After Accenture, Cognizant says it sacked employees due to failed background checks; fake resume use on the rise

Cognizant India has revealed that they had a 6 percent involuntary attrition in the quarter ended September. The company’s India head Rajesh Nambiar said there was high involuntary attrition due to failed background checks. This comes after Accenture’s India unit sacked several employees after it found that they used fake experience letters to get a job.

New Delhi: Recently, IT firm Accenture‘s India unit sacked several employees after it found that they used forged documents and experience letters to get a job at the company. “We have taken action to ensure that there will be no impact on our ability to serve our clients,” the company said in a statement.

While the company assured that it will continue to hire and honor existing offers for qualified candidates, there has been a growing menace of job seekers using fake documentation to land jobs. As companies ramp up hiring and with a shortage of skills in the market in the past year-and-a-half, many job seekers tried to game the system by using fake resumes and experience letters.

However, the number of such cheaters is now coming down as companies complete background checks, eventually showing such candidates the exit door.

After Accenture, Cognizant India has revealed that they had a 6 percent involuntary attrition in the quarter ended September. Involuntary attrition can be thought of as a euphemism for sacking.
The involuntary attrition rate, however, is in combination of multiple factors and not solely dependent to background checks.
Usually, companies do not do background checks prior to onboarding for multiple reasons including a delay in hiring. If they do so, it would involve checking all candidates who are offered jobs, some of them being those who do not even intend to join the company. They also avoid such check as companies want quick hires so that candidates have lower inclination to hunt for new offers.
With the entire recruitment process moving online due to the pandemic, cases of fake documentation and resumes have increased significantly. This calls for stringent and thorough background checks on the part of employers, Vikram Shroff, head of HR law at law firm Nishith Desai Associates, told the publication.
Over the past 18 months, IT firms hired at a scorching pace to fulfil a huge demand pipeline and executives at staffing firms were given aggressive targets. During the hiring process, some of the red flags were even overlooked in order to ready the talent pool.
Saravanan Balasundaram, CEO of talent consultancy firm Han Digital, said some clients wanted to onboard candidates immediately after they cleared client interviews because of demand pressures. “Some candidates were unwilling to share their bank statements (to check if they were receiving regular salaries earlier). We dug deeper and found gaps in their employment history, with several omissions in their resumes.”
This was brought to the notice of employers, but they misread the red flags as our inability to roll out offers instantly and passed it on to other staffing firms, Balasundaram shared.
Meanwhile, Shroff advised employers to complete the background checks prior to the candidate joining employment. However, in cases where the employee has already joined the company, employment may be terminated for misconduct on the basis of any fake or forged documents, he said.