Just posted a story about the six biggest applcaint lies we see from an empyment screening point of view. Wondering how it jives with what recruiters see. See: http://www.esrcheck.com/wordpress/989/the-six-biggest-job-applicant...

Although statistics vary widely, there is widespread agreement that a substantial number of resumes belong in the “fiction” section of the bookstore. The rate of fraud can be as high as 40% and higher according to different sources. Applicants certainly have the right to put their best foot forward, and puffing their qualifications is an American tradition. But when puffing crosses the line into fabrication, an employer needs to be concerned. When you hire an applicant who uses lies and fabrication to get hired, the issue is that the same type of dishonesty will continue once they have the job.

What are the six most common fabrications from job applicants? According to a nationally recognized background checking firm, Employment Screening Resources (ESRcheck.com), they are:

1.Claiming a degree not earned: Yes, believe it or not, applicants will make up a degree. Sometimes, they actually went to the school but never graduated. Some applicants may have had just a few credits to go, and decided to award themselves the degree anyway. On some occasions, an applicant will claim a degree from a school they did not even attend. The best practice for an employer is to state clearly on the application form that the applicant should list any school they want the employer to consider. In that way, if an applicant lies, the employer can act on the lack of truthfulness regardless of whether the educational requirement is part of the job requirements.

2.Diploma Mills or Fake Degree: A related issue is diploma mills or fake degrees that can be purchased online. For those that actually attended classes, read books, wrote papers and took tests to earn a diploma, you apparently did it the old fashioned way. Now, getting a “degree” is as easy as going online and using your credit card. There are even websites that will print out very convincing, fake degrees from nearly any school in America. In fact, the author obtained a degree for his dog in Business Administration from the University of Arizona-and the dog had been dead for ten years. A transcript was even obtained and the dog got a “B” in English! Some sites will even provide a phone number so an employer can call and verify the fake degree. Some of the degree mills even have fake accreditation agencies with names similar to real accreditation bodies, in order to give a fake accreditation for a fake school.

3.Job Title: Another area of faking is the job description or job title. Applicants can easily give their career an artificial boost by “promoting” themselves to a supervisor position, even if they never managed anyone.

4.Dates of Employment: Another concern for employers is applicants that cover up dates of employment in order to hide “employment gaps.” For some applicants, it may be a seemingly innocent attempt to hide the fact that it has taken awhile to get a new job. In other cases, the date fabrication can be more sinister, such as a person that spent time in custody for a crime who may be trying to hide that fact.

5.Compensation: A related issue is pay – applicants have been known to exaggerate compensation in order to have a better negotiating position in the new job.

6.Lack of Criminal Record: Nearly every application will have a question about past criminal conduct. Although employers may not “automatically” eliminate a job applicant without a showing of a “business necessity,” if the person lies, then the employer would have grounds to deny employment based upon dishonesty. www.ESRcheck.com

The common denominator in all of these: they can be all be discovered by a program of pre-employment screening. To quote a phrase popular in the 1980s. “Trust, but verify.” See www.ESRcheck.com

Views: 327

Comment by Hassan Rizwan on November 21, 2009 at 3:21am
Yes my friend. That's the answer. There is a section in the assessments that can read the minds of the respondents and can give you a lie o meter to judge. Mostly those are behavioral tests. Great content. This would surely encourage some recruiters to shift back their focus on partnering with well reputed assessment firms.
Comment by Dan Nuroo on November 23, 2009 at 12:12am
Whilst all interesting, I'm wondering if this is surprising to anyone?

Seriously, Padding one's resume is a time honoured tradition! Making up fancy titles, inflating your salary, hiding gaps in cv with padded areas of timelines, or even not mentioning roles that did not go well.

