Survey Shows Integrity In Job Candidates More Important Today Than Five Years Ago

MENLO PARK, CA -- Honesty can be a job seeker’s most valuable asset. In a recent survey, 58 percent of chief financial officers (CFOs) polled said the qualities that impress them most about job candidates, aside from ability and willingness to do the job, are honesty and integrity, an increase of 26 percent compared to five years ago.

The survey was developed by Robert Half, the world’s first and largest staffing service specializing in the accounting, finance and information technology fields. It was conducted by an independent research firm and includes responses from 1,400 CFOs from a stratified random sample of U.S. companies with more than 20 employees.

CFOs were asked: “Other than ability and willingness to do the job, what is the one quality that impresses you the most about a candidate during a job interview?” Their responses:


  2002 1997
Honesty and integrity 58% 32%
Enthusiasm 14% 29%
Verbal skills 12% 28%
Professional appearance 7% 3%
Sense of humor 1% 3%
Other/don’t know 8% 5%
  100% 100%

“While honesty and integrity have always been highly valued, these qualities are obviously top of mind for financial executives in the current business environment,” said Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half and author of Managing Your Career For Dummies (Hungry Minds, Inc.).

“In particular, employers recruiting for accounting and finance positions are looking for professionals who can implement sound accounting practices and help their organizations comply with new corporate governance standards,” Messmer noted.

Robert Half has more than 325 locations throughout North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, and offers online job search services at www.roberthalf.com.

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