Following the departure of former Yahoo! CEO Scott Thompson over allegations that he lied on his CV, the topic of falsifying resumes has received significant exposure recently. Peter discusses the topic with Neswtalk’s Tom Dunne and indicates that it may be more prevalent than most organisations would like to believe. According to a study conducted by the employment law consultancy company; Peninsula Ireland , 77% of the 1,021 employees surveyed in November and December 2011, admitted they had falsified qualifications on their resumes. Furthermore, 68% admitted lying to make their resume look more impressive and 89% said they do not feel guilty and would continue to lie in the future.
Peter indicates that these lies can be hard to uncover and the severity of the situation comes down to the type of lie that the candidate tells. Embellishments may be harder to uncover than outright lies but the context is also extremely important. ‘Interests’ sections of a CV are routinely exaggerated or lied in on the basis that some candidate’s may include information that they think the employer wants to hear but that which has no direct implications on their ability to do the job. Others can be more damaging; a candidate lying about possessing particular technical skills essential to a role for example.
How can these lies be uncovered early on in the recruitment process?
Peter indicates that many people who lie on their CV actually manage to get away with it. This is due to the fact that some companies may find it difficult to be as ‘forensic’ as necessary when assessing a candidate’s credentials. The method most organisations use to assess candidates – interviewing – can actually be very ineffective at exposing these untruths. Interviewing alone is only about 30% accurate in finding the right employee. In order to dig deeper, it is suggested that employers conduct psychometric testing, bring prospective employees in to meet the teams they’re expected to join and above all, follow up on references.
As long as companies have a well-rounded hiring strategy that includes more than just a interviews, they will weed out those that aren’t the right fit for the role or that are embellishing the truth beyond their capabilities. Even with this system in place, there is no way that an employer will be able to ensure that every candidate is providing them with credentials that are 100% accurate. As a result, it is important to test the ‘fit’ of the prospective employee in both the team and company and to trust your ability to judge an individual’s characteristics effectively.