Fixing Fraud and Biases in the Recruitment Process and Making it Fair and Transparent

Why Fair and Transparent Hiring is Vital to Organisations and What the Reality Is

The recruitment process is an important element of the overall Human Resource (HR) processes and indeed, ranks as a key component in the overall organisational canvas.

After all, being the gateway to the organisation, a fair and transparent recruitment system ensures that only the best and the brightest enter the organisation as well as provides organisations with human resources who are fit for the roles that they have been selected and consequently, ensures productive utilisation of such resources.

In times when human resources are seen as sustainable sources of competitive advantage, it is more than ever necessary and indeed, vital for organisations to actualise as fair and as transparent recruitment process as possible.

Having said that, the flip side or the reality is that in many organisations, including well known and globally respected corporates and multinational firms, fraudulent recruitment has been on the rise, enabled by a nexus between crooked HR staff and a more than willing potential recruits, who are prone to use money and influence to get recruited in such organisations through what are euphemistically known as Back Door Entry methods.

Therefore, it is imperative that organisations strive to reduce or at least minimise such instances to ensure that merit and competencies of the candidates are not being overlooked in favour of less deserving or plain and outright cheaters.

How Technology can Reduce the Chances of Fraud during the Hiring Process

Given this context, in recent years, many organisations are taking proactive steps to minimise fraud and biases in the recruitment process.

Some of the methods that they have adopted include introducing technology into every step of the recruitment process, blind hiring, vetting the candidates who applied by multiple panels of in house experts, hiring external agencies to partner with the concerned organisations to ensure objective and neutral hiring processes, and above all actualising enhanced vigilance and surveillance of the HR staff to weed out what are known as the Bad Apples in the System.

Let us take each of these initiatives in turn and examine how effective they and whether they have any drawbacks as far as the organisational goals of fair and transparent recruitment processes are concerned. Increasingly, technology is being used to remove the human element as far as possible so that a truly unbiased hiring happens.

For instance, using AI (Artificial Intelligence) bots to interact with potential candidates eliminates the risk of unscrupulous potential recruits gaming the system in cahoots with compromised insiders.

Moreover, by making the entire hiring process until the final interview driven by technology means that human interactions are kept to a minimum so that fraud and bias during the hiring process is reduced.

Why Technology Alone is Not the Solution and the Need for Ethical Human Elements

In addition, having multiple panels of senior employees vet the applications ensures checks and balances in the hiring process.

Even if one or some of the panels has insiders who might push for certain candidates, having rotating panels means additional vetting and checks on such hiring that can weed out the frauds and the scamsters.

Having said that, overreliance on technology is not always a good thing as first, there needs to be what is known as an F2F in HR parlance or the Face to Face Interactions that technology with all its sophistication cannot replace.

In other words, given the current state of AI and Analytics based recruitment, it would be a while before such technologies reach the potential of F2F processes.

Next, personal and soft skills evaluations have to be done by humans and hence, this is another area where technology cannot substitute the people element in hiring.

Moreover, there are instances where the Algorithms can be programmed in a manner to benefit certain profiles and this is another drawback of this method.

How Blockchain Helps Minimize Fake Educational and Experience Records

On the other hand, many organisations are adopting what is known as enhanced surveillance and vigilance of the HR staff wherein anonymous complaints and Whistleblower reports are treated with extreme importance to ensure that frauds in the hiring process are minimised.

The most common instance of fraud happens when potential recruits fudge their resumes and fake their educational and experience records.

This can be minimized by having an Industry Wide Database of past and present employees that can be shared with other firms so that there is a clear Audit Trail of who studied where and when and who worked when and where.

In this context, Blockchain can be used to good effect as it is authenticated by Peer to Peer elements and hence, tampering and spoofing of the educational and experience records is reduced or even eliminated.

Moreover, using Blockchain internally to vet potential recruits as well as in each step of the recruitment process means more control over the process as well as ensuring fairness and transparency in the hiring process.

Indeed, using technology with human intervention where necessary can go a long way in furthering the objectives of fair and transparent hiring.


Last, a key point in this discussion is the role of the senior management and the oversight of the hiring process.

In many organisations, Back Door Entries take place with the active support of senior managers and even the executives and this is something that no amount of measures to prevent frauds can control.

Unfortunately, in such organisations, the hiring is shambolic and only leads to the longer term deterioration of the organisations.

To conclude, while it is practically impossible to have a completely fair and transparent hiring process, the objectives can be achieved to a large extent by adopting some of the methods discussed and explained in this article.

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Human Resource Management