TCS

The Business Standard reports that Tata Consultancy Service (TCS) has terminated services of almost 20 employees at its Kolkata centre after a background check revealed these employees had faked their resumes.  This is not all that surprising as there have been several such instances recently, not just in India but even abroad. Secondly, this is not restricted to the junior-middle level management, and even top managment executives have been guilty of fudging facts on their resumes.

Some such screw-ups:

  • Veritas CFO Ken Lonchar resigned after falsely claiming that he had a Stanford MBA
  • Bausch & Lomb CEO Ronald Zarrella lost out on a US$ 1.1 million bonus because he showed a non-existent MBA from New York University
  • World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Director General Kamil Idris apparently fudged his date of birth, showing himself to be nine years younger than he actually was, leading to speculation that his rise up the ranks could have been due to this
  • In Feb ’08, Wipro terminated services of around 200 employees for failing it’s verification process
  • Ditto with IBM, who removed close to 600 employees, including some who’d been there for a year

At the company where I work, we always run a background / reference check before a candidate joins us. It’s easier as we’re still small in size, but the purpose of this process is well served. Secondly, we always insist on references at a supervisory level to know more about a candidate, rather than simply checking on employment dates and salary levels, which most background verification consultants do. We’d prefer not to make an offer to someone with doubtful credentials rather than do so, get the person on board, and then discover that all is not as it seems. It’s also a much more tedious process to terminate someone’s services.

I feel large companies also need to do this. Getting people in, especially in hundreds / thousands might make it a difficult task, but it can be done. In fact, among the large IT firms, Satyam has put in place a system to run a background check before a candidate actually joins.

How does your company manage it’s employee background verification process?