I don't know about what you are seeing with candidates but i for one am sick to screaming death of liars, tricksters and bad guys.  The desperation of the unemployed?  Perhaps, but trust me that does not mean that a background check will not reveal that instead of 5 years at your last place of employment you were there for only seven months.  That felony conviction you had three years ago will in fact show up.  When we verify your salary or our client does and you made 50K less than what you put on the application you just falsified the app.   If the university you graduated from has never heard of you it will come to somebody's attention.

 

My question here is, are you as a third party recruiter/internal recruiter wasting an inordinate amount of time , money and energy interviewing Lions, Tiger and Bears (liars, tricksters and bad guys) only to discover after an offer is made that you have a lying druggie or a crazy on your hands who only disclosed after the offer was made that there was the small problem of a criminal conviction or guilty plea on a felony involving some kind of violence?  Education falsified, salary falsified, employment history phony as a three dollar watch?

 

I believe that we are in a mind bending catch-22.  Candidates refuse to provide their social security number, stating that they will do so if there is serious interest.  In many cases we are unable to even verify employment without a social.  Many  large companies are using online employment verification that requires entering a social.  Interest can not be determined unless we submit the resume, employers take time to interview, make an offer contingent upon clear background and drug test.  Now we have the social, employment dates are wrong, criminal record pops up, drug test comes back positive.  Weeks have been wasted, money lost, employers irritated, our reps tarnished because we could not identify the Lions, Tigers and Bears.

 

We are working with our attorney now to see just what we can do to prevent any more of this.

It appears that we will either have to require the candidate to provide a social security number and run a full background check before we are willing to interview and/or represent the candidate which will probably eliminate a great number of good ,honest candidates who do not want to provide their social security number to a recruiter they have never met before they can be submitted for a job.  How do we recruit passive candidates then ask them to provide their social so we can background them before we submit them?  Do we take it as an admission of guilt that they are not what they say they are if they refuse or  assume that they have enough sense not to provide social or agree to a full background prior to interview (when we recruited them) and risk it, move forward and end up in the ditch after the fact?

 

What are you doing and how is it working?

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Sandra,

    There is a lot of distrust out there right now.  It's hard  to trust anybody when an employer you have trusted, and worked hard for has let you go with little regard for what you do and what you did.  Thay being said, job seekers can't look for work with a 2X4 on their shoulder, they have to be willing to supply you with what you need to work for them.  We have decided in our our office to kiss the difficult candidates good-bye with a good luck to you attitude.  You either work with me here, or go somewhere else.  If they are really interested in the opportunity they will change attitudes and cooperate.  In my opinion, if they refuse to supply you with a ss# so you can do your job, they are trying to hide something.  It isn't worth the effort or time to continue to work with them.  On the other issue of Liars, Tricksters and Bad guys, the recruiter has to ask questions, questions, questions.  I know it's hard, but if you go over a resume as a time line and ask enough questions, you generally can get a feeling if they are hiding something or leaving something out.  Another way that I have found to help really get a feel for a candidate, is to ask for the name of someone they worked with at every job.  Someone who was a co-workers who could give them a reference or verify that they worked there.  We are fortunate enough to have people in our office with a great deal of experience working with different candidates and clients.  It isn't too hard for one of us in the office to be able to make a phone call or two and check up on a candidate with someone at a client site that has worked with them or knows someone who has worked with them.  Unfortunately as the economy picks up, I think we are going to see more of this come up.  Not because people are desperate to find a job, but because there will be more jobs available than candidates and we will be scraping the bottom of the heap, hoping to be able to dust off enough dirt to submit a suitable candidate..

Agree Marcia.  I am even getting reference letters that have been falsified and when validating those find that coworkers are lying for people or names are given of coworkers who turn out to be bogus so we almost have to background the references. Seems we are turning into private detectives as much as recruiters.  After decades in this business, i can attest that i never seen it this bad.

It's totally bizarro to me that someone who is using drugs will march right through the process then when they fail the drug test say, "Gee it's been several months since i did that and thought maybe it would not show up."  After they have proclaimed over and over that there would be no problem with the drug test.  I am not talking about plumber's helpers here.  I'm talking about physicians, lawyers, CPA's.  Licensed people who somehow have maintained their liscensure and can't pass a background or drug test.

