Even if departments do not mandate the use of Candidate Insight for all employees -- pre- or post-hire -- officers may still want to pursue a screening for their own personal benefit. "It can have such a positive effect on personnel understanding their own personality traits when they are looking at career paths," says Bolke. "I've found that having my own done and seeing what my negative traits were has been helpful."
As mentioned previously, not all negative traits are negative dependent upon the situation. Bolke's negative of not liking to be wrong also indicates that he takes pride in his work and is very self confident. By knowing his positives, he is able to understand why he approaches situations the way he does.
"Anybody who really wants to succeed is going to be very self critical," notes Bolke. "This gives employees a tool to analyze themselves and supervisors a tool to better understand their employees. If supervisors find a job that works with the person's personality traits, they will get higher morale and a higher propensity for not having problems."
In addition to being a police officer, Bolke also worked in private security, and continues to now in retirement with Abila Security & Investigations Inc., located in Santa Margarita, California. He identifies several investigative uses for Written Inc.'s expertise in private security. When working VIP and executive protection, the Candidate Insight evaluation should be performed on any of the VIP's staff members. "I want to know if the babysitter is a sexual deviant, if there is a staff member with questionable ethics who may sell a celebrity's information to the paparazzi or someone with low moral integrity handling finances," he explains.
Separating adoring fans from stalkers is another private security use. "If we do one of these profiles on a letter and hit on several warning traits, then I would know this is a very serious person we need to take a look at," says Bolke. "I wouldn't just go arrest the suspect on this, but I would see what else is out there on him because the threat level has gone off the charts."
In addition, Bolke points out that using this screening process can save time, resources and money. "As an investigative tool you can separate out which suspects to take a hard look at and which ones don't rise to the same level," he says. "Getting investigators going in the right direction can be a huge savings."
Whether it is used to accentuate the good in employees or identify the evil in criminals, Candidate Insight has a variety of applications in the law enforcement community. "The key is that it be used as 'a' tool and not 'the' tool," says Bolke, noting that Candidate Insight can be an aid in investigations and hiring practices but shouldn't be the sole piece of evidence in making any decisions. "People need to be careful to use it as part of the complete puzzle as opposed to the only piece."
Ryan agrees. "We're not saying hire or fire people based on the information we're sending," he says. "Just take this into consideration like any other piece of the interview process."
The next time a candidate's character is in question, let his handwriting characters provide the insight.
In 2000, a European university solicited Written Inc. to complete a Candidate Insight profile on a former student that was hired by the financial aid department following graduation. The student had a high GPA and came from a well-regarded family, but did not have much work experience. Not long after being on the job, the student flew into spontaneous violent rages. Being a martial arts black belt, his coworkers became very afraid of him. When the university finally fired the student, he threatened to "cut the eyes out" of his supervisor.
Following his expulsion from the job, the university had Written Inc. perform a profile to determine if the threats should be taken seriously. Without any prior knowledge of the situation, analysts reviewed a portion of his job application as a writing sample and determined the "individual was very violent and likely to act on his violence and any threats made," says Ryan Vener, vice president of the Temecula, California-based company.
The university posted a guard at the financial aid office, and three weeks later, the former employee returned to campus with a knife. He was taken into custody.