Most Popular Methods Applicants Use to Cheat Background Employment Checks

When candidates apply for new jobs, they’ll likely have to complete pre-employment background checks. This is to ensure their criminal record, education history, work experience and, in many cases, credit history is accurate and to ensure they can fulfil the role's demands.

Background checks are a standard part of hiring for companies across many industries. That being said, there are many ways in which a candidate can easily forge or falsify details on their application. This guide looks at some of the most common ways a candidate could mislead potential employers.

Why Background Checks are Necessary

Background checks for employment primarily confirm a candidate’s identity and history. Still, whether someone is hired or not, the information uncovered can also impact their future employment prospects.

Employers may stipulate that candidates pass a background check before making an offer. Sometimes they may be required to perform certain checks by law, depending on the nature of their work and candidates' requirements. As such, information unveiled in a criminal record check or anti-money laundering (AML) check, as two examples, could potentially disqualify candidates from working in certain positions in education and finance, respectively.

Performing various pre-employment background checks simultaneously can be time-consuming for many organisations. They often outsource these services to a professional third-party background check provider like Eurocom CI.

5 Reasons Applicants Fail Pre-Employment Screening Checks

Applying for jobs in the UK is competitive across many industries, leading some candidates to misrepresent themselves to secure a new position. Organisations are at risk of hiring inexperienced or unsuitable candidates, and thus must be aware of how to protect themselves from dishonest candidates.

Here are some common ways an applicant can deceive an organisation.

Lying About (or Failing to Disclose) Criminal History

There could be a case where a job applicant knowingly concealed part of their criminal record history. This could be information like their name and date of birth, which, if falsely provided, will generate an inaccurate criminal record certificate.

This is where failsafe measures of digital identity verification come in handy, as employers can validate the candidate’s personal information using innovative ID verification technology, examining their passport or driving licence to check its legitimacy.

Gaps in Employment

Gaps in work history may be completely valid, i.e. if a candidate has taken parental leave, a career break, gone on sabbatical and so on. As long as these circumstances can be explained and clarified, they shouldn’t pose any issues for the hiring organisation. 

However, if there are extended periods of unexplained unemployment, this could indicate a sign of untrustworthiness from past employers. If a potential employee cannot explain multiple long employment gaps, this could cause them to be removed from consideration.

Incomplete or Missing Education History

Education history checks are commonly conducted during pre-employment checks. Some employers may discard candidate applications if this section is not completed. 

Furthermore, background checks are highly automated and sophisticated to spot falsified or forged educational qualifications, such as evidence of paying for fake degrees using diploma mills.

Adverse Credit History

Financial background checks may seem unnecessarily invasive, but FCA-regulated firms have a legal obligation to conduct a credit reference check for employment purposes. 

If a candidate will be responsible for handling large amounts of money, and there is evidence of poor money management, bad credit, fraud or money laundering, an employer probably wouldn’t consider them suitable for employment.

Misleading Employment History

Candidates can lie about their work experience, job titles, and how long they’ve been employed. Some applicants even go as far as hiring firms to create fake companies for a fee. 

Hiring managers must be vigilant and ensure candidates’ work experience is valid and correct, which is where employment history checks can be helpful. Otherwise, if they hire a completely unqualified, it could come at a reputational and financial cost to the company.

Failing Pre-Employment Screening Checks: A Summary

For HR managers within a hiring organisation, your pre-employment screening process must be refined enough to spot potential red flags on a candidate's CV or application. 

It’s probably wise to give the candidate the benefit of the doubt first, in case there was a genuine oversight, and allow them to discuss any potential issues or areas of concern. There is always a possibility that they made a mistake, so grant them the opportunity to explain any anomalies.

Mitigate All Risks With the Help of an Experienced Employment Background Check Agency

If you need assistance establishing the proper structure and process for your pre-employment screening checks, talk to Eurocom CI. 

We develop bespoke solutions for clients across many sectors, delivering software that helps them keep track of all ongoing candidate applications and what stage they’re at.

Get in touch to arrange a free demo and see how we can help your organisation make intelligent hiring decisions.