An increasing number of company bosses are asking potential employees to take lie detector tests before taking them on.
Cash-in-transit companies, pharmaceutical giants and even creche owners make up the bulk of Irish businesses which are increasingly turning to pre-employment polygraph testing to ensure candidates are honest and trustworthy. Since the recession firms of all sizes have started employing truth detection experts to ensure their new employee will not rip them off.
Sian Devine, chief executive of Dublin-based Lie Detector Ltd, said her pre-employment services were more in demand because of a surge in internal corporate theft and fraud since the downturn. Ms Devine said she receives more than a dozen enquiries a week from corporate clients and they are carrying out between one and two tests a week. She said: “This wasn’t a service we offered during the boom, as there wasn’t really a demand for that. But now because of the high unemployment rates which means there are a lot of people looking for work, employers want to take their time and make absolutely certain that they have picked the right candidate.”
According to Ms Devine, security companies operating in high-risk sectors form the biggest client base, as criminal gangs frequently try to target them. She says cash-in-transit firms, which have been hit by a spate of tiger kidnappings in recent years, use the service to ensure their new recruits are not insiders. Likewise bosses of pharmaceutical and other hi-tech industries have turned to the service to try and eliminate the possibility of a fake employee feeding back vital product information to industry competitors. She said even creche and nanny services have started using the service, which is 98% accurate, to ensure that a new staff member who comes into contact with a child is not secretly a paedophile.
By Nick Bramhill, Printed in the Irish Examiner Tuesday 7th February 2012