We often talk about the potential costs of a bad hire and over recent weeks we have also observed the ramifications of resume fraud.
Resume fraud can include explicit transgressions such as a falsified work history and qualifications or it can take a more subtle form, by way of overstating achievements or role responsibilities. Whatever its form, falling for resume fraud and other misrepresentations can be avoided by careful due diligence and by following some simple steps. Keeping in mind commercial realities, you won’t need to over-engineer your recruitment practices. Merely ensuring that your recruitment practices combine thorough, effective screening and assessment methodologies and tight processes will help you connect the dots. Some key areas to consider include:
- Hire on competence, fit and experience: Don’t hire solely on the experience stated in their resume – ensure you use multiple assessment interventions throughout your selection process to understand what they’ve done and how they did it. Assess candidates across a wide range of dimensions including their attributes, personality, technical skills, cultural fit, career goals and other motivators.
- Use Qualified Recruiters/ Assessors: Whether internal or third party, ensure all who are involved in recruiting for the role are skilled, experienced and qualified to assess the candidate’s competence in the areas they are required to assess. Ensure your managers are experienced and well trained interviewers if possible, use qualified psychologists, specialist recruiters and experienced background checkers.
- Reference check: Many question the validity and relevance of reference checks. We place great value on reference checks, when they are undertaken effectively. Asking competency based questions when reference checking gives great insight into what your candidates have done, and importantly, how they have done it. Pay attention to the referee’s tone – whilst they may not say anything overtly negative, if their response to certain questions isn’t convincing, probe deeply to uncover more information. Additionally, whilst you may be provided with a mobile phone number, ring the company telephone switchboard to ensure you are speaking with who you think you are, not an imposter. If possible, contact the HR team to confirm that both the candidate and the referee named where in the business at the times they say they were.
- Validate all claims: Cross check resume and reference information though LinkedIn. Check educational transcripts, Visas, validate dates of employment, conduct criminal and other background checks (where appropriate, consider a third party specialist).
- Assess the role, align process to risk profile: Certain roles have inherently more risk than others. Senior roles typically are higher profile, therefore higher risk. Financial Control roles, or other positions where bank/ cash access is granted, are at a higher risk of fraud. Assess your processes and for higher risk roles, build in additional and appropriate measures to mitigate or manage the risk.
- The value of networks: It is fairly well known across the industry that networks are often un-officially tapped to source information about potential candidates. We suggest that you tread with caution – remember Privacy Laws and also remember that although someone may have worked with your candidate before, there is a strong possibility of bias.
Some candidates may push the boundaries of accuracy when representing themselves to recruiters. Keeping in mind the risk and commercial practicalities and ensuring a rigorous and robust recruitment process, will better protect your business from fraudsters.