How to tackle resume fraud

By Maureen Aylward

The CEO of Yahoo lied on his resume and was forced out. Several other high profile CEOs have done the same in industry and academia. We asked our Zintro experts to offer tools and ideas that boards of directors or company executives can use to research and combat resume fraud.

Martin Dirks, an expert in investment management, says that any organization as large as Yahoo could easily contract with a vendor that focuses on background checks. “This would be the most efficient approach for them. Smaller companies can simply use the time-proven approach of calling the most important organizations on an individual’s resume to verify education or work experience,” he says. “People’s behavior is usually consistent. Past behavior is most predictive of future behavior; an individual that commits resume fraud has a higher probability of committing other employment fraud. It is foolish to assume that resume fraud could not happen. The modest expense to investigate resumes should be viewed as a cost of doing business.”

Jeffery Klink, an expert on fraud issues, says that resume fraud is all too common. “The average employer is likely to be defrauded again and again, unless safeguards are instituted that assure that what is claimed by the job applicant is true. I advise employers to assume that nothing is true on a resume, unless verified,” says Klink.  “There are many types of verification tools, but they need to include checking educational credentials either directly with a school or using third-party clearinghouses that sell data regarding degrees earned.”

Klink suggests that when checking employment experience, don’t rely on the reference provided by the applicant, but rather go straight to HR or another source inside a company, where possible. “When hiring for an important position, consider researching media records, bankruptcies, or other job-related data sources. I found that a CEO had falsified his job experience by finding a press release that had been issued from a prior employer. In all circumstances, play by the rules, don’t utilize social media sites, which are often wildly inaccurate, and don’t do searches that violate EEOC or other legal requirements,” he says.

What do you think?

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