While most job applicants are honest and hardworking individuals, some of them try to gain a job by misrepresenting their background, employment history, education, experience, and abilities on their resume and application. Many job applicants misrepresent or exaggerate their abilities in their resumes. Consequently, some individuals are hired who eventually put the employer, co-workers, and members of the public at risk because of their inappropriate behaviour. Many employers do not even institute pre-employment background checks on their employees because they do not realise its importance before it is too late. Some employers rely on perfunctory screening methods like interviewing, checking with characters referees and past employers which are inadequate, especially for positions of trust. Furthermore, conventional methods for background checks cannot be used to screen foreign employees.
Even for organisations with access to criminal and other official records, they find that such records are inadequate. For every crime solved, there are many others which remain unsolved or undetected. It is for this reason that many well-known organisations like CIA, FBI, US Department of Defence and private sector organisations rely on polygraph pre-employment screening. Polygraph screening often reveals reliable information not obtainable by any other means. These include concealing/falsifying background information or qualifications, criminal records, undetected crimes like theft from previous employers, fraud, corruption, drug offences, sexual crimes, violent behaviour, membership of undesirable or subversive groups and other unsuitable behaviour. According to a Washington Post news report, the polygraph is a vital component of FBI’s security program. The FBI now conducts about 8,000 polygraph tests each year, most of which involve current employees, applicants and contractors. All applicants and new employees undergo a polygraph at the FBI, and nearly every employee — including the director — is subject to a new test every five years.
The polygraph test, known popularly as “lie detector test” has been in use in the United States for almost a hundred years. Recently, US practitioners called it psychophysiological detection of deception or credibility assessment. They all refer to the same thing. Over the last few decades, polygraph tests have proven to be one of the most powerful, robust and useful scientific tools in criminal investigations and personnel screening. It is routinely used in almost all major investigations in advanced countries employing this forensic tool. Among the most important applications of the polygraph test are counter-intelligence, counter-espionage screening, counter-terrorism and combating corruption. In recent years, polygraph tests are increasingly used for sex offender testing and monitoring. Prosecutors routinely make use of polygraph tests to decide whether and which legal charges to file.
It is well publicised that agencies like the CIA, FBI, National Security Agency, US Secret Service and the US Department of Defence etc employ polygraph tests for investigations and screening their own staff and contractors. There is also widespread use of private polygraph tests on spouses, fiancees, girlfriends, boyfriends etc suspected of cheating brought about or exposed by social networking websites and smart mobile devices. Today, the polygraph test is used in more than 56 other countries world-wide, including , New Zealand, China, Taiwan, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Korea, Japan, Israel, Australia, Canada, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Romania, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Belgium, United Kingdom, Colombia, the Middle East etc. The U.S. with between 3 and 4 thousand active polygraph examiners in the government and private polygraph companies is undoubtedly home to more examiners than any other countries.
IPS Ireland undertakes extensive polygraph employee screening for local and foreign retail businesses as well as manufacturing industries where, despite tight security measures – theft, corruption, counterfeiting etc commited by employees in collusion with syndicates, pose a serious challenge. Foreign government agencies have also engaged IPS Ireland to assist in their criminal investigation.