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Reducing retail shrinkage is the best and easiest way to improve your net profits. Although figures vary slightly, most business losses are caused by insiders (about 65%), with the majority due to theft.
While the retail industry shows increases in sales dollars, profit margins are narrowing and shrinkage increasing. Millions are spent on advertising, store decors, fixtures and buying just the right merchandise mix. In comparison little is spent to protect the investment.
Unlike shoplifters, where it takes several thefts to amass substantial dollars, one employee on the average will take between
$3,000 and $5,000 before he/she is stopped. This is of course assuming you have trained personnel to spot and stop the thief.
The loss in dollars and merchandise is staggering, however there are other hidden losses, the causes of which employees rarely recognize.
    • management frustration and embarrassment brought about by discovering that a once trusted employee has stolen.
    • poor employee morale, after a dishonest employee is discovered as well as the sustained frustration against other employees who are  suspected prior to the discovery.
    • experience has shown that, in large stores, at least one employee is suspected of dishonesty in the workplace. There is also the chance that one or more weak employees may be led into dishonesty by the dishonest activities of others.
    • the continued turnover of staff may affect your good company name.

Hiring the best employee as well as the most honest employee is the most important management decision you will make. Every dollar you save is a dollar of profit you keep. It pays to keep the right person.
Through the continued and correct use of the H.I.L.S. in your company’s pre-employment screening program you will:
    • identify and select the most honest applicants;
    • screen out high risk and antisocial applicants at the point of application.
The results will be:
    • more honest and productive employees;
    • increased team work and employee morale;
    • reduced stress and consistently low employee losses with an improved net profit.



Why do some people steal, no matter the risks and with so little or no provocation?
Our society is made up of people representing a great many different backgrounds, ages, ethnic origins and religions. In these areas there seems to be no common demographic causes for theft.
The answer Lies in the individual’s attitudes.
Attitudes determine how individuals desire to satisfy their dreams, wants, and needs. Attitudes are considered stable indicators of behavior.



Attitudes: Everyone has dreams, wants, and needs which they desire to fulfill; all are tempted at these points. Temptation is common to everyone it is our attitudes that will determine how we deal with temptation.
Honest people resist temptation through strong moral attitudes. No matter what the stress or opportunity they work longer and harder, even taking second jobs or finding other creative ways to reduce financial stress.
Given the right stress factor or opportunity the person with a dishonest predisposition will steal. Many people in this category would not normally consider theft as an option, but their attitudes are such that given the right
stressor (frustration), they would rationalize theft as the ultimate solution.

Stressors: at any given time everyone is under some stress. Additionally everyone will encounter significant stress at some point in their life. People may steal depending on what type or how great the stress. Financial problems tend to be the leading cause of stress that leads to theft.
Major changes in life or lifestyles, i.e., marriage, death in family, problems at home, all create stresses which may lead individuals to rationalize the need for theft.

Opportunity: Who better than an insider to steal? Insiders know the systems and procedures and are trusted, thus they have opportunity.
Sound procedures, controls and audits raise the employees’ fear of being caught and create a sense of security; but the security controls, training programs, and the prosecution of employees caught for theft evidentially do not deter all employee theft.

H.I.L.S. The H.I.L.S. highlights the attitudes of applicants regarding Theft, Drug Abuse, and Violence. In addition the H.I.L.S. also highlights honest and loyal employees. Applicants who score in the quality range will be much less likely to steal, no matter the need or opportunity. These quality employees will work to increase employee morale, reduce stress and create a climate which is intolerant of any type of theft or counter productivity.


Uniquely Canadian, the H.I.L.S. is a web based honesty, integrity and loyalty test designed to be completed without supervision, in a variety of normal environments. The H.I.L.S., once completed the results guaranteed to be returned the next business day or your money back.
The H.I.L.S. can be completed in about a half hour of the applicant’s time and the test marked by our service in under five minutes. The results are instantly available, being arranged with reports which clearly identifies risk. Clients sign into the web site to assist in their analysis.
Rather than relying solely on the offensive direct question method that causes the applicant to assume a defensive posture, the H.I.L.S. approach uses “third person”, job and real Life situations, and empathy, to solicit answers. This method is less offensive to respond to and the answers given are therefore more representative of the applicant’s actual attitudes. Tests that require interviewer supervision and probe with direct questions tend to create high levels of applicant stress and hinder rather than help future employee company relations.

The H.I.L.S. can be used at any point in the application process, but is ideally filled out on the web survey site and is finished in about 30 minutes. In this way it would be completed on the applicant’s time. The test need not be supervised but can be.
The H.I.L.S. doesn’t replace good judgment. It is a tool; an objective appraisal of the applicant’s potential. It assesses the potential of applicants concerning theft, drug abuse, and violence. The H.I.L.S. promotes additional confidence in the selection process, by helping you objectively select the most honest and loyal employee for your company.

