By Jim Wong, CPA | August 27, 2012


Fifty-three percent of all resumes contain inaccurate information. Thirty-four percent contain outright lies.*

If you have ever embellished experience on your resume, you can appreciate the fact that people aren’t 100 percent honest when summarizing their own skills and expertise. Certainly, in an increasingly competitive marketplace, candidates are more and more likely to do so.

An article in Inc. Magazine shares actions hiring managers can take to detect the lies and filter through the inaccuracies. For the most part, the exaggerations tend to be about dates of employment, salary history, and job qualifications. Fibs and embellishments are one thing, but serious lies might be covering up things that could put your business in danger.

Knowing this, there are a few precautions you can take to protect your company from hiring dishonest or even criminal employees:

  • Perform background checks: Many employers skip this part but it’s important and well worth the expense to ensure you are hiring the person you think you are hiring. For $60 to $90, you can have background checks performed which include employment verification and criminal checks.
  • Contact former employers: Candidates might change employment dates to cover up gaps such as a long period of unemployment or perhaps even time in jail. While company policies may prevent past employers from providing a reference, they can legally verify salary, employment dates, and reason for change of employment (voluntary or termination).
  • Check references: Find references other than those the candidate has identified. Use GoogleLinkedIn and other social networks to comb through the data.
  • Verify credentials and licenses: Don’t take their word for it. Any licenses should have a main number or website you can check to be sure the candidate is honest about his or her qualifications. Hiring someone to perform a job without the proper certifications can put your business in grave danger.
  • Look at social media profiles: This provides great insight into a candidate’s communication skills, integrity, and behavior. You get to see the interview version of that person. Here, you can see how they interact with others and how they portray themselves online.

Taking the time and the added expense to carefully screen your employees helps confirm any gut checks you have about potential candidates. Each hire is critical to the integrity of your team, and bad choices can end up being far more costly.

*According to a study conducted by HireRight.

This article originally appeared on Clear Focus Financial Search.


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