Liar for Hire? Fake CVs Floor Indian Job Market

Managers of an IT company in New Delhi were puzzled as they sifted through a pile of 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 specializes in screening background information given by prospective employees. The “employer” turned out to be an owner of a dingy one-room mobile repair shop who was pretending to be an 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. 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 their CV in 2012-13 and as many as 51% submitted fake education documents. Background screening was hardly heard of in India until the turn of the millennium, and has been largely driven by the outsourcing and IT industry, one of India’s biggest economic success stories. The Indian Association of Professional Background Screeners pegs the size of the industry at about $32 million annually and growing fast. “The need for background verifications will continue to grow as entities continue to fudge data and make false claims,” said Tejas Sanghvi from Supersoft.

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