Articles

Resume Fraud:

The Story of the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey

This is Kevin Connell with kevinconnell.com. I’m also the CEO and founder of Accuscreen.com.  Accuscreen is like human virus protection for your business.  We help companies prevent hiring the employee from hell.

What we’re going to talk about today is an experiment that was done back in the 1980’s.  It was done by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.  And for those of you who are unfamiliar with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, they’re responsible for the bridges and tunnels going in and out of New York City, such as the George Washington Bridge, the Holland and Lincoln Tunnels, etc.  But what I want to talk about is the experiment that they did in terms of an ad that they were soliciting resumes for.  They were looking for electricians that have experience with “sawn tag conductors.”  And, not surprisingly, after they put the position out there, electricians who have experience with sawn tag conductors, their resumes came pouring in.  It was a good job to be had and naturally people had responded to the ad.

What was interesting is – out of all the resumes that came in, either on the resume itself or through the cover letter, one third of them had indicated that they had had in fact experience with sawn tag conductors.  The only problem – there’s no such thing as a sawn tag conductor!  These applicants had lied.  It’s not a new phenomenon – it’s called resume fraud.  And the motive behind this was they wanted to get a job with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.  And they saw that they were asking for electricians that had experience with sawn tag conductors, so they had lied.  And again, it’s not a new phenomenon.  It’s called resume fraud.  And the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey found that one third of them had lied.

The statistics that we keep at Accuscreen – actually what we call our discrepancy rate – is actually north of 40%.  So 40% of the job applicants that we are doing a background check on – some sort of discrepancy comes to light.  And the only way to find these discrepancies, in my experience, is to do a background check.  The past is the best predictor of the future.  So, if somebody is putting down on their resume that they have experience in such and such area, you need to verify that information.  And in upcoming conversations we are going to be talking about solutions, best practices for your business or your company – whether you’re human resource manager, a vice president of human resources, the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, or a small business owner – there are some important tools that you need to be equipped with.  And that’s what I’m hoping to do – is to provide to you solutions.  So we’re going to be talking about the problems, we’re going to be talking about the business challenges that are out there.  I’m going to talk about stories that are outrageous, extreme.  Some of them will be very, very funny.  Some of them will be very, very serious.  But what I’m hoping to accomplish is to deliver information to you, so you are well equipped and you have the power of knowledge and you have the solutions in hand to be successful in whatever your endeavor is.  We’ll be going on subject and off subject in many of these upcoming podcasts.

But what I wanted to get across today was – the point is – resume fraud is out there, fraud in general is out there and we want to educate as many people as we can in terms of, number one:

  • identify the problem,
  • and then number two – what are the best practices and what are the solutions.

So, again, this is Kevin Connell, CEO and founder of Accuscreen.  And I welcome you to one of many podcasts in the forthcoming weeks.  Thank you.

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