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Inside the Shady New World of Fake Resumes, Professional Interviewees, and Other Job-Seeker Scams

A few years ago, Daniel Zubairi caught a job applicant in a flagrant lie. The woman’s résumé said she worked at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. That didn’t sound right. Zubairi’s Bethesda, Maryland-based cybersecurity company, SydanTech, worked closely with NOAA–and Zubairi had never heard of her.

As it happened, Zubairi was at the agency’s offices during the woman’s phone interview. He asked to meet her in person. “Sir,” she said, “I’d like to end the interview now.” Click. Zubairi ran a background check. She was a home nursing assistant.

Job seekers have been fudging their accomplishments forever. But founders across the country say they’ve lately seen a surge of incidents that take job-applicant fakery to new–and shadier–levels. Totally false résumés featuring fictional employers. Professional interviewees. Covert coaching of candidates with no experience.

The stories have spread virally among business leaders. A CEO has a suspicious experience. She talks to another CEO, who says he’s heard similar stories. At a meetup of 50 CEOs this past summer, Zubairi shared his story. “Everyone agreed that they’ve seen something to that effect,” says Ahmed R. Ali, founder of the Rockville, Maryland-based Tista Science and Technology Corporation, who was in the room.

Hirer Beware
Tips for weeding out fraudulent job applicants
1. Request references from every applicant.
2. Contact hiring managers at previous employers.
3. Do background checks–expensive but worth it.
4. Ask granular questions about skills and former jobs.
5. Give everyone a skills test.

Zubairi and his peers have identified a growing problem, one that’s been largely unreported. It starts with low unemployment–now at its lowest since 1969. A tight labor market can be especially tricky for fast-growing startups. (SydanTech, No. 78 on this year’s Inc. 5000, certainly qualifies.) An imbalance of available talent and a company’s needs can send a dangerous message: These guys are desperate to fill seats.

Zubairi says he’s now caught multiple applicants in similar lies, and even identified a SydanTech employee who successfully faked his interview and worked at the company for nine months–before being caught and fired. Cybersecurity firms are especially vulnerable: The industry’s unemployment rate has been near zero since 2016. And many of Zubairi’s available jobs pay a minimum of $120,000 per year.

Cybersecurity is far from the only field affected. About the same time as Zubairi’s first encounter, Biju Kurian was in Oklahoma City, running Objectstream, an aviation IT company. (“We make flying safe,” he says.) Objectstream is also growing quickly–No. 2,992 on this year’s Inc. 5000–in a lucrative field with a talent gap. Kurian’s problem:

A woman who’d impressed over the phone had a different voice when she arrived for her first day, and seemed unfamiliar with the conversation they’d had. Eventually, he confronted her. She broke down, confessed, apologized, and quit on the spot.

On the surface, these appear to be candidates taking desperate measures. But the candidates themselves may not be the only ones at fault. As recruitment has migrated online and become automated, says Ben Zhao, a University of Chicago professor who studies online market­places, opportunities for scammers have arisen.

Profes­sional recruiters, who get placement fees when they land candidates in jobs, have a clear incentive to game the system, Zhao says. They are “middlemen who can make significant profit by misrepresenting clients.”

They might hire professional interviewees to do phone interviews, or feed answers to inexperienced candidates in real time. Or they might fake client résumés to make them look better to hiring algorithms–sometimes without telling those clients.

Michael Mathews, founder of Toledo, Ohio-based automotive recruiting firm Moxee, estimates that as many as 20 percent of recruiters are at least dabbling in such tactics. “It doesn’t surprise me anymore,” he says.

Zubairi thinks he’s found a way to screen some fakes. After his CEO meetup, he downloaded résumés submitted to SydanTech through the job site Indeed–and found dozens of near-identical documents. They bore the same formatting, titles, and job descriptions, down to the word. The only differences: the names of the applicants and the companies they claimed to have worked for. (Indeed declined to comment, but Inc. reviewed a selection of these documents.)

One common name on many of the dubious résumés: the Nigbel Group, whose bare-bones website describes it as an IT company in Houston. Zubairi says he’s called its phone number and nobody has ever picked up. Nigbel did not respond to multiple Inc. requests for comment, nor is it listed in the Texas Secretary of State’s database of taxable entities. To Mathews, the company sounds strikingly similar to fictional businesses he’s seen created by other recruiters to help punch up fake résumés.

In an age of digitally driven misinformation, perhaps it’s not surprising that fake job applicants would surge. As with other online-marketplace scams–say, counterfeit goods on Amazon–startups are more vulnerable than larger companies, simply because they have less money for prevention. “Smaller companies that don’t have resources will continue to be defrauded by these attackers,” predicts Zhao. And tech platforms will continue to play catchup with their hijackers.

