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How to Outsmart Fraudulent IT Candidates

Searching for the perfect new job is stressful and the competition is fierce, which can lead some candidates down the path of embellishing their experience and qualifications. While it’s natural to highlight accomplishments and downplay the negative parts of employment history, candidates cross the line when self-promotion devolves into lies and misdirection. And unfortunately, it’s not uncommon — in fact, 78% of job seekers misrepresent themselves on resumes and applications.  

Outsmarting Fake Candidates 

HR professionals, hiring managers, and team leaders can minimize the risk of hiring fraudulent IT candidates by taking a few simple steps throughout the hiring process, including: 

  • Use facial recognition technology
    Facial recognition technology can be an efficient tool for verifying that the candidate in a video interview matches the person on their government-issued identification. It should be note that employers are weighing the value of facial analysis during interviews, which goes a level deeper to understand if what a candidate says matches their true intentions — these tools may be biased toward certain candidates over others. 
  • Ask questions outside of technology
    Fraudulent IT candidates may be able to fake or be fed answers to questions about technology and coding. However, asking questions about their motivations, such as why and how they became interested in Java, Agile, etc. can uncover fraud. Questions about their previous projects, what they learned from them, and how they contributed to them can also reveal whether they are genuine candidates or not. 
  • Meet in person if possible
    For remote work positions, it’s beneficial to interview candidates in person if possible. This removes the possibility of seeing a different person on paper versus in real life. In-person interviews also allow hiring managers to observe nonverbal cues, which can help them determine whether a candidate is being truthful or not. 
  • Check credentials at the source
    Hiring managers should verify the authenticity of candidates’ credentials at the source, such as universities, certificate programs, and accreditation bodies. This can be done by contacting the institution directly and asking for confirmation of the candidate’s qualifications. In a recent survey of 1,250 senior staff managers about their hiring process, only 53% always verify a candidate’s credentials. 
  • Disallow the use of certain technologies during interviews
    Hiring managers should also disallow the use of certain technologies during interviews, like headphones or typing. These tactics could be used to receive answers from someone else or search for information online, making it difficult to assess a candidate’s true abilities and knowledge. 
  • Be vigilant for red flags like generic companies and job-hopping state to state
    Another red flag to look out for is a candidate who fits a certain pattern that may indicate fraud. Be wary of candidates who only have very large enterprises in their experience, where it can be difficult to pinpoint a reference who can verify their skills. Frequently these candidates will have job-hopped from state to state, and may also have a small consulting firm listed as their most recent place of employment where they will have a friend verify their employment and skills – whether it is legitimate or not.  

Partner with an Experienced Talent, Staffing, and Executive Search Firm  

The most efficient way to combat risk and costly hiring mistakes associated with fraudulent IT candidates is to work with a trusted partner. However, it’s important to note that not all partners will have your organization’s best interests in mind. Some simply want to place as many candidates as possible, regardless of their skillset and fit for your needs, to maximize their profits without regard to their reputation or longevity. 

The Judge Group has seen virtually every fraudulent IT candidate tactic and mitigated the risks associated with these bad actors for decades. Judge is trusted by over 60 of the Fortunate 100 and has connected the best people and solutions with organizations for lasting success. Our recruiters can help your organization navigate the frequently choppy waters of finding and selecting the right IT candidate.  

We’re exploring this issue in depth to help uncover the challenges and solutions around hiring IT candidates. Check out the first and second blogs in this series by clicking the links below, and download our new ebook, Fraudulent IT Candidates: How to Identify and Reduce the Risks of Costly Staffing Mistakes, to learn more 

The Challenge of Identifying Fraudulent IT Candidates 

How to Spot Common Tactics Used by Fraudulent IT Candidates