Rise in credit checks on temporary IT staff

More and more companies are delving into the financial past of IT contractors and other freelance professionals when considering them for temporary jobs within their ranks, a credit specialist told CUK yesterday.

Traditionally, checking the financial footing of job candidates is the preserve of City or government hirers, due to the sensitive nature of the post and requirements set by the authorities, such as the FSA.

But amid growing concern about internal fraud, Call Credit says that financial history check-ups are on the up across all sectors, particularly IT, and across all employment types, including “part-time, temporary and contract positions.”

“Many employers outside of the financial services sector are turning to credit reference agencies as a means of verifying a candidate’s” suitability, added Call Credit’s Owen Roberts.

“[Despite this] we would say it is generally more likely that IT or finance professionals would have their credit history checked than, say, administrative [or even] medical professionals.”

On top of the concern about fraud, the current risk-averse atmosphere inside many businesses, evidenced by major stockpiling of cash as found by Ernst & Young, may be encouraging more check-ups on IT candidates.

However asked about contractors, Mr Roberts warned that a client-ordered probe into a worker’s personal financial circumstances wasn’t just a growing reality for applicants and newcomers to the organisation.

“It is very possible that an employer looking to renew or extend the contract of a temporary worker would check the individual’s credit report,” he said.

“Missed payments, regularly applying for further credit, being issued with a CCJ or even being declared bankrupt, are all indicators that the candidate could be financially overstretched.”

Apr 18, 2012