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BANGALORE/NEW DELHI: Last month, R Nandan, a 33-year-old employee of IBM, was discovered to have used his wife’s academic credentials to get his Rs 24-lakh-a-year job, putting the spotlight on rampant resume fraud faced by India’s $100-billion information technology services sector.
Had it not been for falling out with his wife, Nandan’s fraud may never have been exposed. Every year, despite the IT industry’s stated resolve to stamp out the problem of applicants lying about their academic qualifications and work experience, thousands like Nandan manage to sneak in. This is raising questions about whether companies are serious about tackling an issue which has the potential to harm India’s reputation as the world’s preferred location for outsourcing technology services.
One in every five CVs floating in the Indian IT industry is suspect, industry insiders and hiring experts say.
“At any given point in time, up to 10 per cent of the existing workforce in companies would be caught for fabricating or exaggerating their qualifications if verification tests are conducted,” said Aditya Mishra, head of staffing business at Ma Foi Randstad, a leading HR services company in India.
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HR experts say that the issue of resume fraud is very closely related to the integrity of the employees and their employer, and such instances would definitely have an impact on India’s image.
“If companies don’t get their act together on this, their reputation will be impacted. It speaks about their integrity,” said Ganesh Shermon, partner and country head for human capital advisory services at KPMG.
The industry’s inability to stop candidates who seek to game the system has partly got to do with lack of firm commitment from companies to follow uniform practices across the industry. “Honestly, most IT firms don’t care; they just terminate these employees and forget about it. Unless employees, who fake their credentials, are taken to the police, this issue will never come to an end,”a senior executive of another Bangalore-based IT company said, on condition of anonymity.Continued high prevalence of resume fraud also raises questions about the efficacy of National Skills Registry, an initiative that industry body Nasscom started over five years ago as a long-term solution to the problem. As many as 118 large companies are members of the registry, which currently has a database of 1.1 million candidates, according to Nasscom. Of this, nearly 8 million candidate profiles have been vetted, so far, with the help of some 17 third-party background verification agencies