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    Jan 13, 2014

    Fake CVs flood Indian job market


    MANAGERS of an information-technology (IT) company in New Delhi were puzzled as they sifted through a pile of curricula vitae (CVs) - as many as 30 job seekers claimed to have worked previously for the same employer.

    Unwilling to take any chances, the managers approached a firm of professional sleuths that specialises in screening background information given by prospective employees.

    What emerged left them stunned.

    The "employer" turned out to be an owner of a dingy one-room mobile repair shop who was pretending to be a human-resource (HR) manager of a fake IT firm.

    In return for money, he answered verification calls and described how the candidates had worked for him previously, doing data entry.

    "Our investigation revealed the conspiracy to show previous experience of three to four months for the candidates," said Ms Preeta Pradhan, a vice-president at background-screening firm AuthBridge.

    Forging qualifications, faking experience, and inventing companies - desperate candidates are resorting to all sorts of fraud to land jobs in a tough Indian employment market.

    A survey by AuthBridge, which has screened millions of candidates, showed that nearly one in five had fudged some information on his CV in 2012 and last year.

    As many as 51 per cent submitted fake education documents.

    "With many people competing for the same opening, the temptation to fudge is quite strong," said Ms M. Aswathi, an HR manager in a leading IT company.

    "They know that extra years of experience or a diploma from a top college could make it easier for them to grab a job or help them get a better pay package," she said.

    Those faking their CVs are mainly looking for lower entry-level jobs, although those seeking top positions have also been found resorting to fraudulent tactics, said Ms Aswathi.

    According to the AuthBridge survey, about 8 per cent of offers made for leadership positions across industry in the last year were withdrawn because candidates provided false information.

    But catching the frauds has become more difficult, opening up a new market for companies such as AuthBridge, United States-based Rezource that also operates in India, and Supersoft Consultants.

    "On average, between 10 and 15 per cent of bad hires are identified by a standard background-check process," Mr Tejas Sanghvi from Supersoft said.