Initiate those honesty tests!

Absolutely not!" That was Chief Executive Officer John Fowler's response to Plant Engineer Vince Wilcox's suggestion that honesty testing be added to other assessment criteria in screening and hiring job applicants.


Absolutely not!" That was Chief Executive Officer John Fowler's response to Plant Engineer Vince Wilcox's suggestion that honesty testing be added to other assessment criteria in screening and hiring job applicants.

"In my view," Fowler said, "it sends a negative message to prospective employees and the public. It says, even before hiring people that the company doesn't trust them and needs to check up on them. It denies the great American credo, 'Innocent until proven guilty.'"

Wilcox agreed he had a point, but felt obliged to add the compelling reality that U.S. losses due to employee theft amounts to an estimated $60 billion a year. He made the further point that applicants' references were often undependable because smart crooks know how to either fake references, or submit only those that won't incriminate them.

"It is also common knowledge that more crooks are fired than prosecuted. Many companies are so fearful of lawsuits, it's against their policy to provide bad references even for proven thieves," said Wilcox.

Fowler agreed, but was persistent nonetheless. "When I interview an applicant," he said, "my gut feeling tells me what kind of a person he is."

A month later, an executive vacancy occurred in the Controllers Department. After several applicants were interviewed by Personnel, the financial vice president, and Fowler himself, a young man with good background and experience was hired. Three months later, he was caught in an embezzlement scheme.

Question : If it was your decision to make, what action would you take?

Fowler's decision: The chief executive summoned Wilcox to his office. "Initiate those damn honesty tests," he growled.

No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
A cool solution: Collaboration, chemistry leads to foundry coat product development; See the 2015 Product of the Year Finalists
Raising the standard: What's new with NFPA 70E; A global view of manufacturing; Maintenance data; Fit bearings properly
Sister act: Building on their father's legacy, a new generation moves Bales Metal Surface Solutions forward; Meet the 2015 Engineering Leaders Under 40
Cyber security cost-efficient for industrial control systems; Extracting full value from operational data; Managing cyber security risks
Drilling for Big Data: Managing the flow of information; Big data drilldown series: Challenge and opportunity; OT to IT: Creating a circle of improvement; Industry loses best workers, again
Pipeline vulnerabilities? Securing hydrocarbon transit; Predictive analytics hit the mainstream; Dirty pipelines decrease flow, production—pig your line; Ensuring pipeline physical and cyber security
Upgrading secondary control systems; Keeping enclosures conditioned; Diagnostics increase equipment uptime; Mechatronics simplifies machine design
Designing positive-energy buildings; Ensuring power quality; Complying with NFPA 110; Minimizing arc flash hazards
Building high availability into industrial computers; Of key metrics and myth busting; The truth about five common VFD myths

Annual Salary Survey

After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.

The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.

Read more: 2014 Salary Survey: Confidence rises amid the challenges

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.