Expert outside consultants can be crucial to assist your company in finishing complex projects. But if the consultant is not as experienced as the résumé advertises, he or she can cause project slippage and failure or at a minimum bust your budget. Edward Snowden, Government Consultant, misrepresented his credentials and is the worst case scenario: leaking your company secrets to others for personal gain. “I Was Framed – Consultant Background Check” is inspired by a true story behind the scenes at Cluso, a Texas licensed Private Investigation Company.
The Real Story
This comic depicts a common example of the difficulties we face in verifying the information consultants and contractors claim for experience. Consultants are usually contractors and are not actual employees so a record rarely shows them working where they claim to have worked.
Consultants will list where they worked and not who they actually worked for adding to the confusion. Listing the End-Client instead of the actual employer is an example of a Twisted Truth (see our other comic strip posting called “I Was Framed – Twisted Truth Deception”).
Potential employees are more thoroughly screened because HR is responsible for the employee hiring process. But since consultants are hired for specific skills and experience on temporary projects, their claimed experience and education will often be unchallenged. Many consultants are also brought in under a vendor contract and if the contract mentions criminal searches but not employment and education verification requirements, the vendors are free to supply consultants without checking their claimed credentials.
When the vendor contract requires verifying the Consultant's employment and education history, we usually find inconsistencies, incomplete information, closed companies (claimed previous employers), and résumé deception or fraud.
To underscore the problem, look no further than Edward Snowden, Government Contractor who disclosed United States and British classified information to the press. His résumé did not check out as he claimed. He said he attended computer classes at Johns Hopkins University (he may have taken courses from a company offering classes located at the University.) He claimed he was receiving an online master's degree in computer security from the University of Liverpool, however, in reality he only received a G.E.D, never received a Bachelors degree, and was not actively pursuing a degree.
Also Snowden claimed an estimated $200K salary; however, he was making about $121K. Inflating and twisting the truth is a common practice with deceptive Consultants and it takes a lot of investigative effort to bring their deceptions to light.
If your Consultant's credentials are not rigorously verified, you may be spending too much and placing your company at risk.
Ensure your vendor employees and any direct hire external consultants are screened as thoroughly as your internal employees. You may be taking advice from an intelligent, deceptive Consultant
Sharon Sutila, CEO & Founder, Cluso Investigation.