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3 common areas for job candidate lies

Posted on April 30th, 2015 Read time: 2 minutes

It is extremely important for employers to hire the right employee to ensure a lucrative investment. Hiring the wrong employee can set a company back financially and lower the organization's morale. In a CareerBuilder survey of 2,696 employers, 41 percent of participants revealed that a bad hire set their company back $25,000, and 25 percent said it cost them over $50,000. Therefore, HR services must develop effective recruitment strategies to spot potential dishonesty and lack of qualifications in applications. Here are three common areas for job candidate lies:

1. Unemployment gaps
Many people looking for a new job are coming out of a length of time during which they were unemployed. It is common for interviewers to ask what the applicant was doing during that time, but it is also common for the candidate to be dishonest about it. There are myriad reasons why someone could have spent a significant amount of time without a job, and many applicants don't want you to know what that reason is. In fact, Forbes sites this as one of the top five lies told in an interview. According to Forbes, some studies reveal that as many as 35 percent of resumes make an embellishment about the dates of their past jobs to cover up employment gaps.

Daryl Pigat, a recruiter for Robert Half International, has seen many excuses for employment gaps in his 10 years of recruiting experience. He warns other recruiter that all stories should be looked into, especially ones that raise red flags. Many applicants can't back up their stories with basic facts or references, so if they can't answer a simple question about their employment gap, they may be lying. Also, the references and social media can be excellent tools for this part of the interview process.

2. Education
Candidates may tell lies about their education regarding where they went to school and what degrees they received. Some applicants may worry that their alma maters aren't prestigious enough for the jobs they're applying for, prompting them to be dishonest on their resumes. Fortunately, this fact is fairly simple to check. With a phone call to the university in question, interviewers can quickly discover whether a candidate is being truthful.

3. Job experience and salary
An good job description from the interviewer is essential for communicating future responsibilities to the candidates, but it also gives them an opportunity to embellish their resume to appear more qualified for the job at hand. Applicants may be tempted to exaggerate the previous positions they held, job history and past salary to get more from their potential employer. To combat this deceitful strategy, background checks can include contacting previous employers and requiring that applicants submit past W-2 forms, according to Forbes.

Honesty is an important quality in an employee, so employers should look into even small exaggerations. Be aware of interview red flags, and check into anything that seems suspicious. This way, your company can hire the best candidate for the job.

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