In a recent LinkedIn poll over half the respondents reported experiencing video interview fraud.
The increased use of video interviews has been a blessing, whether you work remotely or not. Candidates and companies have both seen the advantages that video interviews have provided. This is evidenced by how quickly the terms “Zoom,” “Teams,” and “Meet” have become verbs. It is now common to hear, “Let's hop on a Zoom call”?
But without considering the risks of this new way to interview, the drastic shift may draw unwanted attention..
Fake work or education experiences on the CV isn’t a surprise. This has been an issue as old as CV’s themselves. It’s become a larger problem with remote work. One reason being a greater disconnect from your local candidate pools. For example, if you’re used to hiring from a talent pool in one location, you tend to hire out of the same businesses that use the same tools as you. Then you’re only ever a couple of degrees of separation from a backchannel reference, or at least the threat of one with experienced hiring folk. When you look to new locations the possibility of a backchannel connection goes away. And you have no idea of the reputation of businesses your candidates are coming from, or if they exist at all.
Being fed answers is more of a surprise since it’s a new challenge that’s come about with video interviews. Only 13% of hiring managers have experienced this. And applicants must have some form of competency to coherently communicate the right answers convincingly. Especially if there are follow-up questions, this would be very hard to maintain throughout. But it’s alarming nonetheless since it seems an accessible option. This could be in the form of notes around or on the screen. Another person in their earpiece/headphones or another person in the room.
The most surprising response is the candidate switch which was the top form of fraud reported by hiring managers with 23% reporting this. It’s quite remarkable. This form of fraud must have exploded since the proliferation of remote work for 1 in 4 hiring managers are now reporting this. This is probably most surprising because it seems like the most brazen form of fraud. In contrast to other forms of fraud, your new hire may not have any knowledge whatsoever, if they’ve not been involved in the interview process.
Whilst this was the top form of fraud reported, we don’t know at what point the applicant was caught. How long this was in the employee’s tenure and what kind of damage had been done to that point in time.
What the survey doesn’t tell us is how many people have got away with each form of fraud. We don’t know which one is hardest to detect or what success rate the fraudsters have.
Employment references are the obvious answer. Ensure you collect references through a HR channel from a company email address. This is the best way to verify employment dates and job titles, competency cannot be checked this way. Collecting references over the phone or from a personal email address won’t protect you.
Ask for employment contracts or payslips. However, this is not as comprehensive as an employment contract since any kind of digital documentation can be manipulated.
The best form of defence is to proactively question in the interview. Peel back the layers of the answer to understand the depth of understanding. Which is good interview practice whether you’re looking to protect against fraud or not. If your candidate is taking long pauses prior to answering all the questions, start to look for other signs. Those signs might be using their mouse to navigate around their screen or short responses with a strange lack of understanding of the concepts.
What’s scary about this form of fraud aside from it being the most widely reported is the applicant may interview very well, and nothing seems untoward.
Conduct a visual and verbal check of the applicant, comparing the appearance and the sound of the applicant from memory. This is obviously something that you’ll be doing regardless, but it’s not a foolproof method. The human mind is notoriously poor at face and voice matching.
The best way to prevent video interview fraud is to conduct an identity check during the interview process. Ask the applicant to present their ID on camera or use 3rd party ID-checking technology like Zinc. You could couple this check with your legal requirement to conduct a right-to-work check in most regions.
Thankfully there’s tactics to protect against video interview fraud. Good luck guardian against the fraudsters.