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June 27, 2019
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Cifas: 150% Rise in False References

The latest Fraudscape report from Cifas shows that employment application fraud is still high. This follows the BDO’s FraudTrack 2018 report, which that stated employee fraud cost organisations almost £500 million in 2017. Employee fraud not only has a significant impact on an organisation's finances but can also damage reputation and staff morale.

According to Cifas, hiding unspent criminal convictions remained the most common form of fraudulent conduct when the employment application was successful. False references saw an increase of 150% in 2018 compared to 2017, the highest number in five years. That's why Verifile go directly to employers, universities, schools, and others when undertaking pre-employment checks, instead of relying on referees that the candidate supplies.
Degree fraud is also highlighted as a problem and includes:   

  • the creation of fake degree certificates (counterfeit versions of degree certificates from real universities)
  • the operation of diploma mills (which sell unrecognised degrees for a fee, usually based on “life experience”)
  • exaggeration or outright lies on CVs
With the use of design software and colour printers, fraudsters now have access to the tools they need to create realistic versions of certificates. Even professionals in university registry offices can sometimes find it difficult to distinguish a fake certificate from a genuine one, so verifying degrees directly with the university is essential. Cifas advises that “Only when all employers check the authenticity of all their hires all the time will degree fraud be eradicated.”

For more information on how we can help you reduce your risk via a tailored pre-employment screening policy, please contact us.

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| Criminal Record Checks | Identity Verification Checks | Public Sector
June 26, 2019
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Councils fail to check staff identity, credentials

Council staff in Western Australia were employed without any checks on their identity, qualifications, criminal history or right to work in Australia, a report by the state’s Auditor General has found.

The audit of eight councils across the state found instances where councils had failed to obtain working with children clearances for positions that required it.

It also found a lack of criminal background checks at some councils for positions involving procurement, finance and information system management. Auditor general Caroline Spencer called on all public sector entities to review their recruitment processes saying the audit revealed “significant shortcomings in policy and practices”.

She said substandard checks and balances meant that inappropriate or unqualified staff could slip through the net, undermining the integrity of the public sector. “Consistent and robust employee screening policies and procedures can reduce the risk of any inadequate recruitment practices, and protect the integrity of the public sector”, Ms Spencer wrote in the report.

‘When these practices aren’t performed on employees, it can undermine the reputation of all the dedicated, professional, hardworking public servants across the State’.

Lack of checks and balances on staff

The audit looked at 306 employees across eight councils. It found only 11 per cent had their right to work in Australia verified and 26 per cent didn’t have their identity checked before getting the job. Sixty-three employees across five councils didn’t have a criminal check done even, though this was a requirement of the job.

Only three councils had policies in place for verifying employee identity and credentials, the report found.  

Ms Spencer said most councils had identified essential qualifications for certain positions, such as university degrees, licences and first aid certificates. But the audit found 54 cases across three councils where there was no evidence this had been checked.  Meanwhile, reference  checks weren’t performed for 79 of 153 employees between 2015-18, and there were 63 cases where a criminal check was required but apparently was not performed.

Only three councils had procedures in place to regularly monitor employees for changes in their status.

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| Identity Verification Checks
June 18, 2019
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The issue with recruitment chat bots casting a wide net

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a rising trend within the recruitment industry. Whether you are an in-house or an agency recruiter, your success is dependent on quickly and effectively identifying, engaging and ultimately, hiring the best possible candidates. AI recruitment tools are often used to reduce hiring bias in instances where a human recruiter may be prone to unconscious bias. These tools are also believed to improve processes, making them more efficient and overall, they are seen to enhance the recruitment industry.   

However, issues can arise when the human element of recruitment is removed, as Amazon found out to their cost.  Amazon’s AI tool automatically discounted female applicants for technical and developer roles.  While Amazon cannot be fully blamed - the tool used 10 years’ worth of recruitment patterns within the tech industry, which is typically male-dominated - the lack of human intervention made it a costly mistake as the tool had taken over a year to develop.

More recently, LinkedIn has been criticised for its use of recruitment chatbots. A nonsense LinkedIn profile was created to see if something fishy was going on with their automated recruitment tool.

Despite living in an underwater pineapple, and bearing a profile picture of a fish, ‘Mr. Sea Bream’ was offered a job due to his “impressive background” in software development.

Such cases only highlight the importance of the human element in the recruitment industry.  As Garry Kasparov, the chess grandmaster who became the first world champion to lose to a computer when IBM’s Deep Blue beat him in 1997, arguesa human with a machine would always beat the strongest machine”.  After all, the industry is led by people for people, and a recruiter’s role is to build relationships that are focused on human-to-human interactions.  At Verifile, we’re committed to ensuring that every one of your employees is everything they claim to be and nothing fishy is going on. Trained humans are checking every single case we verify, and often more than one individual reviews each case.

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