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Using profile benchmarks for screening candidates in the security industry

25 October 2019

± minute read

    Using profile benchmarks for screening candidates in the security industry
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Corruption can hinder the effective development and growth of a country on many levels. Yet, an increase in corruption in African countries has been noted, despite many attempts to fight it. A recent study indicated that the citizens of South Africa also perceived an increase in corruption over the past year. This specifically included the involvement of security industry organisations and employees in corrupt activities. With the reduced trust in organisations within the security sector, it is vital that the fight against corruption is expanded to multi-dimensional initiatives. JvR Psychometrics were approached by an organisation in the security industry to assist in creating an ideal profile for selecting employees that are less likely to display counterproductive work behaviour (CWB).


Candidates were assessed using the Work-related Risk and Integrity Scale (WRISc) as part of a pre-employment test battery. The WRISc is a personality-based, psychometric assessment that measures an individual’s likelihood to engage in CWB, and their tendency for risk-taking behaviours. After discussions with the client in terms of their needs, an ideal profile was put forward to be used in the selection process, including cut-off points for each of the scales on the WRISc. A pilot analysis was first done with a group of 220 applicants to test if the ideal profile excluded too many applicants and to make further recommendations. After successful results from the pilot study, the cut-off points were applied to the profiles of all the applicants in the larger sample.



Benchmarks were created that described three different groups, namely: an ideal candidate profile group, a promising candidate profile group, and a group of candidates that did not meet the minimum requirements. Because of the high-risk nature of the job and the high volume of applicants, it was expected that the majority of the applicant pool would be screened out due to the stringent criteria applied. The ideal candidate profile group included 15.5% of the sample, while 16.6% of the sample fell in the promising candidate profile group. The remaining 67.9% were in the group that did not meet the selection criteria. Consequently, the WRISc was found to be an effective tool in screening candidates to advance to the next round of the selection process.


The ideal profile typically included individuals with:

  • Effective levels of empathy and sensitivity towards other people
  • A tendency not to be overly trusting or naïve    
  • A tendency to take responsibility for their actions
  • Good judgement that directs their actions    
  • The ability to work in a well-disciplined and planned manner
  • Emotional resilience    
  • The ability to be straightforward and non-manipulative
  • The ability to cope with negative experiences in a positive way    
  • Effective risk-taking behaviour in potentially dangerous situations
  • A healthy respect for following rules

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