By Lubna Hamdan
It's big business for those involved, with over 3,000 unaccredited universities providing fraudulent documents, according to the DataFlow Group
Potential candidates are going above and beyond to bend the truth when it comes to their job applications, according to the DataFlow Group, a Dubai-based company that provides primary source verifications and background screenings.
It found that the most common lie told the the course of job applications is related to employment history, with over 20,000 cases of application fraud – making up 3% of verification applications - committed over the last five years, according to its figures.
“The majority of these cases are a result of candidates manipulating their employment documents, meaning that these individuals have listed a false reference or are dishonest about the position, tenure or company that they have provided as their work experience,” said DataFlow Group CEO Sunil Kumar.
“Had these falsifications not been discovered and such applicants were successful in securing employment, the effects of their under qualifications could have been catastrophic for the sectors they operate in, particularly when considering we predominantly operate within high-risk industries such as healthcare, engineering, finance and education,” he added.
It’s big business for those involved, with data from the group revealing over 3,000 unaccredited universities and diploma mills and 300 counterfeit diploma websites providing fraudulent documents to candidates.
To tackle fake degrees, DataFlow - which has processed over 2.5 million verifications since it was founded in 2006 - partners with ministries, regulators, immigration departments, licensing authorities and employers.
While verifying local applicants who studied at nearby universities and began their careers with local employers shouldn’t be too difficult for experienced hiring managers, in regions like the GCC where the majority of the workforce stems from global migration, the verification process becomes more complex.
Issues ranging from language barriers to time differences provide dishonest candidates the opportunity to successfully gain employment using fabricated career information.
Moreover, candidates who are found to have intentionally provided incorrect information in their job applications are at risk of being immediately terminated, losing their professional licenses or legal action.
In 2018, DataFlow launched blockchain-based platform TrueProfile.io to allow members to share their verifications with employers and regulators and allow recipients to check the validity of the verified documents.