Candidates Face More Scrutiny

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Financial companies are being more cautious in their hiring as they absorb the lessons of SocGen's rogue trading and other scandals.

Investment News reports that more firms are turning to psychological profiling and tougher screening of candidates. Alan Friedman, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern University and a consultant to a number of financial services firms, told the newspaper, "We're seeing more (screening) among executives and mid-level managers where people have wide responsibility for large teams."

In addition, traditional recruitment tools such as reference and background checks are becoming "more and more critical," according to Tom McLane, vice chairman of RSR Partners Inc., an executive search firm in Greenwich, Conn.

Laurence Barton, president of the American College in Bryn Mawr, Pa., and author of Crisis Leadership Now: A Real-World Guide to Preparing for Threats, Disaster, Sabotage and Scandal," tells financial firms they should conduct "multiple interviews with multiple people" before hiring a candidate. "More than one person in an interview enables you to pick up on different things, and more than one interview enables you to pick up on inconsistencies," Investment News quotes him as saying.

The scrutiny doesn't end with your first paycheck, though. Firms are keeping an eye on new hires "to make sure they understand the rules and culture of the firm," Investment News says.

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