It’s an unfortunate fact of life that too many candidates for jobs – in all fields – lie on their resumes; studies have, indeed, shown that alarming amounts of people do this for one reason or another. No matter the individual, be they an honest family man or a hardworking mother with several jobs, there tends to be some mode of fibbing at play within the interplay between recruiter and hire.
No doubt, recruiters ought to be concerned, but with the right expertise and a well-trained eye for lies, it certainly isn’t the end of the world. How, then, ought such a phenomenon be interpreted and handled? First, it’s important to consider why and how a potential employee might be lying – many companies (such as IQ Partners recruitment services or other expert-driven executive recruitment agencies) understand the necessity of accounting for the psychologies of both employers and employees, with respect to the hiring process.
While many companies use applicant tracking systems (ATS) as a means of efficiently inventorying dozens, if not hundreds of résumés to ascertain the most promising candidates, this automated procedure is not always the most effective, insofar as fact-checking is pushed to the side. While the eye-strain of reading through large quantities of applications is avoided, the AI needed to spot a fib is not yet available for recruiters. Indeed, ATS cannot get at the core of what a potential hire seeks to present to employers, and will only scan for skill sets and experience that is listed, rather than cross-reference these items for viability.
Identifying lies, then, is a necessary exercise in close-reading and must be undertaken, lest the under qualified or pathological liar make their way into and successfully navigate an honest job market. There are, luckily, a few ways they can become noticed quite quickly.
1. Their Career Trajectory Is Odd
Do you see what looks like a surprise promotion, one that is, for example, complemented by a lack of experience? If a candidate has moved up the ranks during their previous positions at a successful company, for example, it might be a sign of fudging the facts. Not only is it curious that they have given up a powerful position elsewhere, many careers necessitate a natural progression from position to position. Keep an eye out, then, for sudden jumps into the chairs of executives, especially during a short period of time.
2. They Test Poorly On The Spot
Whether or not you’re suspicious, it’s always useful to see how a candidate behaves on their feet. However, if they have a lot to prove (according to their prestigious résumé), then it’s absolutely essential that they demonstrate their abilities, lest it becomes apparent they are a fraud. You’ll get a better sense of who they are in an immediate way than you would with a scheduled second interview. If there are questions they are unable to answer, you’ll know for certain they aren’t who they purport to be.
3. They Have Uncomfortable Body Language
If someone is lying, they don’t have to misspeak to give up their act – the body often says more than is intended. If someone is sluggish with bad posture or looks nervous when speaking on this or that achievement, it may be the case that they’re telling a lie.
No matter what, it’s vital to conduct a full background check, as any expert recruiter knows. And, while it’s never good to look to potential hires in a paranoiac way, a healthy dose of scepticism is certainly called for if you’re to keep your business afloat.