Businesses to crack down on qualifications fraud

Qualifications fraud is on the rise and employers are urged to screen job candidates carefully as companies around Australia look to hire new staff for the new financial year.

According to John Mills FAIM, Director Vincents Executive Search and Selection, businesses were at risk of litigation if they skipped comprehensive qualification and reference checks.

He said technology and computers had made it easier for people to fake qualifications and engage in other fraudulent activities in order to secure jobs, however it had also made it easier to find out information about prospective employees.

"For example, if an employee has stated membership of a required industry body and is subsequently discovered to be fraudulent it could place the company at risk."

"The legal consequences of the employee's actions during their tenure could mean lost income for the company and massive disruption to their business and other staff. Then there's the time and money spent on re-recruiting to the role."

Mr Mills said background and reference checks including qualification checks should be incorporated as part of a company's due process in recruitment, even for senior candidates or those who come recommended. Even simply doing a Google, Facebook or LinkedIn search on a candidate can provide a lot of background information including activities on social networking sites.

"Often reputation or recommendation is enough to convince an employer of a candidate's quality, however with assumption comes risk," he said. "There are instances around the world where employees have been found out to be frauds because they were not subject to due process in the selection stages.

"Discovering dishonesty on a CV, even if it is minimal, should promptly lead to a candidate being omitted from consideration," he said. "If a candidate is susceptible to lying about small matters, the inclination is to think of what else have they may have lied about."

Mr Mills said employers should obtain copies of original documents or validated registered documents for verification and make sure they search the web for details about the individual.

"Qualifications should be validated by relevant industry bodies or the educational institution," he said. "If validation cannot be confirmed, employers should take the necessary steps to protect themselves from being defrauded."

Mr Mills said that research demonstrates the cost of a 'bad hire' can equate to 50% to 100% of the first years annual salary or even more when the cost of training, downtime and replacement are taken into account.

Submitted by John Mills FAIM