Fraud in the Time of Corona

Resume Fraud: Old Anomalies, New Perspectives

In line with the extra flexibility that has been required in all arenas of daily life this past year, we here at Dataspace have needed to be even more attentive to our evaluation of potential anomalies that we spot in the resumes coming in to us.

For example, candidates aren’t always in the actual physical location of their employer. Many might be in different states than their company office.

Others have strange gaps in their resumes – maybe their most recent role lasted only a couple of months.

Often these points, especially the latter, serve as a warning sign for us. If candidates are potentially being untruthful about the details of their resumes or have a tendency to jump around to different jobs without fulfilling their obligations, we might not be comfortable recommending them to our clients.

However, given the way that the pandemic has played out these factors might not necessarily be indicative of a problematic employee. Remote work has been the status quo throughout the past year, and many have chosen to travel out of state to quarantine with/care for family members. Similarly, projects shutting down without warning or offers of employment being rescinded once lockdown started have unfortunately been common experiences.

That said, we have also had to keep a sharp eye out for candidates who take advantage of the situation, and try to use vague “because of Covid” excuses to cover a multitude of issues with their recent employment history or failure to complete projects.

For example, we recently interviewed a Data Engineer candidate who told us that the reason that he was looking for new opportunities was because his current employer was cutting back their team due to Covid related re-organizations. What this candidate didn’t know was that his employer was also a client of ours, and therefore we were well aware that they were in fact HIRING for multiple Data Engineering roles at the time. A few more questions into the technical portion of the interview revealed some severe gaps in this candidate’s knowledge base – which seem to be a more likely explanation for why they were not receiving offers of a contract renewal.

Covid covers a multitude of resume anomalies… but will never be a valid excuse for deception.

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