How to spot CV fraud

CV fraud is common

CV fraud in Australia and New Zealand is very common.  In fact, 25% of all candidates have discrepancies in their job application according to research conducted by First Advantage*.

First, look at the discrepancies:

  • 65% relate to the candidate’s employment history;
  • 20% relate to education, qualifications and institutions; and
  • 15% are database differences and criminal and financial fibs.

Reference checks are, as we all know, very important - and the more that are done, the better the outcome. This is because:

  • Employers conducting six reference checks are 12 times more likely to uncover CV fraud compared to those who conduct two reference checks.
  • Specifically, research showed 31% of the time a discrepancy was revealed when six (or more) checks were done, versus 4% when only one to two checks were conducted
How to spot cv fraud - cv fraud is common

Watch out for fraud & avoid cutting corners

I am a recruiter and have been in the industry for more than 25 years.

Be very careful when conducting reference checks if a recruitment agency has been engaged on a commission only basis.  A consultant who is paid on a “success only” basis will have a clear conflict of interest when conducting reference checks (or any other serious checks and verification for that matter),  particularly if something that may eliminate the candidate is found.  No placement equals no pay.   I always advise employers to undertake reference checks themselves or to hire a consultant on an hourly rate or retainer basis.

I was recently sourcing a CEO vacancy and spent hours researching the final candidate and the referees he had provided.  That research revealed the direct supervisor of his previous two positions had been his wife.  While they had different surnames, he did report to her.  Furthermore, the other three referees had neither supervised nor worked with him from what I could see.  It took some serious work to flush this out, but it was worth it.  Here is why.

* Find report here.  Page 14 for Aus/NZ reports

How to spot CV fraud - avoid cutting corners

Christian Madsen - Managing Director at 11 Recruitment
Christian Madsen
Managing Director
11 Recruitment

  • An interesting read. With AI now utilised in CV screening in a lot of recruitment portals, I agree it becomes even more important for the human eyes and touch when it comes to having at least a cursory look at the CV and not just rely on algorithms to screen buzzwords. As for application letters, I read them to see if the person can string two sentences together and can spell (assuming they wrote it). The number of people who don’t even know how to use spell checker (for Australian English) is a disgrace at senior levels. Services for CV checking should be an important part of the recruitment tool to verify qualifications, unfortunately, businesses often balk at the cost.

  • Faisal Hussain says:

    Hi Christian,

    Thanks for producing such an informative article. It will certainly help Risks and Control professionals to look into the probabilities of CV frauds.


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