Resume padding is no joke, and without careful research and fact-checking, a bad hire with a good resume can be a costly mistake. Here are five tips to help you avoid the bad candidates, even when they look like some of your best.
Recognize Too Good to Be True
The old saying goes that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Use your common sense when reviewing resumes. Look out for those who gild the lily (or their resume in this case) with broad achievements that lack detail. A bad hire can be someone who is not as experienced or qualified as they led a company to believe they were. Or they could be someone who simply is not able to meet the needs of the job. Many of the things listed on a candidate’s resume are verifiable, so do the work needed to weed out those false starters.
Understand the True Cost of a Bad Hire
Most companies are not able to put a number on the actual expense of a bad hire. Of course, it varies from company to company, and position to position. But it’s safe to say a bad hire can negatively impact a company in a variety of ways, such as lost training costs, project revenue and productivity suck, overall compensation, recruiting fees and even separation bonuses. The online company Zappos, for example, recently found that it was spending $100 million on bad hires. That is a significant amount of money that can ideally be reduced and controlled given the right strategy.
Background Checks are Mandatory
Check every fact, including degrees, dates of degrees, degree majors, employment history, exact dates of employment, direct supervisors’ names, job titles, job functions, salary history and why the candidate left each job. If anything seems suspicious, ask the candidate for details and verify the stories the candidate tells you. References are equally important, and your candidate should have several.
A Simple Cross-Check is a Great Place to Start
Check the candidate’s history online using internet search engines such as Google and social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter to see if the applicant’s history online differs, in any way, from the facts the applicant provided. If you find differences, dig deeper, or ask the applicant for an explanation. In many cases, any misalignments may be due to an out-of-date profile or miscommunication. But in every case it warrants looking into the issue deeper when you have a critical hire on the line.
Ask Detailed Questions
Every candidate who is able to write a good resume is equally able to provide great answers to vague questions. Get specific, ask for details. Dig a little deeper to get at the truth of a skill or experience. Don’t be afraid to ask more questions of references, co-workers or former supervisors. These people will have a more full and unbiased opinion of the candidate and will help you get the unfiltered version of their work history.
For more advice on growing your team the smart way, connect with the recruiting experts at Ag 1 Source today.