It’s estimated that nearly 30% of job applicants lie on their resumes. Millions of candidates misrepresent their education, work history, and qualifications. Even worse, they might be hiding a criminal past. According to ADP Screening and Selection, out of over 2 million background checks performed in 2001, over 40% of applicants lied about their past employment or education.
Some HR executives are confident that their interviewing skills can help them identify liars. But, studies show that visual clues are often misleading. And the cost of hiring a bad employee can be enormous.
When Visual Clues Are Unreliable
HR professionals often think that a lack of eye contact or excessive squirming is evidence that a potential hire is lying. But, such visual clues are unreliable. A candidate who doesn’t maintain eye contact and fidgets during an interview may be well-qualified, yet simply nervous. Eliminating him from the applicant pool can be a lost opportunity for an organization. What’s more, millions of people are adept at lying. Lacking visual evidence of dishonesty, an HR executive may hire a candidate who has misrepresented himself.
The True Cost Of A Bad Hire
Hiring someone who has lied on his resume can create a number of costly problems for a business. For example, if a new employee lied about his qualifications, a business might be forced to waste time training that employee or looking for another candidate. If a criminal history remains hidden, the costs can be much higher. Employee theft, workplace violence, and substance abuse can lead to expensive negligent hiring lawsuits. The true cost of hiring a bad employee can be unfathomable.
Background Checks Are Essential
Because employers and HR professionals can’t depend upon visual clues to identify lying applicants, they must perform comprehensive background checks. Checking references, calling past employers, and looking for hidden criminal records is the only reliable way to reveal whether an applicant is misrepresenting himself. If your business is hiring employees without conducting background checks, you are exposing your company to unnecessary risk.
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