Finding a job these days can be difficult. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 11.7 million Americans are still unemployed. Of these, 4.6 million have been jobless for 27 weeks or more. There are 7.6 million involuntary part-time workers, and countless others have given up their search for employment entirely. Times are undoubtedly tough.
Unfortunately, a less than stellar reference from a past employer, extended periods of unemployment, or a record of jumping from job to job increases the difficulty of securing a new position. This has led some professionals to fabricate their employment history or provide ambiguous details in an attempt to secure a job. Another reason to emphasize comprehensive Employment
and just as important past employment verifications.
In fact, a recent CareerBuilder survey of hiring managers and human resource staff found that 29 percent of those who contact professional references have caught fakes. A study conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management revealed that 61 percent of employers “often” or “sometimes” find inaccuracies when verifying data on candidates’ resumes.
The offences can be as serious as outright lies, and companies specializing in fictitious employment references make them easy. Online businesses including CareerExcuse.com and TheReferenceStore.com will create imaginary companies—complete with logos and websites—for a fee. They then “verify” the employment verification of their clients when a hiring manager calls. One of these morally ambiguous sites brags on their home page, “Our clients range from Corporate Executives to newly released prison inmates and everyone inbetween.”
While not all professionals are willing to engage in boldfaced lies, there are many who will manipulate the details—or lack thereof—to their advantage. This may include providing only years (and not days and months) as dates of employment, listing only their most recent title (and not others held previously at the same company), and embellishing their job responsibilities and accomplishments.
Unfortunately, some employers hire them based on this false, ambiguous, or embellished information. And when they then fail to perform as expected, the company loses time and money replacing them. The total cost can be significant, as you’ll see in our recent blog post.
It’s up to you, as a hiring manager or employer, to ensure you do your due diligence to avoid making a job offer to anyone who has falsified his or her work history. Consider the following suggestions.
- Verify the details of every job listed on the resume or application, not just the most recent.
- If you’re considering an applicant who claims to have been self-employed for some period, ask for verification of clients, projects, and income.
- Compare the employment history listed on the applicant’s social network profile, such as LinkedIn, with the data submitted on their resume.
- Ask specific, detailed questions about past jobs during every interview.
- Confirm the circumstances of every change in employment.
- Use an employment background screening company to verify candidate’s work history, education, and credentials as well as run a criminal background check.