Read Time:
3 - 4 mins

Fake candidates: How to identify and filter them


With the shift in the hiring process from in-person to more telephone and video interviews, recruiters often encounter a tricky situation: fake candidates. Despite most applicants being genuine, some pretend to be qualified professionals, wasting recruiters' time and resources.

A survey conducted by background check company Checkster found that 77.6% of respondents misrepresented themselves to a moderate or greater level during the hiring process.

This results in recruiters wasting valuable time and resources on vetting and hiring the wrong person, causing significant damage to ongoing projects and workflows once the candidate begins to work.
So, how do we identify, outsmart, and unmask these elusive imposters?

Identifying alarming signals on a resume

  1. One of the first things to look out for when vetting fake candidates is their resume. A resume that lists an excessive amount of skill sets may raise suspicions. False applicants will often exaggerate their qualifications in an attempt to capture the attention of potential employers. 
  2. Excessive elaboration on job roles and responsibilities is another indicator of a fraudulent candidate. They often lack genuine experience and resort to copying information from the internet. A genuine candidate typically focuses on key responsibilities, whereas a fake candidate tends to replicate every detail found online.
  3. Always ensure to examine the contact details provided on the resume. A lack of a permanent address or only an email address or phone number listed may be a red flag. 
  4. Additionally, tally the overall years of experience based on the candidate’s graduation year.
  5. Scrutinize LinkedIn profiles along with the resume to ensure that the information provided is accurate. 
  6. Extensive background checks to validate the profile pictures across all social media platforms, ensure the candidate isn't working on two jobs simultaneously, etc.

Red Flags on Professional Experience and Personal Details

  1. Beware of candidates claiming to have worked in prestigious companies as contract employees through vendors. A significant warning sign is when they list a Tier-1 company but are on the payroll of an unfamiliar company. This can be a red flag for fraud. Always inquire about the details of the payroll company and verify its legitimacy on platforms like Google, LinkedIn, or Glassdoor. If the company appears to have little to no presence online, it's likely a front for providing fake work experience to candidates.
  2. Fake candidates resort to deception during online interviews by providing misleading details, such as multiple contact numbers and skill-related email addresses. If a candidate communicates from a different number than the one listed in their profile, it's a red flag. Utilize tools like TrueCaller to verify if the phone number matches the profile name, helping you identify fraudulent behavior. Stay vigilant against such tactics.
  3. Fake education and certifications raise significant concerns. Check for inconsistencies by comparing the candidate's last year of education with their total years of experience. If discrepancies arise, inquire further. Additionally, request certification IDs for any claimed credentials to validate them through online certificate vendors. Stay diligent in verifying candidates' qualifications.

Identifying fraud during the interview process-How to identify Fake Candidates in Video Interview?

A few techniques can also be utilized during the remote interview to find a stand-in for the interviewer. 

      a. First off, try to refrain from conducting phone interviews just. Try to follow up a phone-based initial contact with a video interview so that the candidate's face can be seen.

       b. Candidates thinking too much about every answer is another trick.  Some candidates use a second person as a proxy to listen and then repeat responses. Be mindful of prolonged response times during interviews, as it may indicate potential foul play.

      c. Take a screenshot of the candidate appearing for the interview after obtaining their permission and verify it with the photo identity. 

While identifying fake candidates can be challenging, you can effectively filter out false candidates by being vigilant and using these tips outlined. The growing popularity of tech and AI-enabled platforms further mitigates the issues of fake candidates. With AI-driven platforms like CBREX, resume screening has become more advanced and efficient, indicating red flags faster.

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