In today's market, there is nothing wrong with candidates putting their best faces forward to make lasting impressions on top employers – but as hiring managers, we need to know where to draw the line. It has been reported that as many as 50% of job applicants stretch the truth or flat out lie on applications and resumes.
It's true that some applicants really are as great as they look on paper – unfortunately, it is all too easy for less qualified candidates to commit talent fraud. As a candidate interviewer, it is our duty to bring the talent imposters to light, and spot sneaky red flags on application documents before the hiring process begins.
Assuming every candidate is a liar is a bit extreme – but there is no fault in taking a little extra caution when screening and interviewing your talent. These are 3 common fibs to look out for on resumes – and more importantly, 3 ways to help you find out the real story about your candidate's professional history.
With so many different options to help professionals further their education, verifying attendance dates and diplomas just got a little more difficult. The first thing to remember is that the candidates who earned their degrees are proud of the accomplishment, and nothing could hurt your chances with these candidates more than doubting this great achievement.
If you think something is off about the graduation details or school existence altogether, all you have to do is call the registration office to clear up any confusion about a candidate's attendance.
2. Employment History
Every candidate knows that a solid work history can up your chances of advancing in the recruitment process. That's why these common career fibs appear on so many resumes. Employment lies can span from fake companies to embellished positions – making the candidate sound more experienced than they actually are.
Luckily the fix is easy – to verify your talent's professional history, all you need to do is call the company to confirm that the candidate worked there and that they held the position listed on their resume. Certain laws forbid past employers from telling you any more information, but a great way to get more insight is to connect with the individual's previous co-workers or managers via LinkedIn.
Note: If the organization looks fishy go with your gut and find the actual company's number through a search engine rather than the reference the candidate listed; this way you can ensure you are getting the most accurate review of their performance and not a fake point of contact.
Sly candidates know how difficult it can be to verify certain special skills needed for open jobs. If a candidate's list of skills seems too good (or long) to be true, they just may have done some market research and added the skills they think will seal the deal with employers.
Don't fall for false qualifications – instead, dig deeper in your interviews and ask in-depth questions that demand specifics. If the candidate is stretching the truth it will quickly become evident. Watch out for broad answers, words that suggest shared responsibility, and far-fetched excuses. If your candidate is telling the truth about the skills they have claimed, these questions will only give them a reason to be excited about the position and really sell them on the job fit.
If you still aren't convinced, give your candidate a take-home assignment to be completed as part of the interview process. This hiring practice is a great way to separate the true talent from the posers.
The more you apply these precautionary screening practices the easier it will be to spot resume fraud in your talent pool.