What's worse, as unemployment continues to hover near 10%, the temptation to stretch the truth on a résumé is becoming harder for desperate job-seekers to resist. Applicants lie most about their education, followed by their reasons for leaving past jobs, salary, job titles, scope of duties and criminal records.
Take the guesswork out of the hiring process. Rely on this step-by-step guide for writing the job description, assessing the résumés, and interviewing legally. Great Hires — Every TimeFollow these tips to smoke out lies in an applicant's résumé:
Check for inconsistencies. Résumé-writing software can make anyone look good. Look for slip-ups in dates (such as overlapping start and stop dates) and contradictions between job titles and duties. Ask about time gaps in jobs.
Require all interviewees to fill out applications. Look for inconsistencies between the résumé and application, especially time gaps and lateral moves. Scrutinize the details of both. Applications should include at-will statements and an "accuracy statement" saying omissions or lies are cause for termination.
Test skills. If an applicant claims to have proficiency in a computer program or can handle a certain machine, do a skills check. To avoid discrimination charges, test all applicants and ensure your test is business-related.
Check references and academic credentials. Demand that applicants provide phone numbers for all past employers, and make the calls. Phrase some questions to determine whether the candidate really attended the schools listed. “Is James Smith still teaching accounting at that school?” If you made up the name and the person says, “He sure is,” you’ve got a fabricator on your hands.
Listen more, talk less. Applicants should talk about 80 percent of the time during the initial interview. That first interview is not the time to sell an applicant on how great your organization is. Use that time to understand the person's qualities to better gauge his or her potential for the position. You'll have plenty of time to sell the job once you've narrowed the field.
An applicant may look great on paper, but does he have the skills and winning attitude you’re looking for in a new team member? And how do you penetrate the facade of a well-rehearsed applicant to find out exactly who he is?
To help you get to the bottom of this, we’ve published a special guide: Great Hires — Every Time. Learn More...
Use this guide to evaluate the résumés you receive. Give a high score to those that meet the standard, a lower score to those that don't. Add the totals. Divide résumés into four piles by their score:
- 70 to 56 = follow up with face-to-face interview
- 55 to 42 = follow up with phone interview
- 41 to 28 = seek a second opinion from another manager
- Below 28 = toss
Neatly typed or printed 5 4 3 2 1
Spelling accurate 5 4 3 2 1
Grammar correct 5 4 3 2 1
Prepared by applicant 5 4 3 2 1
Easy to follow 5 4 3 2 1
Entries understandable 5 4 3 2 1
Information accessible 5 4 3 2 1
Explanations adequate 5 4 3 2 1
Consistent with position 5 4 3 2 1
Institutions identifiable 5 4 3 2 1
Tailored to position applied for 5 4 3 2 1
Appropriate tenure for each job 5 4 3 2 1
Duties consistent with title 5 4 3 2 1
Accomplishments outlined 5 4 3 2 1
Great Hires – Every Time contains valuable tools that have been designed to guide you right to your No. 1 candidate. These tools include:
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- A skills-ranking chart
- Telephone evaluation forms
- An attitude meter
- A sample release form
- A résumé checklist
- Candidate evaluation sheets
- Sample ads
- Sample interview questions
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