Is Recruitment Software Encouraging Fraudulent Applications?

November 10, 2016
Is Recruitment Software Encouraging Fraudulent Applications?

Recruitment software is meant to improve your hiring processes. And in many ways, it does! You can save a lot of time and money by replacing outdated paper methods with automated processes. You can also take advantage of data analysis to help guide the hiring decisions you make.

But one thing that technology is notorious for, is taking away the “human” element from processes. And in some industries, this can be very damaging.

Lead fraud in the advertising industry

If you are an advertiser, you will be familiar with the term “lead fraud”.

Lead fraud can mean many things. For example, if you were to fill in a survey with false details in order to gain a reward, you would be committing lead fraud.

In the advertising industry, lead fraud is a very big problem. According to emerging tech company Databowl, around 25% of data in the lead generation industry is fraudulent or inaccurate!

But how does this apply to recruitment and HR? Is it possible that technology enables lead fraud within our recruitment pipeline?

Lead fraud in the recruitment industry

I read an interesting story on recently.

In 2010, the state of Tennessee’s HR department decided to say goodbye to paper applications, and moved their hiring processes online. So what happened?

“Curiously” said Stephanie Penney, assistant commissioner in the state’s HR office, “people tended to be more untruthful in an online application than on old-fashioned paper applications”. She stated that applicants were lying about important details, such as having a doctoral degree. She also said that applicants were exaggerating their work experience.

Perhaps this isn’t lead fraud as we know it. But it is certainly an example of how technology is creating challenges, as well as opportunities, for employers.

Oh, and if you were hoping for a story about robots applying for jobs on behalf of people, then I’d feel awful disappointing you.

How to keep the integrity of your recruitment pipeline without ditching the software

I am not saying that recruitment software is bad for business. I just think it’s important to highlight some of the new challenges it might present.

So how can you use technology to improve your pipeline, while making sure that candidates are who, and what, they claim to be?

1. Make questions more specific. What worked for Stephanie Penney of Tennessee state, was making questions more specific. For example, instead of asking “do you have two years of experience in social work?”, she started asking “Have you had two years of experience in social work that is specific to investigations into children being abused?”. If your questions are too generic, it is very easy for applicants to make a loose connection to their career experience, and simply tick “yes”.

2. Avoid keyword scanning software. Recruitment software is great for helping you organise candidates, review applications, and save details on file for future. It is not so great for automating the selection process itself. The article on cites a paper released by the American Society of Public Administration: “good candidates who do not have the time to pepper [their CV’s] with keywords will be skipped”. Recruitment software should be smart, not robotic.

3. Keep the human element alive. Just because you are receiving CV’s online, doesn’t mean you should distance yourself from potential employees. Keep the human touch alive! Why not post a video on your recruitment site? Or even ask for video applications? Be creative – behind the data there are real people, and if you want to engage them, you need to connect with them.

If you are really struggling to assess how honest your applicants are, then you could check out our three recruitment tips for assessing a candidate’s integrity.

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