27 June 2011

Fake resumes; Hyderabad leads

Every day the Indian IT industry wakes up with new challenges which could be from hiring skilled professionals to cost cutting during recession. Fake resumes are one of them. Since this is the first step in hiring, it makes it all the more difficult for companies to pick the right candidate. Despite having large HR departments, many IT companies have failed in identifying fake resumes. According to Employee verifications firms, recruitment companies and HR heads in the IT sector feel the number of fake resumes floating around have increased fourfold since 2007. Fake resumes have transformed and turned out to be a fine art nowadays. Most IT companies revealed that professionals from Hyderabad faked the most in their resumes.

MindTree terminated 80 employees out of 1000 recruited after it found they had filed false information, according to Subroto Bagchi, Chief Operating Officer, "MindTree is closely monitoring the resumes coming especially from Andhra Pradesh aspirants who provide false information to get a job owing to social pressures," he added.

The fakery included falsification of resumes, Most of them provided false employment information, incorrect tenure, gave away fake designations and some had also had negative supervisor or HR feedback. Manipulated educational information which had degrees from either unrecognized institutes or fake institutes and some had not completed the courses that they had claimed to have done.

Not only the IT sectors the, banking and financial services industry (BFSI) has also received the fake resume menace with major chunk coming from Hyderabad. Ashish Dehade, Managing director (West Asia) of First Advantage, told Financial Chronicle that Hyderabad emerged as one of the top cities with highest number of suspect companies that issued fake resumes.

Noby Nazareth, head of employee verification firm, Evaluationz, said that 25 percent of the resumes that reach him are found to be false or fabricated or exaggerated. This is largely because some candidates have become much "smarter" in faking it and there are some recruitment agencies are even helping them do it. According to Nazareth, a lot of fake resumes involve candidates from Hyderabad.

"Most of these companies who provide fake experience certificates, salary slips and even fake educational certificates are located in Hyderabad, while there are quite a few of them in Bangalore and many other cities as well," said Deepankar Sanwalkar who heads the Forensic Dept of KPMG.

Considering the above facts if we analyze why Hyderabad is leading in fake resumes, we have their state government recently admitting that not more than 10 percent of their engineering graduates are actually employable. Only 12 percent engineering students from Andhra Pradesh were selected in campus recruitment in the previous academic year and the figure declined further in the current year, a recent study by National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) has shown.

Small or big, all IT companies have faced and continue to face the scourge. Wipro, Infosys, TCS and Cognizant and others say they have taken corrective measures to stop the fakes from getting hired.

It is not only the fake resumes which has brought Hyderabad into the spotlight, during the Tri-valley university, the city drew a lot of attention as the scam claimed that as many as 1,555 students, mostly from Andhra Pradesh enrolled at the Pleasanton School were using fake visas. In a complaint filed Jan 19 in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, the U.S. Attorney's Office alleges that the owner of Tri Valley University used the school to help foreigners illegally obtain student visas that allow them to stay in the U.S.