New research has found that the number of job applicants to the Financial Services Sector who failed to disclose criminal conviction has trebled.
Pre-employment screening specialists Powerchex has released its annual research into CV embellishments, looking through details of almost 6,000 job applications made over the last twelve months.
Powerchex, which specialises in background checking on behalf of financial institutions, found that the number of job applicants' CVs containing a serious untruth or embellishment decreased this year to 15% of all applications received - the first time in four years that the discrepancy rate has fallen, and a drop of around 4%.
However, this masks a disturbing development, with the number of applications containing hidden criminal records found to have trebled as a proportion of total discrepancies. In the past twelve months, 1 in every 200 successful applications to roles within financial services was found to have been falsified in order to conceal a criminal conviction from a future employer.
In addition, undisclosed CCJs or bankruptcies doubled to 12% of total discrepancies, most likely as a result of monetary problems caused by the recession. A negative credit record was found on 1 in every 50 successful applications to roles within financial services.
Powerchex director Alexandra Kelly, said: 'The fall in the overall proportion of CV and job applications containing discrepancies or embellishments is extremely encouraging. This means that more candidates are realising that the information they provide to their prospective employer will be checked prior to any offer of employment being made, and that many more are taking the time to ensure that the information they provide is correct'.
'However', Kelly continues, 'this is overshadowed by increases in the most worrying types of discrepancies, namely hidden criminal convictions and undisclosed CCJs / bankruptcies. Both of these are of major concern to financial companies, and could help identify individuals who might expose their prospective employer to opportunistic or even malicious fraud'.
It seems clear then, that recruitment specialists need to make clear to their potential employees that the information they provide during the recruitment process will be subject to relevant checks, and that any offer of employment is conditional upon verification of all information supplied.