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Providing a fake job reference that will lie and speak glowingly about you is nothing new. People have been asking this of friends and family for decades. However, now there are web-based companies that will offer not only references but fake work histories for a fee. They are changing the dynamic of “resume padding” and complicating the lives of many a hiring manager and HR department.
For many it does not matter that they are taking a huge legal risk by employing companies to provide these types of services. The fact that they are committing fraud probably does not enter their minds. Desperate job-seekers will do desperate things, and unscrupulous job seekers do not simply think in those terms.
So what is an employer to do?
Most employers are able to spot false references by simply practicing due diligence in their job screening practices. It is when employers take things at face value that they get in trouble. Several steps an employer can take include:
1) Google the company to see if it actually exists. See if you can find a physical address for the business via Google Places. Remember, “virtual” companies are what these firms sell.
2) Contact the company directly (after you perform your Google search) to verify if the reference listed on the resume is an actual employee or former employee.
3) Conduct a reverse phone number search on any provided number and never call a cell-phone number. It is true that many employees work remotely and use their cell phone more than they use their office or landline phone, but ask for a landline phone number. You will be surprised at the reaction you get. If the person hangs up on you…you know that “something is up”.
4) Personally look up the reference via LinkedIn, and confirm that they actually worked at the company at the same time as the candidate.
5) Do not quiz the reference at all. Instead ask the person for other references and then contact those people. Very few candidates (legitimate or fake) provide anything other than stellar references. Secondary references are much more reliable to begin with, and fake references will probably be unable to provide them.
6) Specifically ask for references of someone who has directly managed the candidate in the past.
7) Trust the direct hire experts at Snelling. Our trained professionals take the time, hassle and risks out of verifying a candidate’s background, work eligibility status and references. We locate the person that is the best fit- every time. So contact your local Snelling office today!