 

It appears that we are going to have to take the attitude you mention of simply saying "no social and no permission to background check or hit the road."

Hi Sandra

Great post as always!

A few years back I had a candidate make it through our interview process, the clients interview process and I personally checked his references; two were people that he did not supply but rather previous co-workers of mine that I knew in the industry, before my recruiting days…. everyone gave him the thumbs up and all was looking good.

The background check went well and all he had to do was to pass the physical that included a hair drug test. Keep in mind that I had told this individual about the drug test at least twice as did my client, reinforcing that any employment offer is based on passing the physical and hair drug test. This particular client has a reputation for a zero tolerance drug policy, as the employees work in very dangerous environment. The reason that there was an opening in the first place was that a previous employee got hurt on the job and then failed the companies mandated drug test after an injury.

 

I gave the candidate a call on a Friday and asked if he could make it in that day to get his physical and drug screen. The candidate told me he was on his way up North to his cabin to go hunting but he could make it in on Monday.  It did send up a bit of a red flag but at the time it was deer hunting season here in Michigan and I was on my way up hunting later that night, so I dismissed the concern.

 

Monday comes around and I get a call from my client explaining that the individual showed up at their clinic and he had completely shaved every hair off his body, I am talking legs, chest, armpits, pubes, head etc…

 

My client has their own clinic onsite and the nurse called my contact over to the clinic to speak with the individual when she noticed this hairless wonder.

 

My contact said it was one of the funniest things she had ever seen. Here was this 6’2’ 260lb. hairless man standing in front of her with nothing on but a hospital gown, demanding that he be given a urine test instead of the hair test. She said that hardly recognized him, when we interviewed him he had a full head of hair and a full beard.

 

When my client explained to him that they do not give urine drug screens as there are too many ways that they can be manipulated, he grabbed his clothes in hand and stormed out of the clinic with noting on but the hospital gown cursing them on his way out the door.

 

Thankfully my client did not hold it against me as we were both fooled by this individual and we still make light of situation from time to time today.

 

The point that I am trying to make is that we can interview, reference check and background check with due diligence but we will still get the occasional bad apple that will make it through the system. People do some strange things, especially when they get desperate. Hopefully we can I.D. them before they get to far down the pipeline saving everyone time and expense.

 

Amazing isn't it.  I had one of the hairless wonders myself and he had almost completely removed his fingernails and toenails so they couldn't do a nail test either.  His response was that if he had known they needed that kind of test he would not have had himself "groomed".  Right, and i am an ATP rated pilot, i just don't have the hours.

 

The ones that are making me crazy are the ones that no matter how we question them and check them out short of a formal criminal background check, manage to get through the process to offer and filling out the formal application then send me that wonderful email that says, "I don't have a felony conviction but i have 5 misdemeanors for domestic violence is that going to be a problem?"  So i get to call my client and disclose that my wonderful candidate who passed the drug test and the background check has been arrested 5 times and pled guilty or no lo to beating the hell out of his wife.  Yes, Charlie, it's a freaking problem.  Any kind of violence related offense is going to be a problem.  So i guess i will now start asking, "Do you beat the hell out of your wife as much as you used to?"

 

Trust me when i tell you that misdemeanors do not always show up.  Just had one who admitted to me that he had been arrested and convicted of a class C for animal cruelty but claimed that his dog bit him so he beat it to death with his fists.  Maybe so but his stay in my office was short and he knows exactly how i feel about folks who have animal cruelty beefs.  Unless it tried to eat your kid or your grandmother, hit the bricks.

Thank god I work in IT. Most candidates are pretty straight forward and honest--- yet one Network Engineer did pass the background check, drug test, reference checks, employment verification--- and the client was absolutely pleased with the his work--- untill he was picked up by the authorities on a murder charge 20 years previous.  Do we conduct a 20 year background check instead of 7 years ?? (Now your short stint as a rebellious teenager will come back to haunt you---!!) AND most companies don't want to spend the extra money for such a lengthy search, as well it's a right to privacy issue in most states.

You will never know 100% about any candidate, no matter the due diligence.

Interesting, i have placed a lot of IT types.  Don't remember ever having a problem with background or drug test except one who had recently moved to the US from Pakistan where maryjane is common but no alcohol.  They hired him subject to drug test in three months, he passed that one.

