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The rise of degree deceit – how to ensure you’re hiring an honest candidate

The rise of degree deceit - how to ensure you’re hiring an honest candidate

Employing staff can cost a great deal of time, money and a lot of effort. Large companies will often turn to an in-house HR team who will usually take care of narrowing down candidates to a suitable number for interviewing. Although this becomes a smoother process in the hands of a HR department, it has little to no effect with helping to keep track of legitimate information passing through. It can be challenging to separate the honest candidates from those who have twisted the truth to suit specific job requirements.

For high-end jobs in particular, hiring someone who doesn’t have the adequate skill set despite saying they do could cause many repercussions when they perform poorly in the role. For example, if the job consists of dealing with financial transactions and the candidate often faces trouble despite stating that this is something they are experienced with, you’ll begin to question their legitimacy, ending up with a lengthy procedure to remove them from the role to find someone better suited.

Simon Houlton, CEO of IScreenYouScreen, a referencing checking software, has put together a list of protocols to ensure you hire an honest candidate.

  1. Concentrate your questions

Putting the candidate on the spot to answer specific questions in relation to their CV will give an immediate indication as to whether they’re telling a lie. Whether it be previous work experience or playing for a university team, ask them to recall specific moments they enjoyed. Their response time and depth of answer should give tell you a lot. Questions like this can sometimes throw individuals off, leading them to struggle for an answer. Another idea would be to ask them to explain a piece of work they’ve mentioned on their CV. Being passionate about the piece should be enough to tell you they’re telling the truth.

  1. Arrange tasks

The best way to determine whether a candidate is being honest is to set them a task around a highlighted skill. This will enable candidates to demonstrate their skills whilst also giving you an idea if they’re suitable for the role. For example, if their CV mentions a strong skill in graphic design, set a small task to design a new logo for your company. If your brand focuses on launching campaigns and they’ve had experience of doing so, ask them to demonstrate these skills. Not only will this indicate their work ethic, if they go into a vast amount of detail, it also opens up the potential to question them further if they produce something that is average at best.

  1. Look into social media accounts

In today’s world, social media has allowed us to find anyone in the world and to a large extent, any piece of information. This can therefore be an effective tool when researching a potential candidate. Standard checks like matching their age, looking for images or status’ that indicate that they’ve been to university or even matching their CV’s to their LinkedIn profile can all help cut down the chance of false information.

  1. Carry out reference checks

Contacting past employers or checking educational history can take up a lot of time. Using a referencing tool will help narrow down candidates immediately, giving you more time to arrange interviews and write down pre-planned questions. Finding out that a candidate has lied about previous work experience will say a lot about them and therefore save you the time of asking them to come in for an interview if you already know their CV is not 100% true. Reference checks also allow you to scan through multiple CV’s at once, so if your job has a large number of applicants, you’ll be able to narrow them down quickly. As an employer, you want to fill the position as soon as possible, with the strongest possible candidate. Use these tools to your advantage.

  1. Organise face-to-face interviews

As well as verbal communication being a way of determining whether a candidate is honest or not, having a face-to-face interview where you can see their body language also helps determine if they could be a potential employee or not. This partnered with general questions can tell you how confident the candidate is, judging by their movements and gestures. The benefit of a face-to-face interview compared to phone interview, is exactly this. Putting a candidate on the spot to react to any questions related to their CV that they might have lied about, which will cause them to react in a way that could raise questions about their honesty.

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