6-9 Trinity St, Dublin

Employees gamble with job applications fraud

Forged identity papers, fake college records, concealed criminal records, and senior executives who have assumed the identity of dead people to hide a murky past–no trick(seems) too low …

Fraudulent job applicants and even long-established employees are coming under even closer scrutiny to ensure they are everything they claim to be.

“My … jaw literally dropped when I first started to discover things about people through this job,” recalls Joey Lyons, general manager of screening specialists Checkback International. “We had one senior manager with a leading multinational who had falsified his entire life history. We were called into work with the company’s EMEA HR director who was under some pressure himself as this manager was effectively senior to him. It took a lot of work because he told us we were mistaken. It turned out that we were right. Eventually, he left the company.”

Checkback’s screening has unearthed cases such as an airport baggage handler with a criminal record (and access to the plane’s cargo hold), vindictive former employers telling lies about ex-employees who had trusted them enough to name them as a referee, and every shade of bill absconder and ne’er-do-well.

Be warned: keeping your slate clean for a few years is no longer enough. Checkback conducts a comprehensive screening of the last 10 years of a person’s life, longer in some cases.

Between 30% and 40% of job, applicants are estimated to mislead potential employers about their education record, their professional qualifications and previous employment record. Over 25% of all job applicants admit they are willing to commit fraud to get the job they want, and 85% of serious fraud is carried out on the inside by a company’s own staff.

Among untruthful job applicants, around 30% falsify their education records, while another 30% alter their employment history. Of course, different industries face different detection issues.

“Telecoms firms suffer a lot from fake driving licenses” explains Joey Lyons.

“In one part of Dublin and in Limerick we had a very well-known telecoms company who were targeted by a band of thieves who wanted to use their vans to case people’s homes. The branded van would give them access to people’s houses”.

“The crime hit rate tends to go up when you’re dealing with jobs that are low wage and high commission. Some cases are more innocent, but significant nonetheless. You might have an accountant with an ACCA qualification claiming to be ‘chartered’ when he is not yet finished with the exams. The job might require the full qualification, so he’ll stretch the truth a little.

“However, we can’t leave anything through. We sign off on all certificates for these applications. In effect, we indemnify our client companies against fraud. We’re in business over ten years now and we have never been brought to court yet”