Ways to Spot Fake Job Applicants

May 29, 2024

Ways to Spot Fake Job Applicants

Don’t you love it when a terrific clinical research associate (CRA) just falls out of the sky? A decade ago when an outstanding CRA resume came across my desk, I was overjoyed. Of course, a decade ago fake job applicants weren’t as prevalent as they are now.

Today I would be highly suspicious of this ‘perfect’ candidate. We just published the first article of a whistleblower series where we revealed a specific program that sells ‘perfect’ credentials to individuals who have zero industry experience. We have heard about these programs for years, but they are gaining popularity. Currently, at least 50% of the individuals applying to our CRA positions are fake job applicants.

For clarity purposes, when I speak about fake job applicants or candidate fraudulence, I am not talking about slight resume embellishments or fabrications. Candidate fraudulence goes well beyond a candidate tweaking a past title or exaggerating a few accomplishments or key skills. I am speaking about the outright falsification of credentials such as misrepresenting employment history, stating they have a degree they haven’t obtained, or providing fake references. I recently pushed out a post titled Are your Job Applicants Lying to You? that identified some of the top trends that fake job applicants are employing. This article also includes a checklist hiring managers and recruiters can use to help spot these fraudsters.

Identifying the ‘Fake CRA Candidate’ trend is our business because networking with CRAs is our business. But don’t be misled, the CRA role isn’t the only one plagued with fraudulence. The FBI speculates that we are living in what they are calling the Golden Age of Fraud. And the feedback I am receiving aligns with that. One CRO just told me that 70% of their CRA applicants were fake. Another company told me that 90% of their project manager candidates were fake.

Our industry is important, and our goal is to arm hiring managers with information to spot potentially fake job applicants. Have you ever received a fraudulent resume? What do you think is a red flag in a resume? What do you believe is the primary root cause of the fraudulence we are seeing? How can we combat this as an industry? We would love to hear your thoughts.

This blog has been adapted with Angela Roberts’ permission.

At IAOCR 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. Our purpose is to minimize risks to patients, clinical trials, and commercial activities by improving the quality and performance of clinical research workforces.

IAOCR is the only organization in the world to provide truly internationally recognizable, robust and meaningful accreditation of clinical research professionals, training programs and companies based on competence. Something that would help mitigate the risk of fraudulent candidates. Contact us to learn more about how you can demonstrate your competence and stand out from the competition for the right reasons.

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