Is recruitment fraud affecting your business, and how much is it costing you?

New research has revealed shocking figures which show that recruitment fraud is costing the UK economy as much as £23.9 billion. A wide-ranging study from Crowe UK, a respected national audit, tax, advisory and risk organisation, is one of the first of its kind investigating this issue, which is not very well understood. In fact, many organisations aren’t even aware that they’ve been a victim of recruitment fraud.

What constitutes recruitment fraud?

Recruitment fraud is essentially when a candidate lies about their skills or experience in order to secure a role. Examples include:

  • Lying on application forms
  • Arranging false references
  • Using fabricated or false documentation to support an application
  • Inventing qualifications or embellishing experience.

Not many employers actually realise that this kind of behaviour can be termed ‘fraud’. Some assume a mistake has been made, or that an underconfident candidate has simply embellished the truth and made an understandable error in judgement.

However, the reality for organisations is a lot more serious. For the first time, this report has put a figure on the cost of recruitment fraud, which nationwide is nearly £24 billion. Companies lose money on the recruitment process and staff training, as well as experiencing a drop in productivity. They also have to shell out for internal investigations and disciplinary proceedings. What’s more, recruitment fraud can lead to reputational damage for the business.

Researchers also found that some people managed to secure themselves roles as senior executives through dishonest behaviour, and one person even secured a position as a commercial airline pilot when they weren’t qualified to do so.

Jim Gee, who is the National Head of Forensic Services at Crowe UK, warned that people who lie on their CV may even go onto commit more serious fraud once they enter the business. He said:

“Recruitment fraud is a serious problem, for organisations of all shapes and sizes. Initial misrepresentation or misleading information presented on a CV is often seen as being little more than ‘a white lie’, but it can and does lead to bigger financial and reputational costs down the line.

“In many cases, organisations are unwittingly welcoming a Trojan Horse with open arms. Once ‘inside’, dedicated fraudsters are emboldened and double-down on their deception, making further misconduct commonplace.”

How can it be prevented?

The most effective way to prevent or at least limit the risk of recruitment fraud is more vigilance when it comes to pre-recruitment checks. It can be well worth outsourcing recruitment to an agency which will carry out extensive candidate screening, so that only those who are fully qualified and suitable for a role appear before you in the interview room.

If your organisation is in an area such as IT or technology, where security is a top priority, extra pre-employment checks may be necessary. Contact the IT recruitment specialists at SOLOS Consultants to find out how we can help with candidate screening – call us on 0115 9274400 or email



Photo by Alejandro Escamilla on Unsplash

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