85 Percent of Job Applicants Lie on Resumes

So an applicant is sitting across from you or on Zoom and you just read this Inc article about 85% of job applicants lying on resumes. In the article there are three ways to spot a liar. The trouble with that is the time it takes to do that diligence. Determining which applicants are lying takes a lot of time as well as a good interviewer. Added to that is the reliance on ATS systems to screen for specifications for a job looking for keywords. Applicants are getting wise to it and customizing resumes to get past the filters in hopes of an interview. I read another article where it is estimated millions of qualified applicants are rejected because of requirements that are too restrictive. Job descriptions are often written with requirements that are more restrictive than needed. Is 5 years of experience really necessary or just desired? Is a college degree required or could focused experience serve the same purpose? An ATS system is too literal. There is no room for interpretation. You either meet the requirements or you do not.

Are managers a bit lazy, or way too busy? Take your pick, but it results in pulling outdated job descriptions off the shelf. Those descriptions do not accurately determine what is needed to do the job. The adage ‘hire slow – fire quickly’ holds true. You need to take the time to accurately describe what skills, experience, and education are really necessary. And the list goes on.

On the personality side take the time to think through what behavioral style elements are needed to deliver the results expected in that specific job. There are tools to help you do that effectively. We supply such tools and have used them for over 25 years. They are extremely helpful if you are trained and know how to interpret the results. If you don’t know what you are really looking for, how do you know if you will find it?

Our selection tool requires a behavioral benchmark. That typically is not available, and we meet resistance to do the work to create it, so we clone their best employees in that job. By clone I mean we use our assessments to create a profile of shared behavioral traits. That works surprisingly well.

If the resume is potentially professionally written and contains misinformation, why even read it? So how about loosening the requirements to what is the absolute minimum necessary for the position? In today’s relentless quest to find talent are we relying too much on computer algorithms, well-written resumes, and not considering pure capability? Are savvy applicants figuring out what keywords ATS systems are looking for and seeding their resumes with those words hoping to get an interview? Once you get pulled into a resume it sets up a bias.

I recently had a conversation with a former HR Executive, now a coach. She said that reading a resume was a waste of time and potentially counterproductive because it sets up biases. And biases are partly responsible for lack of diversity. Why is diversity such an issue in companies? We all have biases and if that is the first thing we are presented with, our judgment is affected. Granted, overall, we hire more acceptable individuals than not but if the bad hires are only 15% of the total hired that equates to a pile of money that should be going to the bottom line.

Legacy hiring processes still rely mostly on the interview. Often that is not just one interview it is multiple. That takes a lot of time with a sizable investment. I interviewed a manger that told me his process was having five managers interview applicants. Each one had veto power. He thought it was a great process as he hired good people. No doubt but how many potentially great people did he miss?

I’m not against interviewing but I think it should be the last, not the first step. It should rely on data and not intuition. It should be done by the most competent interviewers. To illustrate, in our product testing for our newest tool we engaged an employer that was having a hard time finding and retaining field engineers. Using assessment data from existing high performing employees we developed a profile to match applicants against. I remember one applicant that fit the profile very closely. I highly recommended this person be prioritized for interview. He was interviewed and was hired. Much to the glee of the employer this individual quickly became a star and has been with them for over three years. That individual had applied for the same position on two previous occasions using the companies old hiring format and was rejected.

We streamlined the selection process so that only the best potential was selected for a final interview saving time and money. I’ve seen examples where an individual was hired without an interview. The decision being made because the data revealed by our assessment process matched what was desired for the position. The result proved to be justified based on performance and longevity.

Relying on an interview process based on a resume alone is fraught with risk due to the potential of inaccuracy. Use the best interviewers. Uncover the lies, Structure the questions around what outcomes are desired. Dig deep. That’s a lot of work, but we know that structured interviews increase success slightly above 50%. Unstructured interviews? Might as well use a dart board.

A better option is to use validated, accurate data matched to total job requirements. It is faster, has a lower cost, and offers better results.

HireSense, with lack of bias, prioritizes those applicants having the best potential to fit the job requirements. Reading resumes and setting up the interview strategy to determine the honesty of 100 applicants takes a lot of time. The HireSense process whittles down to the top three to five best choices and suggests the most pertinent interview questions.

If you would like to see this tool in action using your data contact Michael@Hiresense.com and we’ll send you a link to take the assessments.  It takes about 30-45 minutes to complete and the debrief of your report with Michael will blow you away!

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