Weeding Out The Fibbers

Pants on Fire

People will go to enormous lengths to get a job. Most candidates’ eyes are set on the prize, but how far will someone go to secure that position? With such desire to find a new job, there’s one easy way to help improve their chances: lying. We call them white lies, fibs, bending the truth. But how severe a lie is someone willing to tell to get a job? As a business owner or recruiter, can you tell when you’re being lied to?

Your recruitment agency should be able to weed out the fibbers and CV exaggerators. Indeed, a good recruitment agency’s screening process should be tailored to each position, asking candidates to prove qualification and accreditation where necessary. An efficient screening process shouldn’t come at a premium either. Shop around and find a reliable flat rate recruitment agency. By paying a fixed fee, you not only keep tabs on your costs per hire, but benefit from the full recruitment service too: targeted job ads, screening, short-listing, and advice on the marketplace.

However, there’ll always be one or two candidates that slip the net, so here are some tips to spot those who aren’t being truthful.

Validate claims

It’s amazing how many employers don’t follow up with references. Not only should you contact the candidate’s last employer, but if you feel they are embellishing or giving false information, you should validate their claims by contacting historical employers too. People are typically known to lie about degrees, training certificates and industry qualifications. You are within your rights to ask to see these documents, especially if they are a prerequisite for the role.

Without wanting to sound too cynical, you should follow up on any contact details too. A quick Google search will let you know if you’re ringing an actual company, as opposed to a candidate’s best friend.

Second interview

Were you suspicious of anything during the first interview? Did a candidate’s claim sound outlandish or spurious?  Check through your notes from the first meeting; follow up and cross reference anything that sounded dubious. Things candidates fabricated on the spot will be harder to recall. Try asking the same question, but phrase it differently. Are the same names, figures, events and accomplishments mentioned? Also, if a candidate refers to a particular accomplishment that you’re unfamiliar win, research it. For example, if the candidate says they won an award, enquire about it, then research it: who sponsored the awards ceremony, where was it held, who presented the award?

Skills test

Not dissimilar to a second interview; a chance for you to follow up on claims. If a candidate professes to be a master of coding or sales, set them a skills test. Keep it consistent with a real life situation – but always ensure it validates their skill set.

Devising short, informal tests are a fantastic way to weed out those who are bending the truth or outright lying. It’s not about being cynical or untrusting, but in business, you have to be careful. Employing someone with false experience to do a skilled job could have serious implication on your company.