Data Facts Background Screening Blog

Naughty or Nice? Know Your Job Candidates' History with Background Screening

by Susan McCullah

Nov 30, 2017 9:40:40 AM

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job-candidate-history-with-background-check.jpgAs the holiday season barrels upon us, we are reminded of the question "Were you naughty or nice?" If you are hiring, as many companies are, it pays to ask this question in a variety of ways.

Why? Because many of today's applicants have been naughty!

It's estimated almost half of resumes contain some type of mistruth. 

Inaccurate information ranges from small little exaggerations to big boldfaced lies. And not catching them can cost your company big!

Asking Santa for an honest employee is probably not the plan that is going to work for you!

Here are 4 background screening pointers that can help you decide if the sweet and professional-looking job applicant sitting in front of you has been naughty or nice. 

#1: Did they really study at that college or university? 

Naughty: Applicants may list a degree when they only attended classes at a university or college, or may not have ever stepped foot on the campus. 

Keep it nice by: Ordering an education verification on any claims your applicant makes on attendance, degree obtained, or special certification. 

#2: Have they actually established a steady work history?

Naughty: Your applicant may be fudging the time they spent in a job, or make it up completely.

A staggering third of all resumes are estimated to contain some sort of fraudulent dates of employment. This can range from stretching employment dates to cover job gaps to claiming they were ‘self employed’ for a certain timeframe. Some applicants will even create jobs to cover gaps in employment.

Keep it nice by: Verifying all dates of employment with the employer, and looking closely and ask about any gaps.

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#3: Are they really as awesome as they claim?

Naughty: Applicants will inflate and exaggerate their performance and responsibilities to increase their chance of landing a job. They may even talk friends or family members into giving false references. 

27% of all resumes contains a false reference. Applicants may lie about this because they had poor performance at their previous job, or may have fabricated their entire work history. The potential hire may submit incorrect or incomplete reference information in hopes you won't take the time to ‘track down’ the reference. The resume may also contain fraudulent information that directs employers to friends or family members-claiming they are managers or co-workers-that report in glowing terms on the applicant.

Keep it nice by: Using a professional background screening company to follow up with references and ask specific questions pertaining to the applicant's performance and pay. Verify every claim. 

#4: Did they really have that job title?

Naughty: In an effort to get more money and a better title, some job seekers will make up or embellish their previous performance and experience.

Lots of applicants believe they can land a higher paying position by fabricating a higher job title. Many candidates will ‘promote themselves’ to a title several levels higher than their real one in hopes that the potential employer will offer them a similar position to the one showing on their resume.

Keep it nice by: Thoroughly researching and reviewing information that backs up their claim by ordering a thorough employment verification. 

The consequences of being duped by a resume lie are high. An employee that is a bad fit can also cost a company customers, inventory costs, and even litigation expenses. 

HR professionals must take measures to protect their company from a dishonest job applicant by looking at resumes and applications with a critical eye and verifying all information on the resume. Partnering with a professional background screening company minimizes the changes of ending up with a naughty employee!

Happy Holidays!

Topics: Background screening, background screening company, background screen, HR Professionals

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~~Susan McCullah is the Marketing Project Manager/ Background Screening Division for Data Facts, Inc, a 25 year old Memphis based company. Data Facts Inc -an NAPBS accredited company- is a leading provider of employment screening solutions. Check out our website for a complete explanation of our services.