Integrity is quality of being honest and having strong principles. People with integrity have their “moral compass” pointing due North. They understand that actions have consequences and don’t neglect or take advantage of others for their own benefit.
What happens when the people you hire lack integrity?
Theft, lying, drug use, chronic absenteeism, and a disruptive workplace to name a few. Employees who behave badly take a constant toll on your organization in terms of turnover costs, workplace efficiency, morale, profitability, and more.
Hiring even a few unethical employees can be extremely damaging for your company, and interviews alone aren’t not enough to identify red flags that lead to unethical behavior. The Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) and CareerBuilder have found that an alarming 53-58% of job applicants misrepresent themselves in resumes and interviews. They also discovered that this occurs most in the finance, hospitality, IT, healthcare, and retail industries.
Common side effects of hiring unethical employees include:
- Abusing company property
- Failing to arrive at work on time
- Ignoring safety precautions
- Lying or hedging on the truth
- Missing work repeatedly
- Mistreating other employees or having difficulty working with others
- Resisting direction and supervision
- Significantly underperforming
- Using illegal drugs prior to work, on the job, or after work
Inventory shrinkage—including shoplifting, employee or supplier fraud, and administrative error—cost the global retail industry more than $128 billion dollars in 2013, with $42 billion lost in the U.S. alone, according to the Global Retail Theft Barometer study. The National Restaurant Association calculates that 7% of restaurant sales are lost to employee theft.
The ability to predict how a candidate will handle integrity-related issues gives companies a powerful advantage in the selection process—because avoiding a bad hire is just as important as making a good one.
Learn how to identify potential problems before you hire by understanding the 7 Dimensions of Integrity.