Are your Job Applicants Lying to You?

Are your Job Applicants Lying to You?

I bet they are…


We have identified over 7,000 Fraudulent CRA resumes in circulation today. To put this number into perspective, this figure represents approximately 17% of the 40,000 individuals holding a CRA title found within our database. I’m not talking about doctoring minor details on the resume such as stretching dates or exaggerating a previous role; I am speaking of out-and-out fraud as it relates to candidates who have presented fake aspects of their credentials.

Faked degrees, fake certifications or fake references; in some instances, the individuals have never worked in the Clinical Research Industry. And the consequences of these lies are as serious as hiring unqualified individuals has legal, financial and employee moral implications.

Identifying the fraud:HiRes
Part of the challenge is the sophistication of this fraud.  There are organizations in existence whose entire business is to fake resumes. They will set up fake companies with fake websites with the sole purpose of manipulating the Hiring Managers’ view of their existence and the candidate’s credentials. Verification is harder than you think.

The first issue is that for any open position you may receive so many applications it will be hard to check each and every candidate’s credentials.

However, there are trends you can be on the lookout for, and being able to identify these trends makes it easier to spot a fraudster.

Knowing the trends:

Before you even interview the candidate, take a long hard look at the resume.  A few top trends that can help you decide to steer clear of a candidate include:

  1. No resume gaps: resumes representing no gaps in employment or between contracts should raise alarm bells. In this industry, it is very hard to never have a gap in a resume because the nature of our industry is that studies are cancelled or put on hold, enrollment just doesn’t happen, funding for the study is lost, etc. Because of the “start / stop” phenomena we all love about this industry, a resume with no gaps is immediately unusual.
  2. The resume contains several companies which are no longer in existence: We do understand that companies go out of business, are acquired or merge with other organizations; however, when individuals list many of these companies on their resume, you should dig deeper. Being able to verify the candidate really worked at these companies can be a challenge…and is sometimes impossible.
  3. Fake companies: If you haven’t heard of a Sponsor or CRO listed on the applicant’s resume, it may not be real. We have identified several fake companies consistently used by these fraudsters and most of them have websites.  Trust your instincts and industry knowledge.

The professionals we are usually interested in working with are the ones either gainfully employed or already in a contract.  They speak to us because there is a logical reason for their interest in what we are offering such as an opportunity for career progression or potential for gaining a new skill.

In addition, we have our own history we can rely on. We keep all resumes submitted which can date back to 2008 so when we get a more updated resume from a candidate, we always compare.  You would be surprised how often applicants change their employment history and being aware of this trend can help you steer clear of fraudulent candidates.

We would love to know if you have come across this issue. Are you surprised by what Angela has told us?

This blog has been adapted with Angela Roberts’ permission from the original post.

We are committed to emphasizing the important role of human factors – competence and engagement to support the technology and processes essential to successful clinical trials. For more information about how we can work with you to develop bespoke accreditations and career pathways for your staff contact us at:

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