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Want to know what types of red flags are most often found on résumés and employment applications? CRI® Group’s EmploySmart™ experts provided some statistics on their latest pre- and post-employment screening engagements, and they give insights into where companies are most vulnerable in the hiring process. background screening red flags

The operations team found that providing incorrect employment details is the most common red flag, as it was uncovered in about 4.5 per cent of background screenings. This is followed by providing incorrect education degree details as well as having adverse media (unfavourable news or online mentions), both at 2.33 per cent.

Most employers would probably say that when it comes to educational background, the only thing worse than providing incorrect degree information would be outright claiming a fake degree – which occurred in nearly 2 per cent of cases. Other red flags included having a criminal record (1.5 per cent), a civil litigation record (1.27 per cent), and providing a fake address (also 1.27 per cent). To round out the findings, the operations team found bankruptcy records, fake certificates and negative references among 0.85 per cent of those screened.

Deception among job seekers is real

Anytime someone intentionally provides false information in their résumé, they are committing résumé fraud – usually in the hopes of gaining a competitive edge in the hiring process. “There are even business services out there that will knowingly assist candidates with changing their résumé in this way, such as offering advice on how to hide employment gaps or how to add false information that looks realistic. Some will even provide fake transcripts and fake letters of recommendation” (HR Daily Advisor, 2018).

The same goes for fabrications on an application. It can occur anywhere in the process, and the candidate will likely continue to misrepresent themselves in the interview process to maintain their fraud. As mentioned above, helping candidates embellish or even fabricate credentials has become a business unto itself. “On the surface, these appear to be candidates taking desperate measures. But the candidates themselves may not be the only ones at fault. As recruitment has migrated online and become automated … opportunities for scammers have arisen. Professional recruiters, who get placement fees when they land candidates in jobs, have a clear incentive to game the system, Zhao says. They are ‘middlemen who can make significant profit by misrepresenting clients’” (, 2019).

There is only one clear remedy and protection method to combat this type of fraud: thorough and comprehensive background checks. Most organisations, however, don’t have the time, resources, or the expertise to conduct the needed level of background screening on their own. This is where CRI® Group’s EmploySmart™ comes in. The robust pre-employment background screening service helps organisations worldwide avoid making uninformed and potentially harmful hiring decisions. As a leading provider of specialised local and international employment background screening, CRI® Group’s uses EmploySmart™ to provide risk mitigation and give business leaders confidence in their hiring process. EmploySmart™ includes a thorough menu of screening that fulfills your organisation’s risk management needs. These checks include the following:

  • Address verification – one of the red flags discussed above.
  • Identity verification – what are they hiding? Falsifying one’s identity is a major red flag.
  • Previous employment verification – candidates might claim false employment to beef up their résumés.
  • Education & credential verification – screeners check degrees and education history.
  • Local language media check – what is uncovered about the candidate in news reports?
  • Credit verification & financial history – candidates who conceal financial problems can be a fraud risk (local privacy laws apply).
  • Civil litigation record check – lawsuits can indicate red flags, background screening will uncover the details.
  • Bankruptcy record check – when hiring someone for a financial or leadership position, it’s important to know if they have bankruptcy filings.
  • International criminal record check – checking criminal records is essential for the safety of your employees and your business.

These are just a few of the essential checks that are part of the EmploySmart™ process. CRI® Group’s network spans the Americas, Europe, Africa, and Asia-Pacific for providing international risk management, background screening and due diligence solutions provider. Don’t tempt fate and invite red flags into your business by making risky hires. The proper pre-and post-employment screening will uncover those hidden things that a candidate might not want you to know. Contact CRI® today and learn more about how EmploySmart™ will help provide your organisation with that extra layer of protection you need. Get a FREE QUOTE now!

About us…

Based in London, CRI® Group works with companies across the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific as a one-stop international Risk ManagementEmployee Background ScreeningBusiness IntelligenceDue DiligenceCompliance Solutions and other professional Investigative Research solutions provider. We have the largest proprietary network of background screening analysts and investigators across the Middle East and Asia. Our global presence ensures that no matter how international your operations are, we have the network needed to provide you with all you need, wherever you happen to be. CRI® Group also holds BS102000:2013 and BS7858:2019 Certifications is an HRO certified provider and partner with Oracle.

In 2016, CRI® Group launched the Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption (ABAC®) Center of Excellence – an independent certification body established for ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management SystemsISO 37301 Compliance Management Systems and ISO 31000:2018 Risk Management, providing training and certification. ABAC® operates through its global network of certified ethics and compliance professionals, qualified auditors and other certified professionals. As a result, CRI® Group’s global team of certified fraud examiners work as a discreet white-labelled supplier to some of the world’s largest organisations. Contact ABAC® for more on ISO Certification and training.



Zafar I. Anjum is Group Chief Executive Officer of CRI® Group (, a global supplier of investigative, forensic accounting, business due to diligence and employee background screening services for some of the world’s leading business organisations. Headquartered in London (with a significant presence throughout the region) and licensed by the Dubai International Financial Centre-DIFC, the Qatar Financial Center – QFC, and the Abu Dhabi Global Market-ADGM, CRI® Group safeguard businesses by establishing the legal compliance, financial viability, and integrity levels of outside partners, suppliers and customers seeking to affiliate with your business. CRI® Group maintains offices in UAE, Pakistan, Qatar, Singapore, Malaysia, Brazil, China, the USA, and the United Kingdom.

Contact CRI® Group to learn more about its 3PRM-Certified™ third-party risk management strategy program and discover an effective and proactive approach to mitigating the risks associated with corruption, bribery, financial crimes and other dangerous risks posed by third-party partnerships.


Zafar Anjum, MSc, MS, CFE, CII, MICA, Int. Dip. (Fin. Crime) | CRI® Group Chief Executive Officer

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