How to Screen Job Applicants Like a Spy
In the world of spycraft, a “backstop” is an operative’s identity—a personal history and matching set of credentials manufactured to conceal an agent’s covert activities and help him blend into his environment.
In the world of non-covert employment, some job applicants construct backstops of their own—to pad their work experience or education, to eliminate gaps in employment, or even to cover up jail time. As Chris Borba writes in this Pursuit story from September (The New Face of Resume Fraud), resume fraud is easier than ever, with online companies offering to bolster false resume claims with references-for-hire and fake company websites.
In his latest piece for Fast Company, Pursuit editor Hal Humphreys offers a few tradecraft tips for deconstructing an applicant’s resume…and finding out who a prospective employee, contractor, or potential business associate really is—using the spy skills you’ve been honing all these years in your investigations practice.
Vetting employees, contractors, and even potential business partners requires basic spy skills and a little extra effort. Apply a little tradecraft, and you may avoid costly blowback from a bad hire or imprudent partnership agreement—in agency speak, a “roll-up,” an operation gone bad.