Private eye on false resumé

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By Staff Reporter
  • Published 6.05.10

Flooded with resumés making false claims about salary and qualifications, several city firms are hiring private detectives to check the background of recruits, from driver to chairman.

Human resource managers agree that resumés making false claims are not new but their number has multiplied since the downturn last year leaving companies with little option but to hire security experts.

“The number of background checks has gone up 40 to 60 per cent in the past year,” said Satnam Ahluwalia, the CEO of Kolkata Response Group, a private security agency in the city.

According to the agencies that specialise in running such checks, about 25 per cent of the resumés that are submitted to companies contain false claims.

“Earlier, when we failed to locate a company that an applicant claimed to have worked for, we took a declaration from him or her that it had shut down. Now an applicant has to establish that it has indeed shut down,” said a senior official of a Sector V company.

The companies have intensified in-house checks in addition to employing detective agencies to check details given in the resumé and even provide a character profile and report on an applicant’s credit exposure (see below).

Industry insiders say security concerns have also prompted the stringent assessment of applications.

“We get more high-end jobs than before and clients want that the credentials of those who would work on their projects to be verified,” said Kalyan Kar, the managing director of Acclaris.

Applicants who would deal with sensitive information like bank and credit card details are scrutinised the most. Their credit status is put under the scanner too.

Before employing a driver, a company checks whether he has a criminal record and has provided the right address. For other support staff, political affiliation is of importance. “Companies want to avoid unionism, which is why they check whether prospective employees were involved in such activities earlier,” said C.S. Sinha of Globe Detectives.

A background check begins at the local police station. Sleuths then check at the applicant’s old offices and with neighbours. They also hang out near the candidate’s home to collect information.“A background check costs between Rs 3,000 and Rs 12,000 per person but companies have made it mandatory,” added Kar.


Resume details

Criminal record

Political affiliation

Reasons for quitting last office

Credit status



Job experience

Position held

Salary received

Reason for quitting