Landing a job in today’s economy is no small feat. Unfortunately, a competitive job market can tempt applicants to stretch the truth when submitting a resume. Just look online: business is booming for those willing to provide fictitious backgrounds. For a nominal fee, hopefuls can purchase college diplomas, “official” transcripts to verify education and even fictional references.
Remember what happened last May? Yahoo’s former CEO stepped down after being called out for falsifying his education. If only he were the only one who had exaggerated qualifications to get a job. Unfortunately, it happens more than you might think.
The Society for Human Resource Management conducted a survey in 2004 that revealed that more than 60 percent of professionals had uncovered falsified information about would-be employees after conducting a background check. Fast-forward almost a decade — in a much more competitive job market with more advanced resources — and that percentage is almost certainly higher.
So what can be done to protect companies from making a costly and embarrassing mistake when bringing on new talent? A thorough interviewing process is a good place to start. But you should also consider a background check. Background checks can help employers uncover what’s really behind a resume, for good or for bad. These truths might include legitimate employment histories, salary and bonus earnings, educational accomplishments, valid nonprofit activities and character references.
As the interviewing process evolves, some initial concerns regarding resumes may be moved to the back-burner as other aspects of a candidate — such as their workplace culture fit or winning personality — take center stage. But withresume fraud on the rise, why should companies take a chance? Thorough background checks, including state and federal court records, educational achievements and credit reports, should be routine for all serious candidates.
Companies — both big and small — lose out when a fraudulent applicant is hired on as part of the team. These applicants can expose their employer to embarrassment, unwanted media, disruption and loss of productivity. In serious cases, those candidates can even lead companies to litigation. So before you hire, take the time to look hard at your prospective employees. It will save you in the long run.