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Mind the Gap: Beating the CV fraudsters

20th Jul 2005
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HRzone
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HRzone

Dressed up credentials topped with a liberal smattering of sugar-coated qualifications are paying off for the 7.5 million who have confessed to telling more than a white lie or two when it comes to their CVs; Eyal Ben-Cohen founder of Verifile explains.

The level of CV fraud ranges from inaccurate dates in an applicant’s employment history, to false claims about qualifications and forged references. Checking CVs is a serious problem for employers and creates a substantial administrative load for HR departments.

Verifile, the CV verification and background screening service, provides fast and efficient automated checks on everything from personal identity and educational qualifications to criminal records and employment references.

“CV and identity fraud is a growing problem for UK businesses. Recruiting staff is an expensive and time-consuming process and the days when you can believe the information you are given have gone,” said Verifile’s managing director Eyal Ben-Cohen.

“In today’s hi-tech society just about everything can be forged. It has become apparent that the basic checks that some employers do undertake are inadequate – original certificates to prove qualifications can be faked and bogus certificates can be bought online. Driving licences can be forged, and authentic looking references can be created by employees taking headed paper from their previous employer.

“Fraudsters are using the internet and other technology to their advantage so we have developed sophisticated systems and processes to play them at their own game and ensure employers are recruiting honest candidates with relevant experience and qualifications,” he said.

By using online automated verification services companies can streamline their recruitment systems with numerous benefits including:

  • Reducing the administration load on HR departments
  • Ensuring compliance with changing employment regulations
  • Improving the short-listing system, leading to better interviews
  • And reducing the risk of bad publicity, damage to reputation, theft and industrial espionage

To date employers have had to make all checks manually, with companies employing private investigators or specialist firms, at a high cost, to carry out checks. Technological advances mean it is now an affordable and speedy option, available to any size of business through a website, to check all applicants – with an identity and financial check costing as little as £6.92.

“All employers need to address this issue, not only to ensure the credibility and calibre of their workforce, but to ensure their companies are as cost-effective as possible. Recruitment is an expensive process costing £5,000 on average and up to £7,000 for a senior manager,” said Eyal Ben-Cohen.

“Companies which have to withdraw offers, re-advertise posts and repeat the process are wasting large sums of money.”

Eyal Ben-Cohen set up Verifile while studying for an MBA (Master of Business Administration) at Cranfield School of Management. He drew up a business plan for the company as part of his studies, secured financial backing from investors and won the Venture Capital Report Directory prize for producing the most entrepreneurial plan and being the most likely to start a successful new venture.

Head of Human Resources Wendy Harpur at Mercer & Hole says the service has proved invaluable:

“You can only gauge a certain amount about a person from an interview, and checking a person’s details and chasing up the references can be very time-consuming. We’ve found that we’re saving on administration time, and getting better results far more quickly using Verifile.

“More importantly it gives us peace of mind that the people we are employing are who they say they are, which in turn gives our clients peace of mind,” she said.

Research from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) recently revealed that a quarter of all employers surveyed had withdrawn at least one job offer in the last year after discovering an applicant had lied on their application form.

An earlier report by MORI, the market research company, reported that 7.5 million people confessed to misleading potential employers when applying for a job whilst 33% of employers admitted they simply don’t have time to carry out verification checks.

To see a sample Verifile report click here

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