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EMPLOYEE FRAUD

Enough and more has been said about the Uber Cab fiasco. In the wake of that and several other similar cases of frauds that can be prevented, I write this blog. In the last half a decade or so, Human Resource’s role in Preventive Vigilance has become increasingly important. So here are some tips for HR professionals who may be new to this:

1.  Resume Frauds

Candidates today are a step ahead of you. While they will put incorrect dates on their resume to hide their gaps, they will put correct details in your Reference Check Form.  This Reference Check Form is submitted to background screening companies for verification and so they never get caught.

Tip: Put a process in place to tally the resume given at interview stage with the Reference Check Form.

2.  Excuses for Relieving Letters

Relieving Letters are a proof that the employee was clear of all frauds from his previous employer. However in a lot of cases, HR gets tricked by the candidate with some of the following reasons:

“I had to leave without serving Notice Period and thus I don’t have my Relieving Letter”

“I lost my Relieving Letter”

“My company didn’t give me one as it’s a small company”

Don’t settle for these excuses. 80% of all such cases have a hidden story of fraud in the past employment.

Tip: Get the excuse validated by an authorized HR person from his past company.

3.  Experience Letter ≠ Relieving Letter

Candidates who provide an Experience Letter instead of a Relieving Letter may have a questionable past. Experience Letter is sometimes issued by companies in place of Relieving Letter when the employee has been terminated on grounds of misconduct.

Tip: You must know the termination/ exit policy of most companies in your industry, especially the ones from where you hire a lot.

4.  Supervisor feedback

Never overrule a poor past Supervisor feedback. The common excuse we hear from the employee is that my supervisor didn’t want me to leave and thus he is giving a bad review. While you may still ignore poor performance comments, never ever ignore poor feedback on compliance or integrity. Supervisors will almost never cook up a story about poor integrity unless it is absolutely true.

Tip: When in doubt on integrity, absolutely don’t hire.

5.  Criminal checks

The situation in our country is a little tragic as we don’t have a digitized process of recording FIRs. We don’t have computerized records and everything is filed manually. Thus the only way to verify criminal records is by a physical verification which can only be done provided you have got the location of the fraud right. It is very easy for an employee to move his location and he would never get implicated in any of the criminal checks that you do.

Tip: Even though it’s not full proof, do media / electronic criminal checks for certain roles

6.  Education frauds

Please keep the list of fraudulent universities handy. Your database should immediately identify these. Of course this is not a full proof method as most of the fraudulent certificates are created in the name of Mumbai University. So please do an education verification.

Tip: You may decide to do education verification on a sample basis. This will deter those who have a fraudulent education from applying to your company.

7.  Be alert in your documentation

Sometimes a clear give away is when there are typos on Relieving Letters or Appointment Letters of well known companies. Please note that most companies have standard formats and they will definitely not make mistakes in spelling or grammar on these. It could be an indication that the candidate has created this letter.

Tip: Hire those with eye for detail in your HR Operations team who can spot fake documents

8.  Resumes with unclear dates

Resumes with only year of joining and leaving without the month would mean that there is some gap in the employment which the candidate is hiding. Please don’t get me wrong. Gaps are absolutely fine in one’s resume. But hiding them is not.

Tip: Always check dates in the interviews and write down the month of joining and leaving.

9.  “Was” phenomenon

Sometimes candidates have already left their current company. But they decide to not inform in the interview. So pay attention if the candidate even refers once to his current company in the past tense.

“My role was…. “

“My boss was….”

“My salary was…”

Tip: If you are in doubt, ask the candidate why he resigned from his current company. The genuine ones will immediately tell you that they haven’t and the ones lying will stumble for a bit and then tell you why they resigned.

10.  Credit worthiness

This may seem unnecessary. But believe me, I have found that in most cases those who were caught doing financial frauds had poor CIBIL scores. This may be more relevant for Banks or jobs which deal with cash.

Tip: If the CIBIL report shows more than one loan written off or settled, you may not want to hire him in a vulnerable job.

So wishing you all an unadulterated hiring process in 2015…

P.S. I am not sure if the above rules are applicable to countries outside India.

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