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Credit Crunch Leads to Greater Dishonesty on CVs


A study by city pre-employment screening firm Powerchex found that 17% of all applicants to the financial services lied on their CV, up by one third from last year.

London, United Kingdom, August 01, 2008 --(PR.com)-- An increasingly competitive job market caused by the credit crunch has led to a considerable rise in falsifications and embellishments on CVs, a recent survey has found.

A study by city pre-employment screening firm Powerchex found that 17% of all applicants to the financial services lied on their CV, up by one third from last year.

Forecasters are suggesting that the city could be facing up to 10,000 job losses this year[1], with the financial sector amongst the hardest hit[2].

With only the best applicants considered for many jobs within financial services, CV embellishments are on the rise in all sectors as workers struggle to compete.

“A perceived greater difficulty in obtaining a job in the current economic climate has led to a predictable rise in the number of people willing to exaggerate their achievements” says Powerchex MD Alexandra Kelly,

One in five potential brokers were found to have lied on their CV, the highest rate of all sectors. Those applying to funds and insurance firms were also found to have high embellishment rates, both recording double figure increases on last year. Even the notoriously security-conscious banking sector showed the strain with a worrying 39% increase in CV discrepancies.

Employers worried about the economic outlook are hiring temporary workers to fill vacancies rather than risk taking on permanent staff. The trend is most pronounced within the financial services sector[3].

Worryingly, the number of IT contractors within financial services embellishing their CVs increased by 92% on last year, the greatest increase of all the sectors surveyed.

“Computer workers pose the biggest threat," continues Kelly. “Their backgrounds should be checked through the same process as anyone else who works in a bank.”

Other findings within the survey also demonstrate a trend that the tighter the job market, the more willing applicants are to lie in order to differentiate themselves from the competition. For example, applicants from lower ranked universities were found to have a much higher embellishment rate than those who attended top academic institutions.

Greater pressure to meet responsibilities at home also has an impact. Married applicants are more likely to lie on their application. So too are the 51-60 bracket, who are feeling the poor financial climate particularly acutely as mortgage rates rocket.

###

Notes to Editors

About the survey:

The Powerchex survey analysed 3,876 financial service job applications submitted between June 2007 and May 2008. It compared trends in embellishments and false information including: professional qualifications, criminal records, university degrees, job responsibilities, employment histories and dates.

The survey was carried out by the Shell Technology and Enterprise Programme (STEP) on behalf of Powerchex Ltd, a London based pre-employment screening firm. For a copy of the survey, please contact Powerchex.

About Powerchex

Powerchex is the UK’s premier pre-employment screening firm for financial institutions. Based in the City of London, Powerchex checks the background, employment history, criminal records and professional qualifications of applicants on behalf of financial institutions. It sets the industry benchmark of 5 days for a background check.
powerchex.co.uk.

For more information please contact:

Andrew McIntosh
0207 767 2437
amcintosh@powerchex.co.uk

[1] Centre for Economic Business Research (CERP): http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7318889.stm

[2] The Ernst & Young Item Club: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/main.jhtml?xml=/money/2008/07/21/nemploy121.xml

[3] Employers worried about the economic outlook are hiring temporary workers to fill vacancies rather than risk taking on permanent staff, according to recruitment companies. The trend is most pronounced in the financial services sector.
Contact Information
Powerchex
Andrew McIntosh
02077672437
Contact
www.powerchex.co.uk
Powerchex Limited
Gun Court, 70 Wapping Lane
London E1W 2RD

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