The H.I.L.S. is a versatile management tool that can be effectively used to select honest and loyal employees, There are four different selection methods available depending on employer requirements.

a) First Choice Selection Method

 In areas where high shrinkages or the selection of only the best, most honest persons will do, use the First Choice method to select employees. This method can and should be used when you have a critical need, i.e., promotion to management, or other high risk jobs. It should also be used when it is more important for you to select the right person as opposed to needing a number of employees immediately.
By using this method you will reap the greatest results in reducing your losses due to employee theft, negligence and error. As well, you will be building employee morale and an increased employee intolerance to counterproductive and unproductive behavior.
The H.I.L.S. also provides an internal validity Cross Check Procedure for more intensive applicant screening.

b) Top Applicants Selection Method If you require more than two employees

and the need to fill positions is equal to the need for honesty you may want to use this less stringent method. After analyzing all the applicants’ profiles, select only the top applicants and continue, as long as their scores fall in the Quality or Marginal Attitude range.
Reduced Losses due to employee theft, negligence and error and improved employee morale will be the result.

c) Top% Applicants Selection Method

When there are many positions to be filled and many applicants will apply, use the H.I.LS. to select the top 33% or 50%. As long as their scores do not fall into the Poor Attitude range, the H.I.LS. will assist you to select the best prospective employees.

This method provides an excellent screening service when several positions need filling and builds confidence in the screening process. This method will result in reduced losses due to employee theft, counter productivity and negligence.

d) Assistance Selection Method

When industrial circumstances warrant it, the H.I.LS. can be used to screen and hire applicants on the spot Using the bubble font answer sheets and faxing the answer sheet to the rush fax number for your area you will receive the results in under ten minutes
(additional service fees apply).

You will then be able to make your decision before the applicant leaves your premises. This method helps you screen out possible counterproductive employees and provides confidence in the employee selection process.


The H.I.L.S. is designed on the principle that each
person is an individual and should be considered on
their personal merits. The test allows the interviewer to
make an objective determination concerning the
applicant's future success in the company. The H.I.L.S.
was designed not to discriminate against race, religion,
colour, sex, physical characteristics, age, or even past
criminal convictions.


The H.I.L.S. is composed of four interrelated sections which correlate to flag, or highlight an applicant who may pose a potential risk to the company.


The H.I.L. scale, for which the test is named, positively measures the applicants' Honesty, Integrity and Loyalty traits.

    • honest people are less likely to steal,

    • people with integrity usually demonstrate honesty when stressed,

    • loyal employees work to protect the company image and have empathy for fellow employees.

The THEFT scale measures the common attitudes consistently present in persons who have admitted to serious theft. The differences between honest and dishonest attitudes are not always strongly apparent. Applicants scoring poorly on this scale will be:

    • much more tempted to steal when stressed or given the opportunity,

    • more likely to cover up other employee thefts.

The DRUG scale measures the applicant's attitudes toward the nonsocial use of alcohol and the illicit use of narcotic drugs. Employees who abuse alcohol or use illicit drugs are more likely to:

    • engage in counter productivity, i.e., abusive treatment & damage to property,

    • engage in unproductive behavior, i.e. absenteeism, tarries, injuries, and poor effort,

    • engage in thefts to finance their habits.

The VIOLENCE scale measures the attitudes of employees concerning verbal and/or physical violence. People whose attitudes justify their  violence are prone to:

    • cause damage to staff and customer relations.

    • cause damage to property and your sales efforts.

    • become argumentative, abusive and raise the stress level in your store.

The BOLDNESS scale measures a person' positive attitudes toward resolving job-related conflict, these employees tend to put potential fires out rather than fanning the flames.

The end result of selecting applicants scoring well on these four Risk scales will be

    1) increased profit,

    2) increased employee morale, and

    3) increased employee intolerance toward theft and counter productivity.


Validity scales (Social Desirability and Lie) are included to assess how honestly applicants answer the H.I.L.S.


Stress scales (Health and Finance) assess the applicants' perceived need in the two most commonly associated stress areas leading to theft.


This section highlights applicants who have clearly defined definitions of Honesty, Integrity and Loyalty and is the one open ended subjective component of the survey.



Dr. MONTOYA co-creator of the H.I.L.S. test conducted the original
research and lectured in Cambridge England in 1988 - 1990. During
the lent Semester, Dr. MONTOYA also lectured in the area of
motivation and behavior.

Mr. P. L. KILPATRICK (retired R.C.M.P. member), now Security consultant, has teamed up
with Dr. MONTOYA and together, with the use of the H.I.L.S. test
they have been assisting business owners reducing their shrinkage.

    Advice from the Vernon detachment of the RCMP

   "Have the applicant complete the H.I.L.S. test."

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Last modified: 10/23/11