Buying your references

Buying a reference to cover lies in your resume is now a "thing" and it presents organisations with a major challenge.

September 21, 2016
Written by
Courtney Erichetti
Published by
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Buying your references

Now more than ever, employers are getting pickier and pickier when hiring new staff. Not only that, but the average person changes jobs ten, to fifteen times during his, or her career. According to the publication The Balance, most workers now spend five years or less in a job. The reason being, employees are seeking bigger benefits and fulfillment. Now more than ever, it’s not just about what the employers want, it’s about what the employees want.

So the first stage in recruitment is usually looking over someone’s resume and then, if the candidate is of interest, conducting a face-to-face interview. The resume has always been a crucial part of the recruitment process, as it’s the first impression an employee makes, and either makes you or breaks you. 

A good resume can be the difference between you getting a job or not.

According to The Balance, it is believed that 50 to 55 percent of resumes have embellishments or padded truths. And according to Workplace Ethics Advice, 80% of resumes are misleading, with qualifications, employment dates, salary, references and job descriptions all being areas of potential falsehood. Even social media platforms can easily be created to project a persona of someone you are not. In 2016, there are countless ways to fool your potential employer. Previously, falsehoods could be detected by picking up the phone and calling a previous employer. But now faking referees seems to be a more common trend and creates very costly dilemma for employers.

A moral issue in fibbing? is a site that creates an entire fake company to substantiate your reference. They provide a virtual company website, with a local phone number, a HR operator and staged supervisor, to answer calls from prospective employers and provide them with required references. William Schmidt created the site in 2009 after a couple of his co-workers asked him to be their reference after being laid off at work. Not long after, Schmidt realised there was a serious demand for this type of service. Surprisingly though CareerExcuse was not the first of its kind; there are other companies such as Reference Store who provide fake references at a price too.

“Yes, there’s a moral issue in fibbing on your résumé to land a job, but that’s for people to deal with themselves,” Schmidt insisted. 

“In today’s environment with rampant unemployment, everyone’s looking for an edge. Our service just gets them the interview." - William Schmidt,”

It seems that the main reason these sort of businesses can get away with providing fake references thus far, is because of the cost associated with checking the information provided. Employment verification, civil database searches and criminal background checks, all cost money and time, a lot of which businesses no longer have, especially if they are looking to quickly replace an employee. 

In order to reduce their exposure to the risk of this sort of fraud, organisations need to find efficient ways of increasing their vigilance and shoring up their screening practices.


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