Corra Daily Planet » 2011 » June

Fraudulent Education and Employment Claims Increase Background Background Checks

Wed, June 29th, 2011 - 4:30 am - By Gordon Basichis

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Fraudulent claims from international employment candidates, especially from China, have necessitated an increased in employment and education verification background checks for employers looking to recruit applicants from these regions.   Many employment screening services have reported that the growing problem of academic and work qualification fraud in China has lead to increased business from background checking agencies.

For a long time international candidates made fraudulent claims and for the most part they went uncontested. Staffing agencies and employers for a long time accepted the information on CV’s and resumes pretty much at face value.  But no longer.

According to an article in the greatreporter.com, ” The latest Q4 Hudson Report on Employment and HR trends in China surveyed over 1,500 employers across Asia, and found that more than two-thirds (68%) of business respondents across all sectors had encountered candidates being dishonest about their background or experience in their resumes in China, a far higher proportion than in the other markets surveyed in Asia.   The report maintained that media and public relaitons candidates were the most prone to exaggerate their experiences.   Of the candidates interviewed, over 90% admitted to falsifying claims.   The second industry where claims of experience were grossly exaggerated waas the technology sector.  Nealry two thirds of those interviewed admitted to telling those little fibs that made them look better than they actually were.

There are falsified claims in just about every industry.   Everything from education history to work experience may be prone to hyperbole.   Chinese educators say the culture of cheating takes root in high school, where the entry into the better university is highly competitive and those without high marks don’t have a prayer of getting in.  So, I suppose, the next best thing is to lie about getting into the better schools.  While China’s  Ministry of Education ordered back in the 90’s two major antifraud campaigns in the 90s, the results were, to be kind, modest.   Not to besmirch another culture, but even in intelligence practices the more stealthy episodes of life are generally accepted as common practice.  In many cases efforts are even rewarded.

Corra Group has recently started to assemble a wall of shame, neatly framed copies of bogus degrees our client’s candidates offered as “proof” of their graduation.   Not only did some fail to graduate, but more than a few never even attended the college or university.   In terms of employment claims or  the inherent experience one would expect, things are not what they first appear to be.   Sometimes employment mills are used to fill in the gaps when a candidate wasn’t working. And sometimes they either just lie about it or try to stretch the duration of one job so that it ends commensurate with another, thus avoiding any gaps.

With background checks you can verify domestic and international education and employment.   In some cases, especially in the cases of the more senior executives further investigation is required to properly discern the realities of their proclaimed achievements.  A necessity as

Fraudulent claims from international employment candidates, especially from China, have necessitated an increased in employment and education verification background checks for employers looking to recruit applicants from these regions.   Many employment screening services have reported that the growing problem of academic and work qualification fraud in China has lead to increased business from background checking agencies.

For a long time international candidates made fraudulent claims and for the most part they went uncontested. Staffing agencies and employers for a long time accepted the information on CV’s and resumes pretty much at face value.  But no longer.

According to an article in the greatreporter.com, ” The latest Q4 Hudson Report on Employment and HR trends in China surveyed over 1,500 employers across Asia, and found that more than two-thirds (68%) of business respondents across all sectors had encountered candidates being dishonest about their background or experience in their resumes in China, a far higher proportion than in the other markets surveyed in Asia.   The report maintained that media and public relaitons candidates were the most prone to exaggerate their experiences.   Of the candidates interviewed, over 90% admitted to falsifying claims.   The second industry where claims of experience were grossly exaggerated waas the technology sector.  Nealry two thirds of those interviewed admitted to telling those little fibs that made them look better than they actually were.

There are falsified claims in just about every industry.   Everything from education history to work experience may be prone to hyperbole.   Chinese educators say the culture of cheating takes root in high school, where the entry into the better university is highly competitive and those without high marks don’t have a prayer of getting in.  So, I suppose, the next best thing is to lie about getting into the better schools.  While China’s  Ministry of Education ordered back in the 90’s two major antifraud campaigns in the 90s, the results were, to be kind, modest.   Not to besmirch another culture, but even in intelligence practices the more stealthy episodes of life are generally accepted as common practice.  In many cases efforts are even rewarded.

