June 19, 2009 / 12:33 AM / in 8 years

CIA seeks laid-off bankers in N.Y. recruitment drive

<p>The lobby of the CIA Headquarters Building in McLean, Virginia, August 14, 2008.Larry Downing</p>

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Laid off from Wall Street? The CIA wants you -- as long as you can pass a lie detector test and show that you are motivated by service to your country rather than your wallet.

The Central Intelligence Agency has been advertising for recruits and will be holding interviews on June 22 at a secret location in New York.

"Economics, finance and business professionals, if the quest for the bottom line is just not enough for you, the Central Intelligence Agency has a mission like no other," one radio advertisement for the agency says.

"Join CIA's directorate of intelligence and be a part of our global mission as an economic or financial analyst. Make a difference in your career and for your nation," it says.

Ron Patrick, a spokesman for recruitment and retention at the CIA, told Reuters Television the agency had received several hundred resumes so far from applicants ranging from people just out of graduate school to laid-off bankers.

"It's going to be a very different use of their skill set than perhaps they've used on Wall Street," Patrick said.

Recruits will have to pass rigorous background and medical checks, as well as a polygraph, or lie-detector test.

Starting salaries range from around $60,000 for a new graduate to $100,000 for somebody with more experience, and top out at $160,000. Generous benefits are included.

Patrick said the agency would welcome worthy applicants from Wall Street, whose reputation has been tarnished by the financial crisis and revelations of lavish lifestyles and multi-million dollar bonuses at banks blamed for the meltdown.

"Typically the people that come to the CIA want to serve the government, they want to serve their countries. It's a different mindset perhaps than serving a company or serving profit as a bottom line," he said.

"As long as they can make that attitude switch from profit being the motivator to serving their country, I think they'll fit in very well with us."

Writing by Claudia Parsons; editing by Paul Simao

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