In brief

  • Job applications often fake resumes to get hired, and data verification is a complex, costly and error-prone process for recruiters.
  • EagleCheck, a Spain-based startup, has developed a blockchain solution to conduct this process efficiently and reliably.
  • The platform runs on Hyperledger and already operates in the UK and United States.

In a hyper-competitive business world, some job-seekers are increasingly feeling the need to fake resumes to better their chances of landing employment.

Prospective applicants are also becoming more aware that companies are now using software to automatically remove CVs and resumes that don't include certain keywords. But what these applications don't detect are the small (and sometimes big) lies that some job applicants put out to avoid being eliminated in the first place.

EagleCheck, a Barcelona-based startup created by five students, seeks to solve this problem. Decrypt spoke with Lucas Gil Cantón, CEO of EagleCheck, which is using Hyperledger technology to crack down on fake resumes and job fraud.

"CV fraud has become so commonplace that many dishonest applicants go unnoticed," Cantón said. "This could be due to growing pressure to fill positions quickly, since a survey conducted by SimplyHired found that 85% of job applicants lie. Meanwhile, 46% of hiring managers don't check references, and 65% don't check a candidate's education," he said.

EagleCheck was founded with seed funding from Mousebelt Accelerator, a Silicon Valley-based CV firm. The company used that funding to grow and develop a solution to tackle job fraud using blockchain.

The startup helps employers check the backgrounds of job applicants, thereby significantly reducing response times by automating this process. "Our decentralized platform helps background detection companies find information more easily and quickly," said Cantón. "Our software uploads the resume information, performs a data integrity check, and once we check that what's there is real, we give the green light," he explained.

Big little lies

While small exaggerations can be relatively harmless, some candidates might outright lie about crucial aspects of their work histories—something that's been known to happen even at the highest levels of the business world.

For example, when former PayPal president Scott Thompson was appointed Yahoo CEO in January 2012, his resume said he had degrees in accounting and computer science from Stonehill College. That, as it turns out, was a lie.

Daniel S. Loeb, founder of the Third Point hedge fund and a Yahoo shareholder, investigated Thompson's background and discovered that the new CEO had no degree in computer science, resulting in a huge scandal. Thompson left Yahoo that same year.

"In our background screening, we are starting to work with many companies in the UK and US that have a manual and very expensive processes," said Cantón. "Nowadays you don't need to pick up the phone and call each university; blockchain is more intuitive and accurate," he said.

"We opted for Hyperledger because it allows us to perform this process faster and less costly. We liked Ethereum, but it was not sustainable on a large scale, because of its high operating costs," explained the CEO.

Based on EagleCheck estimates, the process of hiring a job applicant is around $4,000. "In Spain and Latin America, companies don't [want to] spend this king of money. They prefer to believe what you put in your resume, and we have already seen this in political cases that have outright lied," he said.