Powerchex

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Powerchex Ltd.
Type Private Company
Industry Financial Services
Founded 2005
Headquarters City of London, UK
Key people Alexandra Kelly, founder & former MD
Products Background Check
Revenue Undisclosed
Operating income Undisclosed
Net income Undisclosed
Website http://www.hireright.co.uk

Powerchex was a UK-based pre-employment screening company specialising in the financial services sector in the City of London.[1] Powerchex was a full member of the UK chapter of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners or NAPBS,[2] and was started by Alexandra Kelly in 2005 who is the former MD and owner of the company.

In 2007, Powerchex won three awards at the Thames Gateway Business Awards, including the 'Growth Business', 'Business of the Year', with Kelly scooping 'Business Person of the Year'.[3] Powerchex also won the 'Service Business of the Year' award at the Natwest Start-up Awards 2007.[4] In 2008 Powerchex was awarded the NatWest Thames Gateway Business of Year. In 2009, the company won the DBC & East London Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year Award.[5]

On June 23, 2010, Irvine, CA based HireRight Inc., a U.S. background screening company, announced that it had acquired Powerchex.

On August 3, 2010, HireRight parent company Altegrity Risk International announced it had completed the acquisition of Kroll Inc. from Marsh & McLennan Companies in an all-cash transaction valued at $1.13 billion. Both Powerchex and Kroll Background Screening are now fully owned subsidiaries of HireRight Inc.

In October 2010, Powerchex was rebranded as HireRight.

Research[edit]

Every year Powerchex commissions the Shell Technology and Enterprise Programme to conduct market research into trends in applicant fraud. The 2007 research discovered that 89% of undisclosed criminal records are found on the CVs of temps and that overall, discrepancies on CVs have fallen by 18% from 31% in 2005/2006 to 13% in 2006/2007. The findings were published in the national press including The Guardian.[6]

In the 2008 research,[7] Powerchex found that 43% of applicants from the UK’s lowest ranking universities had some form of major embellishment hidden on their application, compared to just 14% of applicants from the top-twenty rated schools. It also found that maths and science graduates are more honest than arts graduates, who have a particularly high rate of major embellishment. The findings were published in the national press including the Financial Times,[8] The Times,[9] The Daily Telegraph,[10] and BBC News Online.[11]

The 2009 research, of nearly 5,000 job applications in the financial sector, found a continued increase in candidates lying on their CVs since the beginning of the recession. Nearly one in five applicants now had a major lie on their CV. It also found that young graduates had the largest increase, 29%, in the number of lying applicants. The findings were reported on television on the BBC News, followed by an interview with Powerchex Managing Director Alexandra Kelly,[12] as well as in national papers including The Times and The Guardian.[13]

The 2010 research revealed the number of job applicants’ CVs containing discrepancy decreased to 15%, which is the first time in four years that a decrease has been discovered. The largest decrease was found in the banking sector. The rate of hidden criminal records trebled; 38% of hidden criminal records were found in applications to the insurance industry, and 28% were found in applications to funds and hedge funds. Almost 2% of financial services applicants concealed a negative credit record, and brokers’ applications were found to contain the highest rate of discrepancies for the second year running. Job applicants to financial services from South West England have the highest discrepancy rate, with over 25% found to have contained a discrepancy in their applications. Women are more likely to have a discrepancy on their CV than men. As the level to which a job applicant has been educated increases, the likelihood of his or her CV to contain a discrepancy decreases. British applicants to jobs in the UK financial sector are three times more likely to contain discrepancies on their CVs than applicants to the same firms from the rest of the world.[14]

Controversy[edit]

On Wednesday, August 8, 2012, the US Department of Justice released a statement that HireRight had settled charges of violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act for 2.6 million US dollars.[15]

On December 27, 2012, a journalist wrote that yet another man who was disenfranchised by HireRight's in-accurate reporting is suing them. [16]

Consumer information site trustlink has an entry for HireRight with, at the time of this edit, 60 reports and a one-star average rating. [17]

One of the problems with HireRight's approach to screening is full-automation using existing data sources. Forms are delivered in paper, and required to be filled out in block capitals for easy OCR processing.

Further reading[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]