News Article

Professional Fakers Charge $150 An Hour To Do Job Interviews

Posted 17th October 2022 • Written by - Chris Westfall

With 10 million job vacancies in the US right now, a thriving industry of is filling the hiring gap. Unfortunately, jobs are being offered to professional interview fakers. These fake candidates have been hired at a rate of up to $150 an hour to stand in on interviews, according to reports from Insider. Today, there are 1.67 job openings for every unemployed person - which explains how companies are hungry to find good people. But what defies explanation is how an imposter could end up getting hired -and then someone else shows up for the job.

Consider one state agency in New York, where a hiring manager got a big surprise. She interviewed and hired a candidate who was articulate and well-versed in IT (information technology). But the person who showed up on day one could barely speak English, didn’t take direction, and had little knowledge of IT systems. When co-workers confronted the manager, she realized two things: one, the person who she hired is not the person who took the job. And two: that person had already been exposed to sensitive customer data and information. Had customer data been stolen?

According to Casey Hasten, Director of Recruiting at VIP, a Dallas-based search firm, fake interviewing (and fake resumes) show up more often than you might think. “Candidates will hire people to interview for them,” she explains, “especially where English is a second language.”

Her firm saw trend in technology resumes - that’s where the suspicion started. “We saw a pattern - different names, different company names, but a similar format. When you dig a little deeper, you realize: they are completely fake.” The discovery isn’t something that an AI is going to catch - resumé screening software won’t see what human eyes can uncover. Namely, that the patterns don’t match.

Hasten says that the scammers make a simple offer to handle the interview. Sometimes candidates will reach out to friends and family - or try to find proxies online. Some even turn to answer site Quora, according to Insider. But hiring managers aren’t the only ones watching this trend. The FBI sent out an announcement over the summer, warning of deep fakes to apply for remote work positions.

Of course, companies have moved to video interviews. In response, scammers have moved the camera, using digital blurring or saying that there are technical difficulties for not showing themselves. What can hiring managers do?

“One of the things that I recommend is recording the interview,” Hasten offers. In her home state of Texas, it’s not required to let someone know that you are recording a conversation - but it’s still a good idea. “I do not recommend hiring solely by phone, I think that’s a huge mistake.”

Other things that hiring managers can do include checking social media. Hasten is a big researcher, and makes sure she sees the digital footprint of any candidate. She says that if a candidate declines a video interview, make sure you get a good reason why.

Companies who are in a rush to onboard new employees are particularly susceptible. Especially in the field of information technology, where workers are remote and phone interviews are common. There’s an old adage in business: hire slowly, fire quickly. Take your time to make sure that you’re not extending an offer to a professional faker.

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