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May 19 2014

Lie Detector Tests for Job Applicants

"Polygraph, or lie detector, tests are now being offered to New Zealand companies and recruitment agencies for use in pre-employment checks. The test is part of a growing industry in background checking of new staff, as employers become more aware of the need to make sure they are hiring the correct person.

But critics claim the data collection - which can include checks into a person's ACC history, with their permission - are excessive and take advantage of desperate job seekers. Resume Check owner James Sutherland, whose company offers comprehensive background check packages - including a person's ACC history - said most candidates were accepting of the process. It is important that the information collected be relevant to the role.

Lie Detector New Zealand director Barry Newman, said demand in the pre-employment area had been low, with employers unsure about using the technology in the workplace. "Before shelling out for a highly intrusive service like polygraph testing, common sense as well as privacy rules mean you should check that it's something that you really need and that you have a really good case which can be justified under the Privacy Act," said Assistant privacy commissioner Katrine Evans."