 

Is anyone seeing more situations where candidates are falsifying their work background dates?

 

My fallback is always SMOA! I tell my client what I love about this candidate and tell the client I think this is "the one" because A,B and C is what we've searched out for you.  Then I add a huge HOWEVER, I have been unable to complete an entire due diligence because the candidate has declined furnishing his/her SIN number, which brings up a flashing red light for me.

I had a large national client this happened with. The VP was from back east, raved about this candidate, and offered him a job on the spot. I insisted he make the offer with "reservations" based on final check. Good thing too, because an elaborate pyramid was revealed - in the end we had no idea who the guy was - nothing about him was real. My client and I had a good laugh about when it was over and another candidate in place, and we both saved face because nothing had been finalized.

There must be a lot of them out there and somehow it must be working for them because they keep doing it.  Wouldn't you love to know who the guy really is and where he really has worked ,if ever.

 

The total con artist i once got a fab offer for in a medical sales role turned out to be a recruiter who had spent a few years in the pen.  Stopped his deal at the 11th hour and 59th minute when the alarm bells in my brain started going off when he seemed inordinately interested in how fast he would receive his hiring bonus.  Seems this guy would use someone else's identity and resume, go through the process, get hired, start work,collect the hiring bonus then disappear after a couple of weeks.  When a company went looking for him they discovered some poor guy who was still working at the last job reflected on the resume who had never interviewed with anybody.  The end came because the recruiter crook had used the same resume twice.  My con artist had been very adamant that i not call him at work or leave any voice messages on his work phone.  I called the company on the resume asked for him.  A very pleasant fellow answered by name.  I identified myself, asked him if he was ready to start with XXXcorp Monday.  When he said, "Mrs McCartt i don't believe i have ever spoken with you before and i have never heard of XXXcorp but please stay on the line i would like to reach the FBI and patch them in to this call."  "My identity has been stolen and this same thing happened about two months ago but this person applied through a web site so there was not a third party involved, he used a chain of bogus emails and a prepaid cell so perhaps this time we can catch him.  Because my crook had not started yet and thought he was still under the radar he still had the cell so the FBI was able to grab him.  It was a pretty cool sting that ended with the FBI walking into a recruiting firm and bagging him at his desk with the resume in his attache case. Once the perp was identified the real person recalled applying for a job through the recruiting firm a year or so earlier , he had filled out an application and provided his SSN and completely forgotten about it when nothing every happened.  And we wonder why people are hesitant to give us the information to check them out.

 

   It was not the finest moment when i had to call my client and let them know that Mr. Crook would not be showing up for work on Monday because he was not the person to whom the resume belonged.  Who knows how many times he had done it. The FBI may know but they simply said it was not the first time but it might be the last for a while.   My client gave a statement as did i, client identified the crook's picture as the person who had represented himself with the resume.  I know the guy's real name.  Once in a while i do a quick search just to see if he has gotten out and is working for another recruiting firm.  How close did you background check that guy who is on your sales desk?  :)

 

These really bizzare ones happen once in a while but it seems that the less sophisticated liars are coming out of the woodwork in droves.  I found a totally bogus profile on Linkedin last week, could be a real person using a false name to protect their identity but it could also be a recruiter trying to locate that kind of job opening .  Just happen to have a connection at the company listed on the profile.  They have never heard of the person and there is no one there who has the background shown on the profile and never has been.

Sandra,

 

   I'm actually in IT consulting and we don't have as big a problem as you seem to have in other areas of recruitment.  My guess is that it is very hard to fake programming knowledge.  When you say you are a Java developer, you had better be able to answer Java questions on the interview or it's over for you.  There are so many people who have perfected the interview to the point that they can charm thier way into jobs, but in IT, charm isn't what employers are looking for.  They actually don't expect it because, let's face it, most really good IT people are nerds.  If I have a candidate with a good personality and communication skills, I sell him/her for all they are worth.  What we have problems with more than anything else, is falsifying resumes.  People saying they are more technical than they really are.  I've been in the business for over 20 years and I've only had 2 people who didn't pass the drug screen.  I have had no shows and a couple of people who had felony convictions. 

