We all know that candidates who show up for a job interview will do everything that they can to make themselves look like the right person for the job. Relevant education, strong work experience, and good references all help them to make their case. But what if it isn't real?
A resume can tell you a lot about an applicant, but you can't necessarily take the resume at face value. In a competitive job market, some people will be tempted to cut corners in order to give themselves an edge. In fact, there are services that will help them do it.
Fake Credentials Can Be Bought
CareerExcuse is a website that allows job seekers to purchase references for their resume. That's right - buyers can select professional references from a list of people that they have never met and have no relationship with. Not only that, but the team at CareerExcuse will help to verify the details of your resume when it is reviewed by answering phone calls as the fake company/individual listed on the customer's resume! Packages start at $100 and the site boasts a money back guarantee if applicants are not hired as a result of using the service.
Another website, PhonyDiploma.com, sells high school and university diplomas for $75 to $175. The homepage of the site features an article about the dangers of faking your education for the purpose of securing employment, yet the site itself sells a wide variety of customizable fake documents.
Countless other online stores and services exist in this fraudulent space - all promising to make things quick and easy for people who are willing to pay a few dollars and lie about their qualifications. Because of this, recruiters and managers need to be on the lookout.
Serious Consequences for Falsifying Qualifications
Falsifying credentials in order to land a job is no small offense. In Hong Kong, where fake credentials are increasingly common, a woman presented fake qualifications to land an executive level marketing job. When her scam was uncovered, the woman was arrested and charged with fraud.
In another famous case, the former CEO of RadioShack, David Edmonson, lied about his college education. When the truth came out, Edmonson was forced to resign from his position and the company's stock took a 12 percent hit.
The most common lies from candidates are fake degrees or embellishments of their educational background; dates of employment; exaggerations of their skills and accomplishments; bogus job titles; and inflated salary histories.
Everyone Needs to Look Out for Fraud
A 2017 hiring report from HireRight found that 85 percent of employers have caught job applicants lying about the details on their resume in one way or another. Whether it's stretching the truth when it comes to past experiences or creating flat out lies, fibbing in order to increase the odds of being hired seems to be common.
Jeff Hyman, a contributor at Forbes.com and the Chief Talent Officer at Strong Suit Executive Search, says, "The most common lies from candidates are fake degrees or embellishments of their educational background; dates of employment; exaggerations of their skills and accomplishments; bogus job titles; and inflated salary histories."
Types of employment fraud:
- Fake references.
- Fake dipolmas/degrees.
- False representation of previous salary.
- Fake certifications.
- Falsified work experience.
If you have doubts about an applicant's background, you can try to confirm qualifications by contacting more than one source. You can also make a skills test or trial period mandatory since it's much easier to fake credentials than it is to fake actual knowledge and experience when challenged to complete a set of tasks.
You can also make it standard practice to submit an applicant's name to a background check service for a complete review of their history.