Resume fraud or resume embellishment is not a novel crime. Resume fraud happens when a person intentionally provides false information on their resume, usually with the expectation of increasing their chances of being considered for a job.
So what happens when this act is carried out by a prominent person or public figure?
Hiring people with fraudulent resumes may have far-reaching consequences for an organization, including occupational fraud, reputational harm, and the disruption of morale among employees. Lies perpetrated by prominent people have the potential to have a wider impact.
Bad hiring due to resume fraud happens largely due to lax background check procedures.
Resume fraud by prominent figures
A survey showed that over half of Americans said that they had lied on their resumes at least once. The following few prominent figures may make up that statistic.
A senior Trump administration officer, Mina Chang, inflated her educational achievements by lying about graduating from Harvard and embellished her work experience, faking a Time magazine cover.
The latest case was a freshly elected New York representative, George Santos. He has been under fire for lying in his resume. He later acknowledged that he made up his educational background and employment history.
Even prominent figures occupying key positions in organizations have been caught committing resume fraud.
Sandra Balwin, former president and chairman of the US Olympic committee, stepped down after admitting she had put false information on her resume.
Gregory Probert, the former CEO of Herbalife Ltd, lied in his resume, claiming that he completed his MBA from California State University, Los Angeles — while in fact, he did not.
Scott Thompson, a former Yahoo CEO, had held his position in the giant tech company for only a few months before his lies were uncovered. He claimed that he had a BA from Stonehill College in both accounting and computer science, when in fact, he only studied accounting.
Avoid being a victim of resume fraud
A study revealed that 43% of organizations that fell victim to occupational fraud did not run background checks on the perpetrators prior to hiring. Background checks verify the claims stated in a resume, including a variety of checks that may be adjusted to the needs of organizations based on the industry and job level. Basic checks, such as verification of identification, diplomas, and criminal background checks, are common for all levels.
Meanwhile, organizations may need to tailor comprehensive and in-depth background checks for key positions. The higher the position, the greater the potential risks. Credential checks, bankruptcy checks, reference checks, in-depth media checks, Politically Exposed Person (PEP) checks, and even drug tests may be part of the tailored background checks.
Learning from the aforementioned cases, organizations need to keep a healthy skeptical attitude in check by not excluding them from the background check process — even if the candidate for the post is a high-profile figure.
In practice, background checks can be carried out by internal organizations or vendors, or a combination of both. The option of working with vendors is considered an effective choice for companies to obtain objective, accurate, and comprehensive results.
Integrity Asia has been trusted by our clients from various business backgrounds for more than two decades to carry out employment background screening and provide comprehensive analytical reports through Prisma. Prisma is a one-stop employment screening application that makes the employment background screening process for your organization’s recruiters faster, more precise, and more comprehensive.
By having all candidate information at hand, your organization will be better equipped to make the right hiring decisions. For more detailed information on employment background screening and other compliance services, contact us today.