Employment Screening 101: Education and Employment Verifications-Part 8
April 7, 2008
According to a careerbuilder survey in 2006 57% of hiring managers say they have caught a lie on a resume. Topping the list were lies about past employers (18%), Academic degrees (16%), Technical skills (15%) and Accomplishments (8%). employeescreenIQ figures show that around 56% of all resumes screened show some sort of discrepancy, even after eliminating ‘common mistakes’ from the overall statistic.
A resume is nothing more than a sales pitch, it’s the candidate’s opportunity to tell you exactly what you want to hear (or what they want you to hear). Last May I was quoted throughout an article in SmartMoney Magazine brilliantly titled, “White Lies on Resumes Raise Red Flags for Employers”. This article outlined some great examples of corporate embarrassment:
The emergence of defamation claims were common place in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. Courts began upholding defamation lawsuits based on negative employer references that could not be established as fact. This led to employers divulging only basic information such as dates of employment, title and salary.
Neutral reference policies are no longer a concern for employers as many courts have begun to uphold the theory of “negligent referral” . Rob Thomson, Communication Manager of employeescreenIQ wrote an excellent article for our newsletter a while back called “Employment Verifications: Less May No Longer Be More!” In it he states:
In recent years many states have enacted “job reference immunity statutes” which presumably provide protection for employers that choose to provide more in-depth information about former employees. The consensus of these statutes in the legal community is that while they codify immunity for employers providing employment references, in practice they may not provide a significant upgrade in protection over existing employment laws. Job reference immunity statutes generally establish a presumption of good faith on the part of the former employer, meaning that it must be shown that the employer knowingly provided false information, or acted with malice, depending on the statute, to establish negligence.
Conducting education and employment reference checks is one of the most important services offered by employment screening firms. Historically companies have been littered with employees that were under qualified and overpaid based on previous positions. Spending a little money can save a company a lot of heartache and embarrassment. I have consulted with hundreds of HR Departments, and I ultimately leave it with them like this; whether you do it or we do it for you, it absolutely needs to be done.
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