Company owners and PR have a lot to consider when hiring a new employee. You want to feel as though you are hiring a person that will work well within your company. In the past, most of our trust had to be put into a resume and an interview. Just a few minutes of time to decide if that person would be a good fit or a complete waste of your time. It is not easy. And now, companies have an even bigger problem. Resume fraud is taking the world by storm and it is becoming even harder to know what and who you can trust in your place of business.
What is Resume Fraud?
Resume or application fraud occurs when a person knowingly shades or embellishes the truth when applying for a job. Recent studies indicate that approximately 50% of applicants embellish the truth to some extent to try and move themselves to the top of the list. Most figure that they can learn the skills before it ever becomes noticed or that it is too small to matter.
For example, stating that a good reference is “Sally”, a past employer, when in fact Sally is their sister, their mom, or their best friend. Something this simple may not seem like a huge deal, but it could be. There are other types of application fraud that are much more severe.
Typically, the lies that can be found in a resume include:
- Listing False School Degrees. School degrees may be completely made up, or simply incomplete. It may be a case where someone started earning their degree at a school but failed to finish the required courses. In some situations, it may also mean that the applicant claims a higher GPA to try and impress a potential boss.
- Falsifying Work Experience. Applicants often want you to see them as an employee you cannot live without. Therefore, they may say that they have done “this job” for years and had “this” responsibility, when in fact they lack experience in it. One example is that the individual claims five years of management experience at a store when in fact they only assisted the manager or became a manager a year ago.
Along with this, you also have people who may cover up gaps in their employment by stretching start or end dates at their last job. Let’s say Joe worked at a store for three years but was unemployed for a year before and after. Joe, not wanting to admit that he had time off, may claim that he worked at that store for five years.
- Mis-representing past employers, co-workers, etc. This is the most common fraudulent information on most applications. This is because most applicants usually feel that you will not call to check on them anyway. Then, if you do, the person that you end up calling will be more than happy to tell you how wonderful that employee was for them.
- Claims Things that Never Happened. There have been several cases where someone invented on-the-job achievements and responsibilities that were never theirs to claim. It may be that they were “employee of the month for a full year” or that a group project was singlehandedly handled by them.
- Being Dishonest About Legal Issues. There is no worse type of deception than lying on an application about past legal issues and charges. This can negatively impact your business depending on the charges or past issues that they have had.
As an employer or someone who oversees hiring, you have to follow through on checking out applicants.
Protect Your Company with an Application Fraud Check
With how common fraud on resumes is becoming, how can you ever know that you are making a good choice when it comes to hiring new employees? The truth is, you cannot simply know by looking at the resume. You have to look at it as though everything is potentially a shaded version of the truth and take steps to find out the truth. This can be done in several ways. However, diligence is going to be key.
- Look for Red Flags. Anything that looks too good to be true likely is. Look at their education level and their past job information. If it does not match up, you will want to dig deeper.
- Check School Information. If the application states a school, call the school to discover whether they were enrolled, graduation dates, and more. This will tell you whether they achieved the things they claim.
- State Clearly and Perform a Thorough Background Check. To attempt to head off dishonesty on applications, express that a background check will take place before they are hired. Be prepared to follow through with it.
- Ask Questions. During an interview, you should question the applicant about things that they claim to know. If they say they have management training or are a great customer service representative, great. Ask questions about how they would handle themselves in a situation that would require them to use their skills. Usually, this will give you insight into their previous training.
- Call References. People often assume that no one ever calls their past employers. You should prove them wrong. However, you should contact the business number rather than a number that is provided to you by the applicant. Call and ask to speak to their named former employer. This will allow you to know that you are talking to the right person.
- Have Help with Interviews. You should always have a potential employee interview with you and others. This way, you can meet with others to see if the answers from the interviewee remain consistent. You may also consider psychological testing if it is warranted for the job position.
Consequences for Resume Fraud
The penalties for being dishonest on a resume will likely depend on the deception. One potential consequence is termination if the person is already hired. Beyond that, it can lead to legal complications for the business and the person who fabricated the truth.
As a company owner, if you catch it before you hire the person, you should consider them unhireable for many reasons. You have to think about whether you would want to take a chance on them lying to you on a professional level, as an employee. Would you be able to trust them? Would you trust an accountant to not steal from you if they lied about what school they attended?
Even if the false statement on a resume is a minor fabrication, you will still feel the deception.
Take Control and Fight Dishonesty on Applications
In Singapore, the job market is quite tough. A lot of people may be in search of the same job. It has been proven that 3-out-of-10 applicants will falsify some part of their resume to appear more qualified than others.
You need someone to have your back when hiring an employee. The best way to do this is to have a resume fraud check done before you hire new people. At talencapitalconsulting.com, we have you covered. We can analyze your prospective employees to look for deceit on the resume. Then we delve into their social media with our most thorough background checks.