5 Ways Job Applicants Try to Trick the System

March 29, 2018

Background checks on prospective employees are an important part of verifying applicants’ qualifications and identifying any legal or security risks that could be harmful to the company. Job applicants are generally honest when it comes to background checks, but some have found ways to get around these checks.

Here are five ways prospective employees might try to undermine the background check system to avoid revealing certain information that could prevent them from being hired.

1.       Omitting a Past Employer from a Job Application
Job applicants might purposely leave off a past employer if they know that the employer will not provide a positive reference. While this might not seem as serious as providing false information to hide criminal activity, employers should keep in mind that this behavior reflects negatively on the job applicant. It shows that they might not have the honesty and integrity they claim to have, which can affect their job performance. Employers should also keep in mind that applicants might omit a past employer if they had complaints filed against them with the HR department.

2.       Providing a False Date of Birth
Some job applicants enter a false date of birth to prevent criminal records from showing up on a background check. Because these records include the full name and date of birth, it’s important for employers to ensure that applicants have provided the correct birth date for the background check. Employers might do this by asking for a driver’s license or other form of legal ID. The date of birth on this ID should match the birth date on the application or background check form.

3.       Claiming Working for a Nonexistent Employer
Prospective employees might claim to work for a company that does not actually exist if they want to cover gaps on their resume. This is relatively easy to do thanks to online services that provide nonexistent employer information for paying customers. Employers should ensure that they look into past employers listed in order to verify that they do exist.

4.       Providing a False Social Security Number to Hide Previous Addresses
Job applicants with a criminal past sometimes give a false Social Security number that allows them to hide where they have previously lived. This makes it harder to find evidence of past criminal activity on background checks. Employers should have job applicants provide a valid form of ID that shows their Social Security number, such as a Social Security card. This number should be the same as the one provided for the background check.

5.       Providing a False Social Security Number to Prove They Can Legally Work in the U.S.
Job applicants who are not legally able to work in the U.S. can get around this requirement by giving a false Social Security number. Employers who then hire these applicants can end up facing legal trouble if Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) discovers that these employees do not have legal rights to work in the U.S. Employers should make sure that applicants show proof that their Social Security number is valid by providing a copy of their Social Security card and presenting at least one other form of valid ID.

Contributed by Ricky Rayborn of LaborChex.

Through the Michigan Chamber of Commerce partnership with LaborChex, you don’t have to worry about applicants tricking the system and get access to quality, discounted pricing for employment background screening services. To learn more, call 1-800-880-0366.