Over 50 percent of U.S. job applicants admit to having stretched the truth on their resumes – and that’s just the portion of applicants who choose to admit it! Applicants who lie on resumes and commit resume fraud might be pursuing jobs at any level, from junior level employee to senior executive.
Falling for lies can lead employers to make poor hiring decisions. This in turn can deteriorate the quality of productivity, staff results and ultimately business profits. Applicants who lie on resumes may commit fraud in other areas of their job responsibilities as well. There is also the risk of a negligent hiring lawsuit if the worker goes on to commit crimes once they are part of the staff.
The following are some tips for employers and HR staff to minimize their risk of falling for resume fraud:
1. Look For Discrepancies and Gaps
A lack of consistency is the biggest red flag when looking for resume fraud. Also, those who have the longest gaps in their employment have been found to be the most likely to lie on their resume in order to cover the gaps and make themselves look more appealing.
2. Pay Close Attention to the Areas that Tend to Be Embellished Most
Two of the areas most prone to resume fraud are education and employment history. Some applicants will extend the years they worked at a firm, fill in gaps with fictitious employment and lie about the degrees and employee training programs they have completed. The best way to determine the truth during an employer interview is to probe deeper and ask pointed questions.
3. Watch Body Language and Verbal Cues
While some degree of nervousness is normal at a job interview, take note if the interviewee’s anxiety escalates when talking about their education, employment history or any other aspect of the resume that seems embellished. This could be a sign that they have lied in these areas. If they begin to stop using personal pronouns like “I” and “me” when talking about a specific area, this could be a sign that they are trying to distance themselves from a lie.
4. Make Phone Calls to Follow Up and Identify Resume Fraud
Following up with a phone call to each of the organizations listed on the resume is the best way to verify the dates and other specifics listed there. While this can be time consuming for employers who have numerous resumes to sift through, this step can be reserved for the top tier of candidates who are being seriously considered.
5. Use Professional Employment Screening and Background Checks
Making use of a professional screening service is valuable in determining the history of job applicants. Employment screening can look into all areas relevant to position including financial history, credit history and criminal background. Employers can also have the professional screening company verify previous employers, educational institutions and references. Professional employment screening can help to give a more complete picture of the applicant’s background.
Resume fraud is a very real risk for employers. Over 50 percent of hiring managers report finding lies on the resumes they receive. Employers can use these tips to avoid resume fraud and help minimize their liability and connect with the very best candidates for each position.
Disclaimer Statement: All information presented is never intended as legal advice and is for information purposes only.
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