Staggering 85% of Job Applicants Lying on Resumes. Here's How Recruiters Spot A Fibber…

Tuesday, August 15th, 2017 - Resume

According to HireRight’s 2017 employment screening benchmark report, 85 percent of employers caught applicants fibbing on their resumes or application, up from just 66 percent five years ago.

Given we have the lowest unemployment rate in a decade, you have to wonder why people would feel the need to lie. Well, here’s why…

Employer Applicant Tracking Systems Expect An Exact Match

Most companies use some form of applicant tracking system (ATS) to take in resumes, sort through them, and narrow down the applicant pool. With the average job posting getting over 100 applicants, recruiters don’t want to go bleary-eyed sorting through them. Instead, they let the ATS do the dirty work by telling it to only pass along the resumes that match their specific requirements for things like college degrees, years of experience, and salary expectations. The result? Job seekers have gotten wise to the finicky nature of the technology and are lying on their resumes and applications in hopes of making the cut.

3 Ways Recruiters Spot A Liar

The problem with lying on a resume is the odds of getting caught are high. Especially, when recruiters are wise to the fact so many people fib on their resumes. Many recruiters are skilled enough to do simple searches on social media to determine if a candidate’s resume is accurate. But, even if a candidate slips through the initial screening process, here’s how recruiters spot a liar before they hire:

  1. Using behavioral interviewing techniques. By asking detailed questions about a candidate’s work experience, recruiters can tell by the depth of the response if the person is lying. For example, if a candidate claims to have 10 years experience as a team leader, the recruiter will ask for examples of how they have hired, trained and even fired talent. The quality of the responses will show if the experience is real.
  2. Purchasing an online background check. Detailed reports can be purchased to validate past work experience, degrees acquired, wages earned, criminal records, whether certifications are current, and much more. Companies would rather pay to find out now if a candidate is lying then to have something bad happen on the job.
  3. Backdoor reference checks. Some recruiters research and secretly contact ex-colleagues of a candidate to inquire about their performance. Their goal is to speak to someone NOT recommended to them by the candidate, since most references have been coached only to say good things. Instead, the backdoor reference catches the unassuming colleague off-guard and provides the recruiter with a way to validate what the candidate claims to have done on past jobs.

Once recruiters find out a candidate has lied, one thing is certain – they’re marked in the ATS as a “do not hire” and ruin any chances of that person getting a job with the company.

Don’t Need To Lie, Just Need To Network!

Studies show 80 percent of jobs are gotten via referral. Many companies offer their employees hefty referral bonuses as incentives for referring good candidates to their jobs. By making friends with employees on networking sites like LinkedIn, job seekers can demonstrate how their personalities and aptitude are a match for the employer. This makes not having an exact match in experience less of an issue. When an employee walks down the hall to the recruiter and says, “I spoke to this guy and he seems like he might fit in,” the chances skyrocket that he’ll get a phone call. At which point, the candidate now has the opportunity to share how he’s qualified for the role, in spite of not having the exact requirements.

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