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Industry Insights


Identifying Risk Takers in the Industrial Workforce


Being a risk taker is often a positive character trait. In a high risk industrial workplace, this is not the case.

This post looks at various methods and benefits of identifying risk taking personalities and how when added to the recruitment process this can drastically improve the productivity, safety and cohesion of an industrial workforce.

Why are some people more inclined to take risks?

Some people take mental shortcuts when making judgements about risk taking.This characteristic has been described in the research as cognitive bias.

This can manifest itself in a person in a variety of ways. They may be overconfident or have an illusion of control. Others may have a belief that they are less likely to experience negative events than others.

These traits can affect a persons behavioural decisions such as risk taking.

Research carried out in relation to construction workers has suggested that individuals who have a high level of cognitive bias tend to take risks at work.

Assessing and identifying risk takers in the recruitment process

Being a risk taker can often be a positive attribute, this is not the case in an industrial workplace. A propensity to takes risks would not be suitable in a machine operator on a construction site, but it may be in a business development professional.

There are a number of validated testing instruments we use in the recruitment process which unearth a candidates attitude and aptitude in relation to risk taking. Scenario based role play, situational awareness testing and personality profiling are just some of the techniques that can be used in the industrial recruitment process to identify risk takers.

The results of these tests can then be compared to information gleaned through direct reference checking with past managers who may be in a position to speak directly about their experience with a particular candidate.

What are the benefits of this approach?

There are clear and significant benefits to the approach discussed above in recruiting industrial workers.

It acts as an early risk mitigation strategy to protect a client against increased workplace risk.

There is a higher likelihood that a temporary worker without a propensity to take risks will be highly receptive to safety and risk messages at the workplace.

This methodology can be used to develop like minded teams of workers who will promote and complement an overall safety culture at a workplace.

Lower workplace incident rates result in higher productivity, greater worker satisfaction, reduced days lost due to injury, and lower insurance and compliance costs.


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