Background checks up 70 per cent as credit crunch bites

News release

Anna White / Victoria Collinson
Tel: + 44 (0)20 7802 2626
Email: annaw/

Concerns over job application fraud prompts increase in staff checks

Nottingham, UK, 19 January 2009 – Experian®, the global information services company, today revealed that demand for its specialist candidate verification service, Experian Background Checking, has surged by 70 per cent in the past six months as concerns over fraudulent job applications soar.

Over the past three months alone, Experian Background Checking has identified a 12 per cent increase in the number of fraudulent documents used in job applications.

To help businesses better understand the background checking process and their responsibilities, Experian Background Checking has today launched a guide for employers on how to conduct successful employee vetting. Titled ‘A guide to successful employee vetting’ and available from, the new guide demystifies the candidate vetting process and helps businesses ensure that they avoid employing someone who may harm their reputation, staff or customers.

The guide’s practical recommendations include:

  • Implementing regular HR health checks to ensure vetting procedures are appropriate and proportional
  • Using financial red flags to provide valuable warning signs into a candidate's character and suitability
  • Using vetting to first of all establish the candidate's true identity and using criminal record checks as part of every assessment
  • Deterring rogue candidates by stating on job advertisements that candidate verification checks will be undertaken

Avis Easteal, General Manager at Experian Background Checking, commented: “Given the current economic climate, many organisations are increasingly reluctant to hire permanent staff and favour taking on people on temporary or fixed-term contracts. Traditionally, temporary workers are more likely to be younger and lower-paid, a demographic thought to be more likely to commit internal fraud.

“Furthermore, there is a significant risk that given the increasing numbers of people applying for fewer employment opportunities, job candidates will be tempted to exaggerate or even falsify their qualifications and experience. Failure to fully check that an employee is suitable for the post could leave the organisation open to unacceptable levels of risk.

“Changes in the past two years to immigration laws, the Corporate Manslaughter Act and the Data Protection Act, mean that organisations can be held accountable for the actions of their employees. Directors of companies that cannot prove they undertook proper checks to confirm the suitability of a candidate can face large fines and even prison.”