Polygraphs for Job Applicants

Here’s a quick one about the use of lie-detectors in hiring new personnel (in the town where this blogger normally resides).
From CBC News: Halifax thinks again about subjecting applicants to lie-detector tests

Halifax Regional Municipality is reviewing its practice of using a polygraph test on job applicants after critics questioned why applicants were asked whether they had ever thought of killing themselves or had sex with animals.

Mayor Peter Kelly said Monday that while it’s important to screen potential employees, he felt some of the questions were inappropriate.

“We should be asking what are the valid questions that should be asked and what is important or imperative to the outcome of the job,” Kelly said.

Um, yeah. No need to add much, except that the validity of polygraph results is sufficiently in question to make their use in hiring decisions pretty dodgy. In Canada, polygraphs can be used in criminal investigations, as an investigative tool, but cannot be used in a court of law. Rejecting a job candidate based on a polygraph test seems awfully close to rendering a verdict of “guilty.”
Here’s the American Polygraph Association’s Code of Ethics.
Here’s the British and European Polygraph Association’s Code of Ethics.

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