Feb 20 2020

Do you really know whom you hire?

“Hiring the “right fit” talents is onerous enough and all the more important to recruit talents who are “safe” and have “integrity”. Data shows that 35% of CVs or resumes have some form of discrepancies.”

by  Kannan Chettiar, Managing Director, Avvanz

People are the biggest business assets to any organization. On the same token, people can also become the biggest business risks and these risks must be mitigated to avoid consequential damages to the organisations. Organizations need to ensure that the "right" and "safe" talents are identified before hiring. Unfortunately, these organizations still adhere to age-old practice of character reference checks with references provided by the candidates though they realize this is a pointless exercise.

In today’s talent manhunt, hiring the “right fit” talent is onerous enough, maybe even more important to recruit talent who are “safe” and have “integrity”. Avvanz’s data analytics have shown that more than 35% of CVs or resumes have some form of discrepancies. This is across the globe covering a wide spectrum of industries. It’s like the “Catch me if you can” movie where the lead actor takes on multiple high-risk jobs without any due diligence done on him.  

The discrepancies can be in several areas and hence the need for them to be channelled through different background checks based on the risks associated with their functions or roles to check their security and integrity levels. Some common discrepancies we have discovered: 

  1. Fake certificates (now that they can be procured easily at low cost). This documentary clearly shows the seriousness of this problem
  2. Wrong graduation dates
  3. Padded employment details to hide the gaps between jobs, Inflated titles and salaries
  4. Names of HR and Supervisor provided are not real (could be their friends who speak well of them)
  5. Undeclared criminal or civil or bankruptcy cases
  6. Ongoing behaviors on social media with derogatory indicators
  7. Fake ID or Passports or Driving Licenses
  8. Inaccurate address information
  9. Conflicting directorships in companies
  10. No legal right to work


If these wrongful hiring happens, the damages and repercussions to the company can be detrimental. Other than the infamous examples of CEO-level hires which made the new for the wrong reasons like Yahoo, Samsonite, Toronto Stock Exchange and Wal-Mart, there are numerous other cases as well which have costed companies financially and reputations wise. Cases include: 

  • Resorts World Sentosa who fired more than 30 casino employees due to possible brushes with the law and were not background checked
  • Teachers with history of scandals
  • Key person in Trump’s administration had a fake cover shot along with embellished work history and professional background

A 2014 Global Fraud Study by Association of Certified Fraud Examiners revealed the following fraud-related costs:

  • An organization can lose 5% of revenue each year to fraud
  • Median loss caused by fraud was $145K USD. 22% of the cases involved losses of at least $1M USD
  • The higher the perpetrator’s level of authority, the greater the fraud losses tend to be

This highlights the need to conduct background checks at all levels. The good news is though we can never do a 100% background check, we can mitigate the risks to a large extent with thorough background checks.  

Avvanz, a Gold-Medal winning Background Checks provider, helps organizations around the globe easily order background checks, manage cases and monitor reports real-time on ScreenGlobal. The candidate or employee could have studied or worked or lived in any part of the world and Avvanz can undertake the whole suite of checks. Avvanz ensures the background checks are done in compliance to Data Privacy Laws (like PDPA, FCRA, GDPR etc) with strict adherence to cybersecurity frameworks. Avvanz has received several awards including a Gold-Medal for Best Background Screening Provider (by Human Resources Magazine) and other nominations for differentiated and disruptive solutions.

Kannan Chettiar is an award-winning Global Leader with 23 years of experience in the Technology and Human Capital sectors spanning across Asia, EMEA & North America. He is co-founder and Managing Director of Avvanz. Kannan’s technopreneurship has earned him “Executive of the Year – Human Resources Technology” award from Singapore Business Review. An engineer by training, he holds an Honours degree in Electrical & Electronics Engineering from the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and an MBA from the University of Birmingham in the UK. Kannan holds an Advanced Certificate in Training and Assessment and is an accredited StrengthScope practitioner. LinkedIn | kannanchettiar.com


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