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One in five SMEs duped by job seekers

Posted on in Business News

A new survey has revealed that as many as one in five small and medium sized firms across the UK have received a fraudulent reference for a potential job candidate.

Of that number, 56% of the businesses polled said it had happened between one and five times in the last five years, while one in 10 stated that they had received more than 10 dishonest job references in the period.

The figures from the Close Brothers Business Barometer also suggest that the most commonly received false references are for mid-level positions followed by entry or low level positions.

Chief executive of Close Brothers Invoice Finance David Thomson said: "The scale of reference falsification is quite surprising but also alarming. Employee fraud could pose a significant threat to a small business both in terms of its image, reputational damage and ultimately financial wellbeing.

"An artificial reference could be used to exaggerate experience, cover up breaks in employment, or to conceal an otherwise poor recommendation from a former employer. It's not difficult to imagine how hiring someone who has in some way deceived you about their work history could potentially cause serious issues down the line."

The survey also found that 56% of employers are unaware of the existence of websites that offer fictional references in return for a fee.

"Managing the risk of employee fraud should be high on the list of priorities for all businesses and it merits attention in a firm's overall risk management strategy," added Thomson.

"The important thing is to be aware that this type of dishonesty exists so that you can take the necessary steps to protect your business."

Checking job seekers credentials

CytechWhilst it's difficult to determine how accurate a reference is, checking a potential new employees qualifications couldn't be easier.

Any Cytech qualified cycle mechanic working in the industry will be listed on the Cytech Retail Directory.

How does it work?

Members of staff with Cytech qualifications are listed using their initials (move your mouse over the initials for the full name) along with the qualifications each person holds. 

If a business employs a new member of staff with Cytech qualifications the Directory will be updated. As members of staff gain new qualifications these will be added to the Directory. The Directory is updated automatically every 24 hours at midnight.

Store ranking

A key feature of the Directory is that it ranks shops by the level of Cytech qualifications held in an individual store. This is done by using a points system allocated to every Cytech qualification.

Each store in the Directory is then ranked against the others based on the number and level of Cytech points. More qualifications and the higher the level of qualifications in a store means a higher ranking.

Suppliers are listed in the directory but not ranked, only retailers are ranked. 

Keep the directory updated

To help us maintain the list please take the time to inform us:

  • If you employ a new member of staff who has existing Cytech qualifications
  • If you move from one business to another
  • If you know someone has left the trade
  • If some of your qualifications are not listed in the Directory
Click here to request an update.


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