SOURCE: BackTrack, Inc.

BackTrack, Inc.

March 03, 2009 08:15 ET

Desperate People Do Desperate Things, According to BackTrack, Inc.

CLEVELAND, OH--(Marketwire - March 3, 2009) - High unemployment and fierce competition for a handful of job openings may bring out the liar in some candidates, and deliver disastrous results to the companies hiring them. "I got into the recruiting business 31 years ago and since that time we have had a number of recessions. Each time we see a definite increase in exaggerations, if you want to call it that, on resumes and job applications. Nearly 40% of resumes have some type of lie during normal times, but it gets much worse when there are bad economic times," says BackTrack CEO Robert Gandee. BackTrack is a national pre-employment background screening company which has been in business for 15 years.

"I think it's probably natural for people who may not have the best credentials to take a literary license to enhance their chances in the marketplace. The amazing thing is how often they get away with it."

Based on his experiences, Gandee said he believes as unemployment begins to skyrocket, job seekers are tempted to exaggerate their credentials. Companies looking to hire in today's volatile market need to protect themselves from fraud by insisting on background checks for all potential new hires. Skimping on the background checks can have disastrous results but statistics show many companies do it anyway.

Gandee cites the results of a national survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management. The results show only about 50 percent of companies hiring today will contract with a background checking company such as BackTrack to screen potential employees. About 25 percent will screen potential employees internally, and 25 percent will do no background checking at all. Those who screen internally frequently only contact references potentially missing criminal records or other areas of concern.

As a pre-employment screening company, BackTrack, Inc. began operations in 1994 after Gandee's own recruiting company uncovered a falsified educational background on a candidate's resume.

"The candidate indicated on his resume that he was a Director of Engineering at a big manufacturing company here in the area, and had been for six years. We referred that individual to one of our clients for a high level engineering management job," Gandee said.

"Our client was prepared to make him an offer and asked us to do a background and reference check and verify his degrees. We checked his education credentials and his undergraduate degree in engineering and his MBA were nonexistent. So he actually talked himself into a substantial engineering department position at a company and was continuing to portray himself as a mechanical engineer."

Now more than ever, companies need to verify employees really have the credentials they are listing on their resumes and application. Conducting background checks like the ones that BackTrack provides can be done for under $100.

"It's really rather amazing. You can go on the internet and for $5 dollars get a degree and an official looking diploma. Some Web sites are so sophisticated they even include a phone number which leads callers to believe they are an accredited university. You can even go to websites to create references who will verify false employers for you," Gandee said.

About BackTrack, Inc:

BackTrack is based in Mentor, Ohio, has been named one of America's leading privately held companies by Inc. magazine. As a pre-employment screening company, it began operations in 1994. "Checking the backgrounds of potential new employees has taken on a new urgency in the minds of employers since 9/11," said BackTrack CEO Bob Gandee.

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