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The Risky Hiring Shortcut Nearly Half of HR Professionals Are Taking


Study after study confirms that an alarming number of applicants are blatantly lying on their résumés, and a new study reveals many of these folks are likely to get away with it.

The reason: 48% of human resources professionals admit they do not always check an employee's qualifications, according to a recent study by Adzuna, a job ad search engine company.

Plus, just 62% of human resources staffers believe you should check references.

Some other eye-opening statistics about human resources professionals' habits:

  1. 30% of human resources professionals admit they waive qualification checks if the candidate has previous experience
  2. 35% of companies believe the responsibility for uncovering résumé/CV lies rests with recruitment agencies
  3. just 6% of human resources professionals check the social media accounts of candidates, and
  4. more than half (53%) of human resources professionals say they are worried by the poor performance of under-qualified staff.

Top industries for résumé embellishments?

When it comes to the job-seekers, the study found that 37% admitted to lying on their résumé at some point during their careers.

Of those individuals, 83% said the lie/lies did not stop them from getting the job, and nearly half (43%) said it directly contributed to them getting the job.

The top industries in which job-seekers are likely to lie on their résumés are:

  1. marketing or advertising (17% of candidates)
  2. retail (14%)
  3. finance (12%), and
  4. law (12%).

Lying on a résumé is also most prevalent among male candidates (cited by 58% of respondents) between the ages of 25 and 34 years old (34%).

Top industries for résumé embellishments?

Based on the findings in the Adzuna study, human resources professionals must approach the résumé pile with a careful eye for red flags.

As HR Morning has mentioned previously, one way to do this is by looking out for common fabrications and outright lies.

Here are three of the most common, courtesy of Fast Company:

1. Inflated roles

According to an OfficeTeam report, 76% of candidates embellished job experience, and 55% exaggerated their job duties.

In an effort to get to where they want to go career-wise, job-seekers will put down the titles of jobs they believed they deserved as opposed to their actual work roles.

What to look for: Vague descriptions of skills that are not consistent with what your job posting actually demands.

2. Suspicious dates

Job-seekers know gaps in employment tend to raise red flags for recruiters and human resources professionals. As a result, they tend to get creative in covering up those gaps.

Example: Date blocks that only include the year, instead of the starting/ending month.

3. Lack of degree specificity

Education is a huge area for misrepresentation. While there are a few brazen folks who have the guts to put down big-name schools they never even attended, that type of lie generally is not what you have to worry about.

A far more common fib comes from candidates that put down degrees they never earned or fell just short of earning.

What to look for: Incomplete degree names. For example, someone may put bachelor's degree instead of bachelor of science (BS) or bachelor of fine arts (BFA).

To be safe, you will want to make sure all degree specifications were met and the candidate is not among the individuals who lie about something they never actually completed.

Posted In: Human Resources, General; Hiring/Recruiting

Want to know more? Read the full article by Jared Bilski at HR Morning

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