Job Interview: How To Tell If the Candidate Will Lie, Cheat, Steal?
He doesn’t go to church.
Bob Knight and Brent Bozell
Photo Credit: Michelle S. Humphrey
from the Media Research Center It seemed that many of the clients of Your Business Blogger were having challenges finding integrity in job candidates. Even business schools are forced to teach ethics. Goodness.
Smart Human Resource gurus have always used an unspoken, intuitive cultural profiling to test job candidates.
Bob Knight’s Survey quantifies with hard numbers what managers have all been feeling over the last few years.
And it turns out the HR professionals may have been right. People these days have a …flexible compass on truth.
The Culture and Media Institute released this report at The National Press Club on Wednesday in Washington, DC. I ask Bob, “What should hiring managers use to determine a good job candidate from one that would break the law, lie, or use drugs?”
“This is a problem for business and for us all,” Bob said later. The variable on honesty can be measured by the professed attendance at a house of worship. “The determining line would be going to church at least twice a month.” However, Bob was quick to remind me, “You can’t ask that in a job interview.”
Questions based on Faith Based Hiring practices would be, well, discriminating.
In favor of the crooks and liars and liberals.
In The National Cultural Values Survey: America: A Nation in Moral and Spiritual Confusion, Bob finds that,
The survey reveals that 74 percent of Americans believe the nation is in moral decline, and that a culture war is indeed occurring in America.
Indeed. First-line supervisors see this daily and battle with the challenge of finding ways of selecting good employees.
Managers would often gauge an aspect of culture and class of a job candidate by observing the prospective employee’s behavior at a restaurant. Table manners were important, but the astute manager watched how the candidate would treat the wait staff.
Bob Knight’s Survey takes this test to a higher level and gives a vignette on measuring honesty in a table called, Cheating on a Restaurant Bill,
You are out to dinner with a group of friends. When the check arrives you notice that several
items are missing from the bill. Your friends say you should just pay the bill, and that it’s the
restaurant’s own fault for making the mistake. What would you do?
85% of church-going conservatives would Tell the waiter and pay the right amount. Only 52% of the Godless liberals would be forthright.
The 18th-century atheist and culturally-correct philosphe, Voltaire, recognized this problem. Even though he believed Christianity was an “infamy,” he wrote that “I want my attorney, my tailor, my servants, even my wife to believe in God.”
Voltaire wanted this accountability to God not for his employee’s eternal salvation, but as a Total Quality Management System. “…Then I shall be robbed and cuckolded less often,” he concluded.
The Frenchman and the Jesus-loving Christians. Voltaire hated them. But he hired them.
And so should you.
Thank you (foot)notes:
If you are a manager, please comment on your favorite (legal) tactics to find honest employees.
What’s the One Best Question to Ask a Job Candidate?
Also see MRC’s Business and Media site.
And mark your calendars for Media Research Center’s 20th Anniversary Gala on 29 March. Your Business Blogger and Charmaine will be there with some of the smartest people in DC. You be there too.
Business Pundit has more data that supports one of Bob’s findings — children make us more honest and better people. See Do Parents Make Better Managers?
See Mike Paul’s Reputation Doctor.
All links are unpaid.
Read Major Findings of the Survey at the jump.
I. Americans believe the nation is in moral decline, and that the news and entertainment media
are major contributors to the slide.
74 percent, including majorities of every major demographic group, say they believe moral
values in America are weaker than they were 20 years ago.
48 percent say moral values are much weaker than they were 20 years ago.
68 percent, including majorities of virtually every demographic group, say the media –
entertainment and news alike – are having a detrimental effect on moral values in America.
64 percent agree the news and entertainment media exercise powerful influence over
American moral values. In fact, the substantial majority (74 percent) who believe moral
values are weaker than twenty years ago consider the media to be the second greatest
influence on moral values after parents and families.
II. Consensus remains high on the importance of classical virtues like industry, truthfulness,
thrift, and charity.
Industry: 88 percent believe in consistently doing their best on the job.
Truthfulness: 51 percent say lying is always wrong, and 46 percent accept lying only to
protect someone else’s feelings.
Thrift: A solid majority, 59 percent, believe in saving for the future even if it means making
sacrifices now. An additional 38 percent will save when they can. Thus the great majority
of Americans embrace the concept of delayed gratification.
Charity: 94 percent of American adults believe in giving to others. 45 percent say they give
regardless of their circumstances, and 49 percent say they help when they can. Religious
beliefs exercise great influence over attitudes toward charity: religious people are far more
committed to giving than secular people.
III. But what happens when the rubber meets the road? While Americans say they believe
in the classical virtues, they often fail to follow through. Significant numbers admit they are
willing to act dishonestly in everyday life.
33 percent of American adults say they would cheat the government by working under the
table while receiving unemployment benefits.
25 percent admit they would cheat a restaurant that left items off a bill.
25 percent believe the use of illegal drugs by adults is acceptable.
IV. Personal and societal sexual moral standards are crumbling.
16 percent say sex between unmarried adults is never wrong, and 49 percent more say it
depends on the situation. 65 percent of Americans will excuse sex outside marriage.
Only 67 percent believe premarital sex among high school kids is always wrong.
Only 49 percent think homosexuality is wrong. A mere 14 percent say homosexuality is
right, but 26 percent say it depends on the situation.
51 percent describe themselves as “pro-choice,” though only 8 percent believe abortion is
45 percent say divorce should be legal for any reason at any time.
V. America is losing its fear of God.
87 percent of Americans say they believe in God and 52 percent say they believe the Bible is
God’s authoritative word.
But only 36 percent believe people should live by God’s principles. 15 percent say they
will live by their own principles even if they conflict with God’s principles, and 45 percent
prefer to combine God’s teachings and their own values.
In defiance of the Bible’s prohibition against taking innocent life, 51 percent describe
themselves as “pro-choice,” and 53 percent are willing to tolerate physician-assisted suicide.
28 percent are willing to exclude religious principles from government simply because the
principles are religious in origin. An additional 35 percent will exclude religious principles
from government on certain issues.
Regular churchgoing has dipped below 50 percent among American adults.