I agree it is an ongoing problem that's always been out there but seems to be much more frequent now much of recruiting is done by web searches. I must admit I always do a random peer reference along with each reference a candidate gives me - that is to pick a person in a dept or company and ask for their help with a quick comment about so and so. Sometimes the answer is "who"? The best scam I've heard of however was a client who described an employee they had in a large territory sales position that actually had two jobs at once. Both assumed he worked full time for them. Two company cars, two expense cards - kept up the facade for two years. I think it was a chance meeting that finally brought it to a halt.

Sandra McCartt said:

There must be a lot of them out there and somehow it must be working for them because they keep doing it.  Wouldn't you love to know who the guy really is and where he really has worked ,if ever.

 

The total con artist i once got a fab offer for in a medical sales role turned out to be a recruiter who had spent a few years in the pen.  Stopped his deal at the 11th hour and 59th minute when the alarm bells in my brain started going off when he seemed inordinately interested in how fast he would receive his hiring bonus.  Seems this guy would use someone else's identity and resume, go through the process, get hired, start work,collect the hiring bonus then disappear after a couple of weeks.  When a company went looking for him they discovered some poor guy who was still working at the last job reflected on the resume who had never interviewed with anybody.  The end came because the recruiter crook had used the same resume twice.  My con artist had been very adamant that i not call him at work or leave any voice messages on his work phone.  I called the company on the resume asked for him.  A very pleasant fellow answered by name.  I identified myself, asked him if he was ready to start with XXXcorp Monday.  When he said, "Mrs McCartt i don't believe i have ever spoken with you before and i have never heard of XXXcorp but please stay on the line i would like to reach the FBI and patch them in to this call."  "My identity has been stolen and this same thing happened about two months ago but this person applied through a web site so there was not a third party involved, he used a chain of bogus emails and a prepaid cell so perhaps this time we can catch him.  Because my crook had not started yet and thought he was still under the radar he still had the cell so the FBI was able to grab him.  It was a pretty cool sting that ended with the FBI walking into a recruiting firm and bagging him at his desk with the resume in his attache case. Once the perp was identified the real person recalled applying for a job through the recruiting firm a year or so earlier , he had filled out an application and provided his SSN and completely forgotten about it when nothing every happened.  And we wonder why people are hesitant to give us the information to check them out.

 

   It was not the finest moment when i had to call my client and let them know that Mr. Crook would not be showing up for work on Monday because he was not the person to whom the resume belonged.  Who knows how many times he had done it. The FBI may know but they simply said it was not the first time but it might be the last for a while.   My client gave a statement as did i, client identified the crook's picture as the person who had represented himself with the resume.  I know the guy's real name.  Once in a while i do a quick search just to see if he has gotten out and is working for another recruiting firm.  How close did you background check that guy who is on your sales desk?  :)

 

These really bizzare ones happen once in a while but it seems that the less sophisticated liars are coming out of the woodwork in droves.  I found a totally bogus profile on Linkedin last week, could be a real person using a false name to protect their identity but it could also be a recruiter trying to locate that kind of job opening .  Just happen to have a connection at the company listed on the profile.  They have never heard of the person and there is no one there who has the background shown on the profile and never has been.

I have always worked on the premise that people were honest until something happened or came up that proved differently.  Apparently a somewhat naive faith in my fellow man, if you will.  It appears that we are going to have to assume in the current environment that everybody is lying until we prove them honest.

 

Not a mind set i want to take but rather than further risk our reputation by submitting anymore Lions, Tigers and Bears to any of our clients, wasting their time and ours, it appears to be the only position we can take.

 

To any job seekers who may be reading any of this.  We are sorry that you run into situations where recruiters seem to be focused on drilling you about your background, refusing to work with you without your social security number or making you feel like we don't trust you.  Unfortunately due to the number of candidates who are blatantly misrepresenting their background, we have no choice but to operate in a mode of fraud prevention based on current events and past history.  It would be nice if there were web sites where recruiters could post the names of people who commit fraud during their job search just as there are sites where people can vent about things their employers do.  Unfortunatley we would get sued.

 

It's my take that all of the screaming about privacy of the individual and the laws have created a fertile field for fraud, liars, cheats and criminals.  So, Mr./Ms honest candidate.  Understand that it's not you.  Help us help you by providing the information we need to represent honest candidates. 

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