By: Cameron Albert-Deitch Reporter, Inc. @c_albertdeitch

Source: Inside the Shady New World of Fake Resumes, Professional Interviewees, and Other Job-Seeker Scams

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An unfortunate reality is that of scam artists or con artists, and they can appear when we least expect them. We see con artists depicted in Hollywood movies and TV. We hear of various scams on the news. One type of scam that is becoming more common is the Job Scam. So, how can you identify if a job is legitimate or a scam? Here are my top 8 tips: 1. Immediate Offer – if you are given an offer without as much as an interview. 2. Interview via IM – employers typically conduct interviews, but legitimate employers do not use Instant Messenger to interview. 3. Poor Spelling & Grammar in Job Ad – this refers to obvious spelling and grammar mistakes. 4. E-mail Address – the email address should be professional and include the company name (not Gmail, yahoo, live, etc.). 5. Asks You to Pay – legitimate employers will never ask you to transfer money to them for any reason. 6. Personal Info – this is a tricky one. Although you will need to send your personal details eventually to an employer as per their background check process, be wary of any websites to which you need to upload your personal information. It should be an https address (the “s” stands for secure). 7. Bank Details – again, legitimate employers will need your banking details in order to pay you. Be wary if a prospective employer asks for additional banking information, such as the answers to your security questions or for your PIN number. 8. Intuition – trust your intuition. If you believe a job might be a scam, be sure to proceed with extra caution and do your research! What to do if you Suspect a Job is a Scam? For every role, it is highly recommended that you conduct thorough research on the organization and on the people with whom you will be meeting. That said, some of the savvier scam artists have “borrowed” LinkedIn profiles of legitimate people. Be sure to take note of the LinkedIn profile to see how many connections a person has (i.e. do they have any connections? Is the profile complete?). If you do suspect that you have been contacted by a job scammer, be sure to report it to the local police, or in Canada to the RCMP’s fraud unit. Finally, be sure to share your experience with others and share this video. The more we are aware of these types of scams and are able to help others identify them, all ships will float higher. If you would like personalized advice, you can find me on http://www.jobhuntsolutions.com or if you have any questions, you can leave a comment below, or contact me here: Email: nicole@jobhuntsolutions.com Website: http://www.jobhuntsolutions.com Twitter: @ recruitmentcoach LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/job-… Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jobhuntsolut… Until next time, happy hunting!

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22 Ways To Completely Ruin Any Chance Of Succeeding In Your Interview

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You always read about what you ought to do in an interview. I thought it might be even more helpful to share some blunders that you should avoid throughout the interview process. If you do engage in these actions, I can guarantee that you’ll epically fail and enrage the interviewers. You’ll probably also be barred from ever interviewing there again.

  • Offer available times to interview that are solely convenient for you. You don’t care if its burdensome to the interviewers, as it’s all about you.
  • If it turns out that the time you confirmed is now inconvenient for you, cancel the meeting minutes before the interview is scheduled to start.
  • Show up late to the interview. Compound this by not offering any apologies as to why you’re late or asking forgiveness for making them wait 30 minutes for you.
  • As you arrive tardy, you are holding a Starbucks coffee and loudly slurping it in front of everyone.
  • It’s August in New York City and about 100 degrees on the trains. You don’t find it important to go to the bathroom and get freshened up—you just arrive disheveled and offer a sopping wet handshake.
  • Of course, you don’t have to bring a résumé or business card.
  • You call the hiring manager by the wrong name twice, after she has has already corrected you.
  • Your phone rings and your ringtone is a gangster rap song filled with profanity and inappropriate lyrics. You answer the call and put up your index finger, signaling the universal “I’ll be with you in a minute” sign. You then follow up with a “shush” when they’re talking too loudly and interfering with your call.  In fact, you look annoyed at them for looking annoyed at you.
  • As the interviewer asks questions, you look bored and apathetic—trying to play hard to get.
  • You provide answers to a question that wasn’t asked. When corrected, you admit that you weren’t paying attention to the question. In this moment, you think the interviewer will value your honesty.
  • Instead of giving concise answers, you try being different by offering awkwardly long and meandering soliloquies that confuse and annoy everyone.
  • You talk trash about your former employer and co-workers. You think they will love hearing about how terrible their competitors are and appreciate the juicy gossip.
  • You ask if it’s okay to date the boss, as you’ve done so in the past.
  • Before anything else, you demand to know the salary, bonus, where your office is located and how much vacation time and sick days you get, as well as other perks.
  • You are rude and dismissive to the receptionist in the lobby when she doesn’t let you in right away. You let her know important people are expecting you.
  • You take copious notes while everyone is talking and don’t look up at all while you are writing.
  • In the middle of the interview, while they are in the midst of asking you a question, interrupt precipitously and tell them you have a hard stop and need to go to another interview, which you’re already late for.
  • When the interviewer asks you a question, you sigh in annoyance and inquire, “Didn’t you read my résumé?”
  • You either avoid all eye contact or stare directly into their eyes for the entire duration of the interview.
  • If you’re bored, you fiddle with the objects on the interviewer’s desk and distractedly look around the room.
  • You constantly interrupt the interviewer with nonsensical questions.
  • Wrap up the interview by asking, “Are you going to give me an offer or what?”

While it may sound like I am exaggerating with these gaffes to humor you and make a point, you would be surprised to know that these are all real-life instances that I’ve encountered as an executive recruiter and hiring manager for my own team. I can tell you firsthand, if you exhibit any of these behaviors, I can assure you that you’ll totally flounder and sabotage your own chances of attaining a new job.

 

I am a CEO, founder, and executive recruiter at one of the oldest and largest global search firms in my area of expertise, and have personally placed thousands of professionals with top-tier companies over the last 20-plus years. I am passionate about advocating for job seekers. In doing so, I have founded a start-up company, WeCruitr, where our mission is to make the job search more humane and enjoyable. As a proponent of career growth, I am excited to share my insider interviewing tips and career advancement secrets with you in an honest, straightforward, no-nonsense and entertaining manner. My career advice will cover everything you need to know, including helping you decide if you really should seek out a new opportunity, whether you are leaving for the wrong reasons, proven successful interviewing techniques, negotiating a salary and accepting an offer and a real-world understanding of how the hiring process actually works. My articles come from an experienced recruiter’s insider perspective.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/

 

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