Finding all these embellishments is the role of the Recruiter isn't it?
Comment by Marsha Keeffer on November 23, 2009 at 1:39am
All of this is why we get clear on reference checks and background checks. The main point? Check. http://wp.me/pmV3G-6y
Comment by Stuart Hassell on November 23, 2009 at 11:30am
Puffing, an American tradition? Seriously? People do it far too often, but tradition? Perhaps my naivete is showing.
Comment by Ron Rafelli on November 23, 2009 at 12:34pm
All of these potential problems can be solved with due dilligence (and not necessarily paying a lot of money to a background check company). Criminal and credit (if you need to check credit) can be checked almost instantly via Choicepoint online for under $30 total for both (criminal is between $5 and $10). Degrees can be verified via National Student Clearing House online almost instantly for around $10. Employment history (dates, titles, and compensation) can be checked online via "the work number" for around $20. These are all reputable, third party sources (I am not employed by, nor an agent for any, I just happen to use them). The degree and employment verification are not available for every school or employer, but for those that are not, a phone call or fax will do the trick. In my opinion, it is worth a few bucks and a small part of your day to ensure that a person with whom you are entrusting your company's money, reputation, or host of other things (depending upon their position) is telling the truth when applying for the job.
Comment by Eric Larsen on November 23, 2009 at 1:09pm

Dan say a time honoured tradition, not an american tradition, to pad ones CV. As he used CV and a U in honored, he's from the common wealth, more particularly, Australia and well... that country was founded by cheats and criminals :D

That said, there is however a general trend of dishonesty in regards to education. I've never had or been asked by a company to do an education background check unless something was seemingly obvious like the one guy that had a degree from the University of Slippery Rock... (which come to find out really is a school).

What Ron has stated is correct and running my own recruiting shop, once I've widdled it down to a top three or so for the position, I do my checks and the companies I work for really appreciate it when I can hand them a form verifying information or background checks. Especially one company I consulting for about 2 years ago where their IT Director was arrested for robbing a bank. My phone rang, there was screaming and then I pointed out that I hadn't been part of the hiring process and a minute later was sending them information on other criminal activities he'd been invovled in prior... this allowed me to showcase the work I was doing and the potential headaches I was saving them, which turned into 22 more req's for me (about $150,000 for a $100 investment).

Do you think Robert Half, Manpower or someother recruiting grind shop does this? Probably why I'm stealing their clients.

Comment by Ron Rafelli on November 23, 2009 at 2:47pm
Karen, I totally agree that any system has to be followed appropriately. If you plan to do background checks, the approval from should be a standard part of your paperwork. Any information that comes back negatively should, of course, be confirmed with the candidate. Otherwise, you may lose out on a good hire because of a simple mistake made by a data entry clerk somewhere. That would be tragic for both the candidate and the company. Unfortunately, any system is vulnerable to abuse or mistakes. What we can and should do is make every effort to keep the percentage as close to zero as possible.
Comment by Ron Rafelli on November 23, 2009 at 2:48pm
That should read "approval form", not "approval from" above. Sorry.
Comment by Dan Nuroo on November 23, 2009 at 8:26pm
Stuart, I can't give you figures, but I'd hazzard a guess that the majority of people's cv's aren't completely 100% factually correct. Maybe my cynicism matches your naivete.

lol Eric, yeah, we spell correctly here (I just do it badly). :) English it's called. :D

Maybe that background (convicts et al) is why we check things closer here. I knew a guy working for IBM, who went off to India, apparently hired 40 people. When they turned up, he did not recognise anyone as someone he'd interviewed. But all the names and cv's matched.

We get paid to question, verify and re verify. We have to check... I am agreeing.

I'm not sure how deep one should go in this regards of checking, is someone's financial history anyone's business? ie a credit check reveals a non payment on a credit card?
Comment by Les Rosen on November 23, 2009 at 8:37pm
HI-very interesting and thoughtful responses! Much appreciated. This is a great place to post a blog because of the insightful feedback. The topic does get complicated so I will do some further posts. However, on the subject of credit reports, it may be helpful to view: http://www.esrcheck.com/wordpress/815/basics-of-credit-reports-and-... On the topic of criminal reocrds, may be helpful to look at: http://www.esrcheck.com/wordpress/942/the-basics-of-criminal-record...

Thanks, Les


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