a high-tech manufacturer, or a financial service. You’re going to be employing a new Chief Information Officer. This role will have access to valuable IP and a significant budget.

In this scenario, of course, you would do a full cohort of regular employment screening checks through a provider such as Accurate Australia. But then you may want to go that extra mile to really test the integrity of the new hire. Because of the seniority of the job, we’d want to take this to a different level. This is where integrity testing could play a role.”

Integrity tests can help you: 

  • Identify and filter out potential candidates who may engage in unethical behaviour or pose a risk to your organisation
  • Increase overall trust and confidence in the hiring process
  • Support ethical work culture, as employees are aware that honesty and dependability are valued and assessed

Are there Different Types of Integrity Tests?

Yes, there are two main types of integrity tests are overt and covert. 

Overt integrity tests directly focus on dishonest and counterproductive behaviours such as theft, absenteeism, and time-wasting. 

On the other hand, Covert integrity testing is based on personality traits that are indirectly related to integrity, such as conscientiousness and dependability.

Who Could Use Integrity Testing

Integrity testing can be a valuable tool for various organisations and industry sectors because it assesses a candidate’s tendency, to be honest and trustworthy, which is essential in various professional settings. 

For example, here are a few sectors where integrity testing can be beneficial in the recruitment process: 

 Law Enforcement

Integrity testing is extensively used in law enforcement organisations like the Western Australia Police (WAPOL). In 2005, they formed a joint Targeted Integrity Testing Unit alongside the Corruption and Crime Commission, giving them enhanced legislative powers for conducting tests.

 Government Agencies

Government agencies may also employ integrity testing, especially within departments handling sensitive information or those in which employees need to maintain the public’s trust. It can help identify potential candidates who are likely to uphold the values of the agency and comply with legal requirements.

 Financial Institutions

Banks and other financial institutions require employees to handle money and sensitive financial data, making integrity testing a critical component of their recruitment strategy. This measure helps ensure that candidates adhere to ethical practices, maximising security and confidentiality concerns.

 Retail and Hospitality

Retail and hospitality businesses may find integrity testing useful as employees often work with cash, inventory, and customer data. Administering tests can help you identify reliable candidates who won’t engage in theft or data breaches, protecting both the business and the customers.


In the healthcare industry, professionals deal with sensitive patient information and maintain high levels of trust. Integrity testing can be a valuable tool in recruiting employees who exhibit a strong commitment to protecting patient privacy and following ethical guidelines.

How Does Integrity Testing Work as Part of Recruitment

When incorporating integrity testing into your recruitment strategy, the process usually begins with a precise analysis of the inherent requirements of the job. 

As a hiring manager or HR professional, you need to understand the fundamental aspects of the position you are filling and the expected behaviours and values.

As integrity assessments are psychometric instruments that help you evaluate a candidate’s honesty and trustworthiness, they commonly include:

  • Personality questionnaires
  • Situational judgement tests
  • Behavioural interviews

 Personality Questionnaires and Situational Judgement Tests 

When using personality questionnaires and situational judgement tests, you should be prepared to administer a set of questions that assess:

  • Ethical decision-making
  • Workplace values
  • Potential counterproductive behaviours

These tests can provide valuable insights into candidates’ behaviour and attitude towards their professional responsibilities.

 Behavioural Interviews

During the recruitment process, you should also conduct behavioural interviews. During these interviews, ask candidates to provide examples of past actions or situations where their integrity was either tested or demonstrated. 

Some sample questions include the following:

  • Can you give an example of a time when you faced an ethical dilemma at work? How did you address it?
  • Describe a situation where you had to handle confidential information. How did you ensure you maintained privacy and integrity?
  • Tell us about an instance where someone asked you to bend the rules at work. What was your response and the outcome? 

Listen for specifics and evaluate the candidate’s actions, decisions, and thought processes.

Integrity Testing of Business Email Compromise

A specific area where integrity testing is crucial in preventing and addressing business email compromise (BEC) scams.

BEC scams involve fraudulent emails sent by hackers pretending to be legitimate individuals or companies, attempting to deceive employees into revealing sensitive information or making financial transactions. 

In Australia, small businesses lost 42% more to BEC scams in the first half of 2019 compared to the first half of 2018.

To enhance your recruitment strategy and ensure that your employees can identify and respond to BEC attempts appropriately, consider the following approaches to integrity testing:

  • Simulated Scenarios: Create realistic email and communication scenarios that mimic the tactics used in BEC scams. Observe how potential candidates handle these situations, and whether they identify the threat and follow the correct procedures.
  • Training and Evaluation: Provide candidates with training resources and guidelines about BEC-related security measures. Assess their understanding and adherence to these protocols during the recruitment process.
  • Aligning Integrity with Company Values: During interviews, explore the candidate’s personal values and attitudes towards maintaining integrity in the workplace. Ensure the selected candidate appreciates the importance of safeguarding sensitive information and preventing financial losses.

For more on how you can ensure that you’re efficiently managing security risks amongst your staff, check out our guide on why good cyber security must include good personnel security.  

Key Takeaways

Integrity testing is a method used to assess a candidate’s honesty and trustworthiness during the recruitment process. It aims to predict potential displays of counterproductive work behaviours.

Here are some notable points to consider when deciding if it’s right for your recruitment strategy:

  • Integrity testing aids in predicting a candidate’s potential to demonstrate honesty and ethical behaviour, thus enabling informed hiring decisions.
  • Integrity tests come in two forms: overt (directly measuring dishonest behaviours) and covert (measuring traits indirectly related to integrity).
  • Various industries, from law enforcement to healthcare, can benefit from integrity testing in their recruitment processes.
  • It’s integrated into recruitment via various instruments like personality questionnaires, situational judgement tests, and behavioural interviews.
  • Integrity testing is crucial in preventing Business Email Compromise (BEC) scams.

If you would like to find out more about how to ensure the integrity of your future hires with Accurate Background’s employment screening solutions, contact us today. 

And for additional security, consider integrity testing with Precision Integrity Services