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Checking up on candidates

When it comes to having a few ‘mistruths’ on your resume, or ‘inflating’ your salary to a prospective employer, don’t even let it cross your mind.

These days, it is common practice for a company to run a detailed background check on an applicant. In fact, gone are the days when all a company does is contact the referees that the candidate has nominated.

Angus Price, a partner from search firm Derwent Executive says that in particular, it is the bigger global banks which have become active in background checking. Specifically, these checks focus on a candidate’s academic transcript, whether they have a criminal record (this is done via a police check), if they have ever declared bankruptcy or whether they hold external directorships. Similar to a few years back, reference checks are normally done before an offer is put in writing, says Price.

However, with candidates usually giving the names of people they want as referees, employers have taken action and are indeed one-step ahead. Whilst not the ‘norm’, there are situations these days whereby a candidate accepts an offer, resigns, and then has their new employer ring their last employer for a reference. The old employer could be asked questions such as how long the candidate worked at the company, their ability and even how much he or she earned. If the answers don’t match what the candidate has told them, offers can be reneged.

Looking specifically at salaries, although it is tempting to tell a new employer a ‘higher’ salary, again, there isn’t any upside. “In general, candidates do give accurate salary levels. However, there have been occasions where amounts have been suspicious and clients have asked for a copy of a pay slip for proof,” adds Price.

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