Corra Group has recently started to assemble a wall of shame, neatly framed copies of bogus degrees our client’s candidates offered as “proof” of their graduation.   Not only did some fail to graduate, but more than a few never even attended the college or university.   In terms of employment claims or  the inherent experience one would expect, things are not what they first appear to be.   Sometimes employment mills are used to fill in the gaps when a candidate wasn’t working. And sometimes they either just lie about it or try to stretch the duration of one job so that it ends commensurate with another, thus avoiding any gaps.

With background checks you can verify domestic and international education and employment.   In some cases, especially in the cases of the more senior executives further investigation is required to properly discern the realities of their proclaimed achievements.

Long gone are the days when you can take employment candidates at their word.  As noted earlier, in some cultures, lying about accomplishments and falsifying records is viewed as a pragmatic means of advancing one’s career.   It is considered in some cultures that you should not be punished for falsifying information, you should be rewarded for ingenuity.

So when recruiting new candidates, be careful with your approach.    Sometimes the supposed bargain international student or world experienced executive is in actuality under trained with gaps in that experience and with a  resume or CV peppered with bogus information.   And when you get “proof” of his education, have it verified through a legitimate background checking service.   The vaunted degree literally may not be worth the paper it is printed on.

Long gone are the days when you can take employment candidates at their word.  As noted earlier, in some cultures, lying about accomplishments and falsifying records is viewed as a pragmatic means of advancing one’s career.   It is considered in some cultures that you should not be punished for falsifying information, you should be rewarded for ingenuity.

So when recruiting new candidates, be careful with your approach.    Sometimes the supposed bargain international student or world experienced executive is in actuality under trained with gaps in that experience and with a  resume or CV peppered with bogus information.   And when you get “proof” of his education, have it verified through a legitimate background checking service.   The vaunted degree literally may not be worth the paper it is printed on.

Some Do’s and Don’ts For Employment Screening

Tue, June 28th, 2011 - 4:33 am - By Gordon Basichis

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As a background checking service, we at Corra Group are often asked questions about the legitimate utility of background checks for employment screening purposes.  Employers will often ask us specific information as well as asking for general information with regard to the proper way to conduct pre-employment screening.  Most employers are well intended and certainly with to remain compliant with federal labor statutes and the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

So here are some answers to some frequently answered questions.  The answers are courtesy of the Small Business Administration or the SBA.

 

Background checks: How far can you go?

Issue:   Your company is opening a new branch office and getting ready to hire workers. You would like to conduct background checks to get more information on the candidates in order to make informed decisions. What is permitted when checking applicants’ background and work history?

Se here is some answers to some frequently answered questions.

 

Answer:           Employers do not have unlimited rights to investigate applicants’ backgrounds and personal lives. If an individual’s privacy rights are violated, he or she can take legal action against you. The following list summarizes the types of information that employers often consult as part of a pre-employment check and the laws governing access and use for making hiring decisions.

•           Credit reports. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), employers must obtain an employee’s written consent before seeking an employee’s credit report. If you decide not to hire or promote someone based on information in the credit report, you must provide a copy of the report and let the applicant know of his or her right to challenge the report under the FCRA. Be aware that some states have more stringent rules limiting the use of credit reports.

•           Criminal records. To what extent a private employer may consider an applicant’s criminal history in making hiring decisions varies from state to state. Because of this variation, you should consult with a lawyer or do further legal research on the laws of your state before probing into whether or not an applicant has a criminal past.

•           Lie detector tests. The Employee Polygraph Protection Act prohibits most private employers from using lie detector tests. The law includes a list of exceptions that apply to certain sensitive businesses that provide armored car services, alarm or guard services, or manufacture, distribute, or dispense pharmaceuticals.

•           Medical records. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, employers may inquire only about an applicant’s ability to perform specific job duties and cannot request an employee’s medical records.

•           Bankruptcies. Bankruptcies are a matter of public record and may appear on an individual’s credit report. The Federal Bankruptcy Act prohibits employers from discriminating against applicants because they have filed for bankruptcy.

•           Military service. Military service records may be released only under limited circumstances, and consent is generally required. The military may, however, disclose name, rank, salary, duty assignments, awards, and duty status without the member’s consent.

•           School records. Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and similar state laws, educational records (such as transcripts, recommendations and financial information) are confidential and will not be released by the school without a student’s consent.

