BRIGHTON, England, September 15, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
AS many as one in five small and medium sized firms across the UK have received a fraudulent reference for a potential job candidate, a survey has revealed.
Of that number, more than half (56%) say that it has happened between one and five times in the last five years alone, while one in 10 state that they have received more than 10 dishonest job references in that time period.
The figures, which are drawn from the Close Brothers Business Barometer, a poll of SME owners and senior management across the UK, also suggest that the most commonly received false references are for mid-level positions (51%), followed by entry or low level positions (45%).
CEO of Close Brothers Invoice Finance, David Thomson said: "The scale of reference falsification is quite surprising but also alarming. Employee fraud could pose a significant threat to a small business both in terms of its image, reputational damage and ultimately financial wellbeing.
"An artificial reference could be used to exaggerate experience, cover up breaks in employment, or to conceal an otherwise poor recommendation from a former employer. It's not difficult to imagine how hiring someone who has in some way deceived you about their work history could potentially cause serious issues down the line."
The Close Brothers Business Barometer also found that more than half (56%) of employers are unaware of the existence of websites that offer fictional references in return for a fee.
"Managing the risk of employee fraud should be high on the list of priorities for all businesses and it merits attention in a firm's overall risk management strategy," added Mr Thomson.
"The important thing is to be aware that this type of dishonesty exists so that you can take the necessary steps to protect your business."
Notes to Editors
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from a GMI survey conducted in June 2014. The survey canvassed the opinion of over 700 SME owners and business managers from several industries across the UK and Ireland on a range of issues affecting their businesses.
About Close Brothers Invoice Finance
Close Brothers Invoice Finance is a leading, independent provider of invoice finance to both SMEs and large businesses throughout the UK, Ireland and Germany.
Close Brothers Invoice Finance is a member of Close Brothers Group Plc. Close Brothers is a leading UK merchant banking group providing lending, deposit taking, wealth management services and securities trading. We employ 2,700 people, principally in the UK. Close Brothers Group plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a member of the FTSE 250.
SOURCE Close Brothers Invoice Finance