When you recruit people, you want to find the best of the best to enhance your company. Since you and your recruiters can’t read minds, you have to rely on resumes, applications, and information provided by employee candidates during an interview to find out who is qualified. Unfortunately, as many as 50 percent of employee candidates may be lying on their resumes, according to Freakonomics coauthor Steven D. Levitt.

When employee candidates lie, it can harm your organization. Some lies may make your organization vulnerable to legal penalties, while others may affect your productivity and revenues. The following are some of the most common lies told by employee candidates intent on getting the job.

1. “I Got Great Grades in X Major at Y University”

Education is possibly the most frequently fudged category on the resume. While many employers will check previous job references, it is rare that a company will actually check to see what kind of grades someone got or even whether they truly have the degree or education level that they claim. Failing to do a sound background check or require a copy of a degree to be presented can result in unqualified individuals getting the job.

2. “I Have Been Continuously Employed”

A high percentage of the workforce has been unemployed for at least a short period of time at some point. While the reasons may vary considerably, many employee candidates feel that employment gaps will hurt their chances of getting a job, so they stretch employment dates to cover gaps. Checking references and being open to talking about the reasons for employment gaps can help make employee candidates less likely to lie and can help you catch them when they do.

3. “I Made These improvements at My Last Job”

Improvements in sales, decreases in turnover, and efficiency improvements at previous jobs are just a few of the things that employees may exaggerate. Employees may also make generic claims about how their performance improved the company overall. Since these claims may be difficult to confirm or refute, the best approach may be to ask employees to elaborate on their great accomplishments and tell you how they would go about making those improvements in your company.

4. “I Was the Manager at My Last Company”

Employees may exaggerate or outright lie about what their title was at their last job in order to gain a higher station and better pay at the start. This can generally be fact-checked with a call to the last employer. You may also ask questions about leadership skills and managing a team in order to find out whether they were truly a manager and how well they did.

5. “I Am Great at X,Y, and Z”

It is necessary to find out what an employee is skilled in so that you can best match their skills to your needs, so it really hurts your organization when you place an employee and they do not have the skills that they claim. If an employee claims certifications or education, you can check those skills, but otherwise you have to rely on what they tell you. To truly find out what an employee knows, a realistic job preview may be invaluable.

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