The current job market is competitive and set to become ever more so as the economy emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic. As the market becomes flooded with more people looking for a job, the inevitable consequence for employers is a deluge of people applying for every position. And from an applicant’s point of view, the temptation to exaggerate experience or tweak qualifications to be the perfect candidate is obvious. Many companies are already carrying out background verification and screening, and this is even more important when you have a large number of applicants. Luckily, there is technology on hand to help make the process a lot easier.
Scale of the Problem
Telling fibs on your CV isn’t a 2021 phenomenon. Back in 2018, a BBC investigation found a company which had sold over 3,000 fake qualifications to people in the UK. 10% of British people admit lying on their CVs, and as many as 40% contain exaggerations about qualifications or experience. Taking on the wrong applicant can be hugely disruptive any business, leading to increased staff turnover and damage to reputation. Most businesses will do some form of fact-checking before employment, but in some industries, such as healthcare, checking qualifications are genuine is a legal requirement.
How Technology Can Help
Technology is already playing a role in pre-employment checks, with employers regularly doing internet searches, or using online electoral roles or university databases. Blockchain technology is emerging as a way of transforming the way in which information can be stored and accessed and is set to make pre-employment checking far easier.
Blockchain, more commonly associated with cryptocurrency, is complex. However, it’s basically just a database, which records every transaction within in. Every record which is added to the database or altered in the database is recorded. No one person “owns” the record, and each time a change is made, everyone is notified. A record of any changes to the database is also open for checking. So, for example, a University could build a website using a blockchain database containing details of all of its previous graduates and their qualifications. An applicant could log in and see their information but wouldn’t be able to alter it. Hackers getting into the system wouldn’t be able to alter the records without that being recorded by blockchain. Employers would be able to log in too, looking at records which they know are correct. Blockchain has many other uses but could transform the way candidates are checked.
Blockchain is currently being used in some areas of business, but we’re not quite there yet in terms of total coverage. In the meantime, employers will have to carry on with the old methods of making phone calls to Universities or emailing old employers to manually verify facts being claimed on a CV. It’s just not practical to check every fact on every CV. Employers will have to come up with some policy to check senior hires at a higher level, but perhaps only check key facts for entry-level positions.