SHRM Article about Case of Resume Fraud in White House Shows Need for Background Screening

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

The demotion of an administrative leader in White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) after an investigation revealed resume fraud shows the need for background screening, according to experts interviewed for a Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) article.

In January of 2018, The Washington Post reported that Taylor Weyeneth, 24, had “inconsistencies and inaccuracies on three résumés he submitted to the government” and that he “decided to depart ONDCP at the end of the month.” The ONDCP coordinates anti-drug initiatives at several federal agencies.

In the article ‘White House Hiring Underscores Need to Check Resumes for Fraud,’ SHRM Online Manager/Editor of Employee Relations Dana Wilkie interviewed several background screening experts including Attorney Lester Rosen, founder and CEO of Employment Screening Resources (ESR).

“The best use of a screening firm is for the methodical verification of employment, credentials and education after a hiring decision has been made,” Rosen told SHRM. “Many background firms have a great deal of automation that allows the task to be completed very efficiently and cost-effectively.”

Rosen, author of ‘The Safe Hiring Manual,’ the first comprehensive guide for background screening for employment purposes, added that “many human resources professionals believe that how a person has performed in the past is the single best indicator of how they will perform at your business.”

Rosen also told SHRM that background screening “demonstrates due diligence in case a firm is ever sued for negligent hiring” and that even “verification of the past employment, dates and title, at least verifies the application, so the employer knows the past employment is accurate and real.”

The SHRM article also warns about ‘diploma mills’ that provide fake degrees. “Anyone with a printer, computer, and credit card can instantly achieve any degree they want from any of approximately 10,000 fake schools around the world, which are often ‘accredited’ by fake accreditation agencies,” Rosen said.

Rosen also mentioned “incidents where CEOs, head coaches, or members of upper management were discovered to have falsified past employment or education” and that “the higher up in the organization a person is, the more damage they can do and the more reason there is to do a background check.”

When asked about the cost of reference checks, Rosen said the “exact amount depends on how many past employers, schools or licenses are checked as well as the employer’s volume of business and business needs” but that the amount is “minimal compared to the damage just one bad hire can cause.”

The complete article ‘White House Hiring Underscores Need to Check Resumes for Fraud’ by SHRM Online Manager/Editor of Employee Relations Dana Wilkie is available on the SHRM website at

In August 2017, ESR News reported that nearly half – 46 percent – of more than 1,000 workers and 300 senior managers reported they knew job applicants who committed resume fraud, a 25 point rise up from only 21 percent in 2011, according to a survey from staffing service OfficeTeam.

Background Screening Can Uncover Resume Fraud

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) helps employers uncover resume fraud through education and employment verifications, credential checks, and personal and professional references. To learn more about these ESR services, visit

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