Assessing Bias Traits During the Hiring Process
INSIGHTS FROM DR.WARREN
The recruiting, hiring, and vetting processes of safety-sensitive employment are under pressure from economic, social, time-sensitivity, and other factors. Employers need evaluations that are both efficient and defensible, and FMRT clinicians work to standardize their examinations with appropriate testing and collateral information. FMRT clinicians address any symptoms or problems with adaptive functioning in all examinations, including assessing bias during the clinical interview, and in addition to the biographical instrument, the BRAINS and personality assessment, the CPI.
Prior to the clinical interview appointment, the psychologist will prepare for the interview based upon the important background data gathered from the applicant-completed assessments listed below:
- The Online Personal History Statement (NC F-3 or PHS)
- The FMRT BRAINS™ Assessment
- California Psychological Inventory 260 – Police and Public Safety Selection Report (CPI-PPSSR)
- Personality Assessment Inventory – Public Safety Selection Report (PAI-PSSR)
When there is historical medical or psychological information, it must be addressed within the totality of the information that’s available and on a case-by-case basis. Assessment of applicant suitability and detecting personal bias tendencies is accomplished in interviews and corroboration of history and supported by relevant medical and psychological examination and testing.
Three scenarios used by our lead psychologist, Dr. Peter Schulz when assessing bias during the clinical interview:
- On the MSE (mental status examination), an applicant may be asked to name an event that is occurring in the national news. This is always prime for exploring issues of bias. For instance, if they make a derogatory comment about a political figure, the applicant may be asked specific scenario-based questions when responding to a situation where there could be conflicting views.
- The second avenue is from the POQ as we ask applicants to tell us their best and worst experience with law enforcement. This sheds light on any negative experiences they may have encountered and allows them to detail their perspective.
- Finally, the best way to explore the issue of bias is through hypothetical scenarios. The scenarios are typically used to assess potential racial, religious, and sexual orientation biases.
FMRT recognizes the importance of detecting bias which is accomplished throughout our comprehensive evaluation process. Through conducting more than 47,000 evaluations we have noticed higher levels of concern with current officers making lateral transfers to different departments. While they might not have entered this profession with strong biases, they become more pronounced after a few years of working in the industry.
We encourage departments to bring awareness and educate others about these biases to ensure the best candidates are chosen to keep our communities safe.
Dr. John Warren, ABPP, PA-C
FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT
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