Resume fraud is shockingly common: a recent survey found that two out of three employers have encountered an applicant lying on their resume, and that figure only reflects the applicants they caught!
This fraud wastes expensive recruiting resources, denies job opportunities to qualified applicants, and can expose a company to potential employee fraud and brand damage down the road.
So what steps can hiring managers, recruiters, and HR take to stop resume fraud at the front door?
1. Use Backchannel References
Reference checks really only measure whether people can name three individuals who like them. Most people can do that. A candidate’s former coworkers who they don’t refer can provide a much more honest assessment of their character and confirm or deny specific details of their resume. With modern social network technology, reaching out to these backchannel references typically takes only a few clicks of a button online.
2. Check LinkedIn for Resume Consistency
An applicant may be tempted to lie on a resume they submit to your company, but they’re less likely to lie on a semi-public LinkedIn profile where their peers can see and potentially expose their fraud. A quick check of a candidate’s submitted resume against their LinkedIn profile can reveal telling inconsistencies and potential resume lies.
3. Measure applicant skills objectively
Whenever possible, require applicants to complete skills-based tests that can measure their capabilities. For engineers, these tests aren’t hard to devise, but for other positions you will have to think creatively. Ask sales applicants to write a sample cold email pitching one of the company’s products. Ask marketing candidates to draft a sample-marketing plan or allocate a fictional marketing budget. The very presence of these tests and the work required to complete them will discourage many unqualified applicants who might otherwise choose to apply and misrepresent their skill set and background.
4. Warn Applicants that You Will Verify
Let job applicants know up front that you will conduct due diligence on their skill set and verify their credentials as part of the hiring process. Require applicants to check a box acknowledging that they have been made aware of this fact and have accurately represented themselves in submitted documents. Make it clear to fraudulent applicants that their application will be a waste of both their and your time.
5. Employ Verification Services
Many background check providers can also verify an applicant’s education and work history. Depending on the complexity of the resume, these verifications can take anywhere from 24 hours to a few days or even weeks to complete, but can verify specific details like an applicant’s degree, graduation date, job title, and salary. Due to their time and cost, these traditional verification tools are not designed to pre-screen an entire applicant pool and are typically reserved for candidate that have received, or are about to receive a job offer. Companies like Virtrue are working on scalable online verification solutions that can compliment existing services and help recruiters quickly identify candidates of high integrity and quality.
Adam Spector is the CEO of Virtrue, a San Francisco-based company building identity verification solutions for the 21st century. Virtrue leverages proprietary algorithms and cutting-edge data sets to deliver fast, low-cost verification solutions that can decrease fraud and increase efficiencies in online hiring. Follow @Virtrue on Twitter.