•           Workers’ compensation records. Workers’ compensation appeals are a matter of public record. Information from a workers’ compensation appeal may be used in a hiring decision if the employer can show that the applicant’s injury might interfere with his ability perform required duties.

Source: U.S. Small Business Administration; http://www.SBA.gov.

 

 


Advice About Updating Your Employment Drug Test Policy

Mon, June 27th, 2011 - 4:23 am - By Gordon Basichis

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Drug Testing is always a hot button issue.  It is a background check where, like with employment credit reports, people have strong opinions.  Employer zero tolerance drug policies have in recent years duked it out both in the courts and the workplace with the medical marijuana advocates.   Real issues regarding employees with legitimate reasons for using medical marijuana are contesting the harder edge policies on the part of most employers.

No matter.  It is essential that employers stay current and show willingness to update their drug screening policies.   These are certainly background checks that won’t be going away anytime soon.  So, with that in mind…

Here are three possible  reasons to update your company drug and alcohol testing policy

  1. The impact of Medical Marijuana on your program;
  2. ADA amendments that now impact your program; and
  3. New DOT rules.

If you have not addressed these issues, you must do so. Here’s what is happening:

 

Medical Marijuana: Fifteen (15) states and Washington, DC, now permit the medical use of marijuana. At least 15 more states have legislation on this subject currently pending. Each state’s laws are different, ranging from no application to the workplace (California) to limiting employer action without appropriate policies in place.

 

ADA Amendments: The ADA Amendment Act of 2008 took effect on January 1, 2009. The regulations interpreting that law will take effect July 1, 2011. Unlike previous Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) rules, these new rules directly impact workplace drug testing in two ways:

  1. the substances for which you are permitted to test (limited to DHHS-5, amphetamines, cocaine, marijuana, opiates, and PCP), and
  2. you can no longer have general rules requiring employees to report prescriptions.

DOT: There have been a number of DOT program updates over the past two (2) years. If you have employees who are required to have a commercial drivers license (CDL) as a requirement for employment, you should update

So stay current.  Stay aware.  And check them out before you hire.

 

NASDAQ Employee Slips Through Background Checks

Fri, June 24th, 2011 - 5:04 am - By Gordon Basichis

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A NASDAQ executive pleaded guilty to securities fraud, recently.   Given the performance of the past few years on Wall Street, this in and of itself is not news.   What is news is that this same executive had a history of drug abuse and criminal fraud.   In this case he defrauded investors our of approximately three quarters of a million bucks, which even this day, in the era of billions and trillions, still adds up to real money.

NASDAQ,of course,claims they conducted a background check on Donald Johnson.   But as writer  Joelle Scott puts so succinctly  in Forbes, “But then this brings us to the fundamental difference between a background check (a real one) and a check-the-box-let’s-just-make-sure-he-didn’t-kill-anyone search.  It’s the difference between cloud computing and DOS; an iPod and a Walkman; Toro sushi and Bumble Bee canned tuna…you get the picture.”

Especially when the employment candidate’s name is Donald Johnson.  A common name that requires additional research.  Not to be confused with the accomplished actor of the same name or the million other Donald Johnson’s who populate this earth.   Due diligence is the word of the day.  Especially when the guy is working for NASDAQ or any financial institution where he has access to other people’s money and the ability to defraud them.

Prior to his working for NASDAQ, Johnson admitted to drug abuse while working as a nurse in Virginia.    He falsified records to steal drugs.   Okay, so if you know that the person worked in healthcare, prudence would warrant a healthcare sanctions search, with the FACIS search being the first priority.  Following up with the related health and other regulatory agencies would maybe be a good idea, considering the candidate’s position.

Scott writes this is one of many candidates who lied about education, employment, criminal records, experience, any number of things.  Yes, indeed.  And all vagaries about the direction of the economy notwithstanding, the one thing I can assure you is there will be more candidates lying on their resumes.   In fact, we have seen an upsurge in falsifying claims about college degrees.    We have a wall of bogus diplomas, some of which are pretty shabby and some are impressive replicas and yet one more example of why G-d created Photo Shop.  Of course in some cases, on the diploma, the President of the University and other officiating bodies didn’t have tenure there until ten year after the candidate graduated.  But what the heck.

Anyway, it’s a good article and quite sensible, outlining once again that those who do not conduct or are haphazard abut their background checks are not being cost effective.  In fact, they are very foolish.

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