New Integrity Assessment from Aon's Assessment Solutions Helps Companies Identify Problem Employees

Companies who select employees by assessing and looking for only the characteristics that indicate success are missing valuable and rich information says online testing and assessment leader, Aon's Assessment Solutions.

Dr Achim Preuss, founder and MD of Aon's Assessment Solutions explains, “It makes sense to look for success indicators as these are the drivers of productivity and beneficial to the organisation – but it is only one side of the coin: it is just as important to look for those behaviours which may not be advantageous or constructive. We find that employers often ignore the flip side that is the darker aspect of those positive characteristics – and don’t look at the positive aspects of what are thought to be more negative qualities. It’s a common problem as it requires us to understand that our behaviour is not just based on us as a person, but is influenced by our situation.”

To help with this, Aon's Assessment Solutions has created a new assessment tool, squares, to measure exactly these hard-to-assess characteristics – in situations - and can be used alongside more traditional online assessments of ability and personality.

Aon built on previous research that showed that undesirable conduct depends not only on the individual, but on the interaction of the person and the specific situation. As well as the impact of external pressure, other situational aspects can provoke counterproductive behaviour such as distraction, a lack of clarity, boredom, or complacency. It is the individual’s ability to resist these aspects or influences that determines their behaviour.

squares identifies the degree to which a person is vulnerable, in different situations, to show counterproductive behaviour. Its richness comes from looking at the combination of the person and their situation and can then predict unhelpful behaviours.

Behaviours that are seen as being unhelpful are those that cause short and long-term damage to the business, directly oppose the interests of the organisation – and are intentional. Such behaviours include: absenteeism, sabotage, betrayal of company confidentiality, theft, destruction of property, fraud, corruption, dangerous or accident-provoking conduct, harassment or bullying of colleagues  - and can be found across all levels and within all functions of an organisation.

squares can be used when assessing any role – from the more junior roles through to the most senior – and its psychometric properties have been tested and confirmed.

Summing up, Dr Achim Preuss comments, “With the addition of the squares assessment tool to a selection process, companies are able to not only identify those people who have the abilities and the cultural fit to succeed in the company, but also detect who is likely to cause problems in situations which are relevant for the job at hand.”


Aon’s Assessment Solutions is part of Aon’s global Human Capital business, helping clients achieve sustainable growth by driving business performance through people performance. Aon’s Assessment Solutions undertakes 30 million assessments each year in 90 countries and 40 languages.

About Aon

Aon plc (NYSE: AON) is a leading global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement and health solutions. Our 50,000 colleagues in 120 countries empower results for clients by using proprietary data and analytics to deliver insights that reduce volatility and improve performance.

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Aon creates smart measurement solutions with valid and innovative online assessment products. Aon is globally the preferred partner for organisations who demand the best.

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