De-Risking your Hires in Financial Services

Written by EO Executives on Oct 30, 2014

Deception and Detection – De-risking your hires in financial services

Having spent more than a decade networking, recruiting and operating across the financial services sector with some of the brightest minds in risk we remain staggered at how little risk management process goes into executive hiring.

We “Hire on Competencies - Fire on Behaviours”, that’s what an Executive HR Director told me recently and hiring individuals with the “right” behaviours has never been more important within financial services.

CONC outlines what the FCA look for when considering a candidate’s fitness and probity:-

  • Honesty (including being open regarding any self-disclosure)
  • Integrity and reputation
  • Competence and capability
  • Financial soundness

But other than the obvious background checks and “gut feel” based assessments what can we be doing to identify these behaviours?

One thing is for sure - basic interview techniques are not enough!

We were recently privileged to host over 60 C Level Business Leaders in London for a fantastic networking event focused on Deception Detection and asked world renowned expert and “human lie detector” Jenny Radcliffe ( to educate us on us on lie detection.

Our 4 key takeaways from Jenny’s speech can be summarised:-

  • Leaders are generally bad at spotting lies
  • The assumptions we make about lying are incorrect
  • The 7 universal signs of emotion are giveaways but take 20 years’ worth of practice to perfect
  • Traditional Executive Recruitment Processes are not enough

We therefore learnt from Jenny we have to be applying science and technology in smarter ways to take the guesswork out of executive recruitment.   We have our own way of doing this through our executive intro process Executive intro which generates over 96% retention for placements made over a 12 month period.

My number one tip is whether it is through our process or not I urge all Financial Services leaders to be thinking about introducing more rigour and science into how you hire senior individuals. Have a clear focus the process on identifying the qualities listed above by CONC not purely selecting based on hard skills, background and CV’s.

To do any less is simply not managing your risk and leaving you open to at best performance issues and at worst large fines and improper activities.

how to make better hires

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