One in Five Workers Classified "High Risk"

May 17, 2002 ( - Nearly 20% of workers were found to be "high risk" employees because of their attitudes towards workplace honesty and their admissions about previous misdeeds, a study of job applicant questionnaires shows.

CHC Forecast found that of the high risk workers, 28.1% admitted they could be tempted to steal from their employer, 20.1% admitted being friends with employees who were stealing from the company, and 19.4% said they had stolen money in the last year.

On the additional survey questions:

  • 16.9% of high risk and 4.6% of low risk applicants admitted to having stolen merchandise in the last three years,
  • 16% of high risk and 1.3% of low risk job seekers admitted they might help friends steal from their employer, and
  • 8.7% of high risk and 1.5% of low risk applicants described themselves as “not an honest person” and admitted they might steal or cheat

Previous theft admissions for the high-risk job applicants totaled $244,680, or $64.95 per applicant, while the admissions for the low risk applicants totaled $60,690, or $4.75 per applicant.

According to CHC Forecast, it is estimated the correct dollar amount for stolen money and merchandise is approximately 10 times the admitted amount. Therefore, the average “high risk” job applicant was responsible for the theft of $649.50, compared to $47.50 for the average “low risk” job applicant.

The survey covered 20,000 questionnaires.

CHC Forecast sells psychological tests and computer software designed to help hiring managers weed out dishonest workers.