4 Simple Employment Verification Questions to Find False Resume Info

Recruitment 4 Simple Employment Verification Questions to Find False Resume Info

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Resume and analysis of the resume

Do you need to make sure the information provided on resumes and given in interviews by job candidates is true?  Unfortunately say many, the resounding answer is a yes. Not only do candidates fudge or flat out lie about job titles, employment dates, and skills, there have been reports of resumes that contain made up colleges and false nobel prize wins!  

Employment verification questions are well worth the time to make successful hires.  They can help you uncover fabricated information listed in resumes or shared in interviews.  Finding this out early in the process is beneficial too – it can help you either double click into the discrepancy to find out why or cut short the hiring process for that particular candidate saving time, effort, and money.

Here is a fast, easy to follow checklist of employment verification checks to use when looking out for candidates that may have been a little less than honest on their resume or in their interview.

4 Easy Employment Verification Checks

  • Dates of Employment: It’s quick and straightforward to call a company and ask about dates of employment.  It’s possible candidates may have wanted to smooth over a period of unemployment by altering the dates of when they worked for various companies on their resume or just show that they held a job for a longer period of time than they actually did.  Pick the recent jobs listed on the resume and start dialing.
  • Titles: Again, an easy way to appear like a more qualified candidate is to modify the title from a previous job.  Add “manager” to the end of a title, put “senior” on the front of another title…or just list an altogether new title that isn’t reflective of the role they played for the company.  Fortunately, this is also an easy to one to check. When you’re making the call on employment dates, verify job titles the candidate had at each position listed.
  • Skills: When doing employment verification checks, skills listed on the resume are another critical thing that should be delved into.  This one is likely best done with the candidate’s direct supervisor, manager, etc. and should be handled when calling that reference to learn more about the candidate’s previous role.  Ask about skills that are important to the role the candidate is interviewing for and get specific examples of how the candidate used those skills. You can follow up later during the interview with those specific examples as well, helping determine if they are capable of the job you’re hiring for.
  • Education:  It’s true, there have been reports of people making up fake colleges!  So take the time to verify this with a simple phone call as well. Contacting the admissions and records office is standard – the goal is to verify degree(s) received as well as dates of attendance / graduation date as this is another common area where up to one third of candidates are inclined to blur the lines.

According to research cited by Steven D. Levitt, co-author of Freakonomics,  at least 50% of people have something listed on their resume that isn’t accurate.  While some of those items could be mistakes or a simple misunderstanding, don’t lose the opportunity to weed out candidates who may be under-qualified or just plain untrustworthy.  Don’t skip this step! It’s easy enough to use the employment verification questions shared here to help you make the best possible hires.

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