How to Spot a Fib (Part 2)
In Part 1, we looked at some of the less-thanhonest things people will say to get a job. More than half of job applicants have committed resume fraud1 – pretty scary when you’re trying to
hire the right people.
What can you do? Check and double check the information you are being given and watch for these common Fibs so that you can Foil them.
The Fib: Salary – Did you know that 40% of people inflate past salaries1. Sometimes it’s just a little, but if you’re basing commissions or bonuses on base salary, you may be over-paying.
The Foil: During the reference check, ask the previous employer to confirm the last annual base salary or at least the range for the position. Not all employers will provide this information as it may fluctuate year by year or be subject to privacy rules. Check out online job sites such as Workopolis to see what average salaries for the position are in your area.
The Fib: Reasons for leaving – This is a very common question to ask a prospective employee, and there are many valid answers. But how can you be sure you’re hearing the whole story?
The Foil: The quickest way to verify why someone left a previous job is during reference checks. Ask straight out whether the candidate left voluntarily or not. You can also ask whether the employer would hire them back again. Serial terminations can indicate a problem.
Here are a few common misrepresentations.
- 27% of people give falsified references.1 If you can’t reach a reference after multiple attempts, be wary. Make sure you speak to at least a few previous employers or colleagues.
- Altered employment dates happen 29% of the time1 so ask about resume gaps . Usually they indicate a reasonable break from work such as maternity leave or a return to school, but they may be something more.
- Textbook answers are easy to find on the Internet and can distract you from learning what you need to know about a candidate. Have a few non-standard questions up your sleeve and see how the candidate responds.
Refer to ADP HR Tip How to Conduct Reference
Checks for more question tips.
How to Spot a Fib (Part 2) (PDF version)
1. ADP, Accu-Screen, Inc., The Society of Human Resource Managers. Resume Falsification Statistics, 2012.
The information contained in this HR Tip Sheet is summary in nature and is intended to provide general guidance. It should not be viewed as a replacement for legal or professional advice.
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