Unfortunately, it’s a simple fact of the business world: people lie on their resumes. As a small business owner or hiring manager, it’s important to ensure that all applicants who you are seriously considering have resumes that are 100% truthful. The last thing you want is a fraudster employed at your business.
The question is, what can you do to make sure that your candidates have fully honest resumes? You might be surprised to learn that it’s easier than you think. There are three methods that you can use to ensure a candidate’s resume is truthful.
Invest in employee background checks
Employee background checks are a fast and effective way to ensure that potential employees really are who they say they are. Most professional background checks provide a variety of services to employers researching potential hires:
- Education background check: This ensures that your applicant actually attended the schools or trainings they say they did, and that they earned the degrees or certifications they claim.
- Employment background check: This seeks out their employment history from previous employers to verify that they have the experience their resume states.
- Criminal background check: This ensures that their criminal history is consistent with what they’ve claimed on their application materials.
- MVR check: Motor Vehicle Record checks let you know whether your candidate has ever had a DUI or other driving-related incident that may make them a liability at work.
Employee background checks are a straightforward and consistently worth-while way to make sure that your potential employees aren’t lying. However, it’s important to go deeper than a surface-level verification. That’s where the next step comes in.
Ask specific resume questions during employee interviews
While a background check may be able to verify that your potential employee really did work at the places they claim, it might not give you any insight into whether they have the experience they claim.
Here’s an example: let’s say your applicant’s resume claims they worked at Smith & Associates. You get the background check information on them and find out that this is true; they really did work there. However, they also claim that they have experience taking the lead on projects and directing their fellow team members.
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Your background check probably won’t give you that fine-grained information. But don’t worry – you’re not stuck. The simplest way to verify this kind of information is to ask about it during your interview stage. In the above case, you could ask something like, “what did you do when you took the lead, and how did you direct fellow team members to successfully complete the project?”
This might seem like it puts them on the spot, but any applicant should be ready and willing to explain the experience they say they have on their resume. After all, a resume is really just a jumping-off point that you can use to get into more in-depth info during your interview.
Require references from past jobs and education
Unfortunately, even detailed interview questions aren’t completely perfect. That’s why many employers opt to include professional references along with other application materials. Professional references allow employers to reach out to past employers and educators to ensure that the applicant really has the relationships they claim, and that they have made the accomplishments they claim as well.
Professional references can be extremely helpful for employers who work in high-skill areas, too, like engineering, research, journalism, medicine, and teaching. Professionals in these fields should have many people in their lives to are happy to vouch for them and who have had personal experience with them that speaks to their character and abilities.
What do you need to remember as you head into your next round of hiring? There are a few steps that you can add to your hiring and HR toolkit to ensure that your applicants are telling the truth on their resumes:
- Conduct an employee background check.
- Ask specific resume-based questions during the interview stage.
- Reach out to past references to ensure that your applicant comes with their recommendation.
No method of ensuring candidate truthfulness is 100% fool proof, but by taking precautions upfront during the hiring process, you can decrease the amount of risk your organization faces further on down the line.