Applicant dishonesty is certainly nothing new. As long as resumes have existed, desperate candidates have engaged in dishonest behavior to present themselves in a favorable (albeit dishonest) light.
Some of the desperate measures these candidates are taking, however, are new. To make their fabrications even more convincing, job seekers are now using fake reference services.
Here’s how a fake reference service works:
- An individual signs up, creates a fake company where he wants you to think he works, dreams up a job, and then chooses his salary and dates of employment.
- When a potential employer calls the number the candidate provides on his resume, the employer will speak to an impersonator who backs-up the candidate’s lies.
- In exchange for these disreputable services, the job seeker pays a fee.
It’s a booming business, and it could be undermining your hiring success. So how do you know if your candidates are playing games with you – and faking their work references?
- Realize that it could be happening to you. With this kind of deception available to anyone, acknowledge that some of your candidates may be “faking it.” (It’s not your fault – it happens to even the most diligent employer.)
- Trust your gut. Does the candidate’s work history match your needs a little too exactly? If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Pay attention when your instincts tell you that something’s not right and do some extra investigating.
- Go beyond the basics. If a candidate is lying, he will tend to put only basic information on his resume. Think beyond the application and ask specific questions about the company’s lines of business, client base, or any other question that might catch a dishonest candidate off guard.
- Check things out yourself. Ignore the information that’s on the reference list, and do a little digging on your own. Google the company and see what information is out there. If the search returns no hits, that’s a definite red flag.
- Be aware of the “real company, fake position” scam. A job seeker may use an actual company, but fabricate a position there. Contact the employer directly to verify if the reference listed on the resume is, in fact, a current or former employee.
- Trust the hiring and screening experts at A.R. Mazzotta. Honestly, it can be extremely difficult to spot a fake reference; but thankfully, you don’t have to go it alone. As experts in pre-employment screening, we thoroughly check each candidate’s job references to reduce your hiring risks and ensure better hires, every time. Learn more about our CT recruiting services for direct hire.