Guest Post By Andre Smith
Can you remember the last time you sent in a resume for your dream job? You probably knew there would be a lot of competition, so it’s possible you might have embellished the truth a little. It’s hard to find completely accurate resumes, especially these days when the unemployment rate is so high.
Unfortunately, there is a big difference between trying to paint yourself in a more positive light and lying through your teeth. You want to identify the candidates who tell outright lies when applying for jobs, so we’re going to look at a few tricks you can use during the hiring process.
Don’t Rush Through The Resumes
It’s common to end up with a large pile of resumes when you’re looking to fill a position, but it’s also common to whittle down the pile as quickly as possible. The way you would normally do this is by disregarding any that don’t meet the standards you’re looking for, which won’t help you find the dishonest candidates. If you spent a little longer looking at each one you wouldn’t get through them so quickly, but it would be easier to spot someone who was unqualified because of the language they used when talking about their past experience.
Carry Out A Background Check
Don’t waste your time carrying out background checks on every single potential candidate, but spend the money on those you’re considering for the job. This also applies even if the job itself doesn’t require a background check to be performed. The reason this will catch a lot of people out is because it’s the number one lie on resumes. If someone is lying about their criminal record it could be more serious than a minor indiscretion when they were fresh out of high school, which could even put your current employees at risk.
Look Them Up On Social Media
In a study published by Pure Resume in June 2016, they actually found those aged 16-24 were more likely to lie on their resume than any other age group. Do you know what else that particular age group has in common? They’re more likely to be active on multiple social media platforms, so it shouldn’t be too hard to find them. It would be rather strange if they didn’t have any online footprints. Social media platforms like LinkedIn are especially helpful at helping you delve into someone’s work history.
Carry Out Proper Reference Checks
Employers don’t have, to tell the truth when you perform reference checks. They could easily have made a deal with the person you’re thinking about hiring. Your potential candidate could have been promised a glowing reference as long as they left their last job without causing any trouble. Even though we’ve slightly exaggerated what normally happens, it points out a problem we have when it comes to reference checks. You need to ask more probing questions to give yourself a better idea of any discrepancies between a resume and what someone’s previous employer says.
Go Into Depth With Your Questions
This one is a little like the last point we touched on. When people are being interviewed for a job it’s sometimes common to go too easy on them, which benefits those with a slick tongue. Even though someone might sound charming and intelligent, it doesn’t have any reflection on what is written down on their resume. The only way you’ll truly know if they’ve been lying is by going into depth with your questions. Instead of thinking of it as trying to catch someone out, you should only be telling yourself you’re trying to find the best person for the job.
Ask Them Outright If They’re Lying
Let’s say you’ve carried out an interview and someone has impressed you. How hard would it be to ask them if everything on their resume was completely true? Let them know you’re going to be checking their references anyway, so if they’ve been lying it’s only a matter of time before you find out. This won’t work every single time because people don’t like to embarrass themselves, but when it does work it saves you a lot of time and effort trying to find out more about them for nothing. You will discover a few minor embellishments at this point too.
Make People Perform A Skills Test
This might be the most costly thing out of everything we’ve spoken about today, but it’s not as expensive as having to go through the entire hiring process again. Lots of people have to showcase their skills through different tests to prove they’re eligible for specific roles. The military is a good example, although they’re not asked to perform a skills test based on what they wrote down on their resume. If someone can’t perform a task they said they were experienced in, it’s easy to know if they’re the right fit whether they were lying or not.
What To Do When You’ve Been Lied To
There is only one thing you can do once you’ve found out someone has blatantly lied to you, even if you still think they performed better in their interview than all the other candidates. They shouldn’t be considered for the position for a couple of big reasons. We’re not even going to mention their suitability for the job, which is far too obvious compared to the other ones.
- Will you ever be able to trust them?
- Will it lead your company down the wrong path?
Will You Ever Be Able To Trust Them?
So what if they lied? Until they do it again, and again, and again. Trust is huge when you’re trying to run a successful business, and you don’t want to waste your time keeping an eye on one employee because you don’t know when they’ll lie again. It’s also a lot more costly to get rid of someone once they’ve been hired.
Will it lead your company down the wrong path?
If you let someone lie to you now, it’s going to set a bad precedent for future hires. It’s easy to keep moving the line back further and further, which is why you must stand firm. If someone lies they aren’t right for your company. Failure to follow this rule might mean in a few years your company could be full of people who don’t deserve to be there.
Michael White says
It is impossible to stop people from lying on their job applications, and you will never see a bad reference or referee on their resume. Even psychometric testing is easy to manipulate, as when when you read through the questions very often you can guess the answer that will serve you the best. I believe the best way forward is to up-skill the interviewer. That way,when things like body language (eye contact etc), a persons background, hobbies and likes and dislikes are properly examined, an interviewer that has been properly trained will spot any inconsistencies and properly challenge them at the time of the interview. Train your people in the ‘soft skills’ people. They offer firm results!