Have you ever come across an employee who during the interview process was an ideal candidate having all the requisite talent and soft skills for the open position, but after getting employed, you felt that the employee has been dishonest with you during the hiring process? Honesty is a very delicate subject, especially when it comes to hiring a perfect talent. One question that usually comes up in the minds of the recruiters is whether candidates should be evaluated and selected on the basis of the degree of their honesty? Well, you will agree with the point that honesty is one of the important criteria when it comes to evaluating a candidate for an open job.
Honesty is one of the most important factors when it comes to selecting the right talent for an organization. The fact that dishonest employees cost companies thousands or even millions of dollars is well-known to every recruiter. Let us look at some of the statistics that highlight the alarming proportions of lies that candidates make to get the perfect job:
- According to the research conducted by the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), 53% of job applications contain inaccurate information.
- In a survey conducted by CareerBuilder.com, 49% of the 3,100 hiring managers surveyed had caught a job applicant fabricating some part of his/her resume.
- 9% of job applicants falsely claimed they had a college degree, listed false employers, or identified jobs that didn’t exist.
- 34% of application forms contain outright lies about experience, education, and ability to perform on the job.
- A study of 2.6 million job applicants showed that 44% lied about prior work experience, 41% lied about their education, and 23% of applicants falsified their credentials or made false claims on their resumes.
The disturbing part is that the decline in ethics has been observed everywhere from recent graduates to executives. This can create serious implications for the organizations that recruit these candidates. The problem is that most of the recruiters make the hiring decisions on a daily basis by ignoring the results of pre-employment background checks. The reason being, it satisfies their egos and gut feelings that go against the rationalization that the candidate selected can prove to be a grave danger to the organization.
It has generally been observed that pre-employment background screenings enjoy a love-hate relationship with recruiters. There are certain recruiters who live and die by the results of the screening test which helps them to select only the right talent. While others despise the fact that a simple questionnaire might second guess a recruiter’s gut feeling about how a candidate might fit into the job. Both the concepts have flaws of their own.
First of all, both the parties need to practice moderation when it comes to performing pre-employment background checks. The ones that are the die-hard fans of the screening tests should not become biased and perform the checks only to screen out or select the candidates. The best way to hiring is by performing one-third time in the interview and experience, one-third reference and background checks and rest one-third pre-employment assessment tests.
Alternatively, if a recruiter does not conduct pre-employment background checks as a part of the employee selection process, then there is a possibility that they might miss out on an important detail that can help them select the right talent for the organization. With the help of a validated assessment, it is possible to get an objective viewpoint about the candidate in question which at times helps in exposing character flaws along with other unidentified flaws of the candidate. For example; One of the candidates’ pre-employment background check reports showed that he had been picked up twice in the last year for driving without a valid driving license. Although the candidate explains that they cannot afford to lose this job as he has to pay a mortgage and a family to support.
The commitment to family shows the positive value in the minds of the candidate. But, the screening report highlights the fact that if the person again does not have money to pay for his mortgage, to feed his family or purchase medications to the family, he might resort to stealing from the employer or he would tell lies to protect his family.
While the results of the pre-employment background checks are not absolute, they point towards certain red flags in the areas like hostility, honesty, and conscientiousness. The report generated on the basis of the assessment clearly shows that the potential candidate would react adversely if given a choice between family and the law. Yet, there are certain recruiters who doubt what they read in the candidate’s report despite numerous confirming statements about the questionable integrity.
In the end, it has got to be said that pre-employment background checks can provide invaluable information pertaining to the candidate’s attitude and integrity. With the help of these screening reports, it is possible to select the right talent that is fit for the job and can perform at the best in the organization. Ignorance is not bliss when hiring perfect candidates for an organization and pre-employment background screening tests can assist recruiters to make smarter hiring decisions for the benefits of their organization.
cFIRST Think Tank is the team that researches and produces content for cFirst. This team comprises of seasoned content and digital design professionals and background screening industry veterans. Together we produce insightful blogs, infographics and reports meant for HR and background screening professionals.