What Is Resume Fraud, and How Can You Avoid It? – business.com – Business.com

You’ve heard the old saying, “Honesty is the best policy.” However, the rising dishonesty in the employment sector suggests this virtue has gone missing. Resume fraud started with slight exaggerations and small white lies in yesteryears. But job applicants today have gone beyond all prior limits with resume fraud thanks to the advent of high-tech scams. 
Now, an enhancement or exaggeration in education credentials is considered a minor fraud. Some job hunters have gone as far as coming up with fake employment histories, job references, degrees and specialized licenses. As a small business owner, it’s critical to understand resume fraud so you can avoid being fooled when hiring employees.
Resume fraud, also referred to as resume inflation, occurs when a job applicant includes false or misleading information on their resume. For example, someone might be misleading about how long they were at a job by solely stating years of employment months. They might falsify their previous responsibilities to make it seem they had more experience than they really did.
Resume fraud is more common than you might think. In a ResumeBuilder survey conducted by Pollfish, more than 7 in 10 respondents said they’ve lied on a resume before. The study found that candidates most commonly lie about their education credentials (44 percent), years of experience (40 percent), skills and abilities (37 percent), length of previous jobs (29 percent) and previous job responsibilities (28 percent).
Of those who have lied, the majority (60 percent) said it was to simply improve their chances of being hired. And it must pay off because 73 percent of respondents said they’ve landed a job using an application they lied on. Nearly half have never faced any consequences for lying, which makes a pretty desirable case for liars.   
Indeed, lying on a resume isn’t a crime. However, some job seekers are taking it one step further by using technology scams to back up their false claims. Online services such as Fake Resume and CareerExcuse seem to be making the most of this trend. By offering “powerful underground guides” and showing job seekers how to “fill the gaps in your employment history,” these websites promise to help applicants add experience to their resume, rig their resume so it’s picked by top HR software programs that screen resumes, get fake references and so on. But that doesn’t mean it’s ethical to do. Plus, for the businesses that fall victim to resume fraud, there are real consequences.
According to ResumeBuilder, men (76 percent) are more likely to say they’ve lied on a resume than women (67 percent).
Applicants lying about their professional history and skill sets can have a significant impact on your business. It’s estimated resume fraud costs employers $600 billion annually. 
Here are some ways resume fraud can impact your business if you hire someone who has lied on their resume.
If an employee lied on their resume and isn’t qualified for the job you hired them to do, you have two options: You can train them or you can fire them. Both options cost you time and resources.
The cost of a bad hire starts at 30 percent of their salary for entry-level employees. The cost is much higher for mid- and senior-level employees.
It’s undoubtedly a daunting task to check up on references and confirm the accuracy of every employee application and resume. But given the statistics, you shouldn’t take risks on this. The frequency of and high-tech complexities surrounding occupational fraud these days make it more important than ever to be confident in exactly who you’re hiring. [Read related article: Hiring Process Timeline Best Practices]
Consider these tips for avoiding resume fraud when screening applicants and to ensure your job candidates can back up the information on their resumes.
Social media can tell you a lot about a candidate. However, be careful when checking it, as this can lead to potential workplace discrimination if you make a hiring decision based on a protected class.
If you or your HR department don’t have the time or experience to thoroughly check all aspects of the applicant’s resume, you shouldn’t forgo the verification process entirely. Instead, enlist the assistance of an employment screening company. Employment screening companies have resume fact-checking experience and are up to date on all trends in resume fraud. You can outsource as much or as little of the applicant screening process to a third-party vendor as you want. Whatever you choose, be confident you have done your due diligence before hiring a candidate.
Take some time to know who you’re hiring. If you don’t do your homework, you can end up paying a hefty price.
Marc Bourne contributed to this article. 
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