5 More Ways That Job Applicants Try to Game the System

Editor’s Note: Yesterday, we published the Top 5 ways that some applicants try to “game” the system and get around pre-employment background checks (you can read that here). Today, we round out the Top 10 with five more ways people try to deceive hiring managers.

6. Candidate presents fake diploma when degree couldn’t be verified.

You can’t verify that your candidate actually has the academic degree they claim, so you inquire and they offer to send you a copy of the diploma.

C’mon, you’re smarter than that, right? It has never been easier to create bogus documents, complete with raised seals and everything. The best way to determine academic qualifications is to make an inquiry with the academic institution’s registrar’s office.

7. Candidate waits several days to take a drug test.

You instruct your candidate to submit to a drug test before he or she can qualify for employment. They indicate that it might take a few days to get this done, but they will jump on it as soon as possible. Lo and behold, they show up for the test a week later and the drug test is negative (meaning there are no drugs in their system).

It is a well-known fact that in most cases, illegal drugs cannot be detected through a urine screen after just a few short days. So, for those who have recently taken these drugs, the easiest way to pass the drug test is to wait for a few days and then take the test.

Employers can protect against this by instructing their screening provider to deny an applicant from taking a test if they have shown up after a prescribed amount of time (no more than 48 hours is generally recommended).

8. Applicant claims to have worked for company(s) that went out of business.

Your friendly applicant was fired from their job three years ago (you pick the reason) and they don’t want you to know that they worked there. They know that gaps in employment are usually not looked upon favorably by employers, so they don’t want to exclude the employer. Instead, they replace that employer with a company they know is out of business. Why? Because if that company cannot be reached, you have no way of finding out that they didn’t work there.

Think again. The odds are still in your favor. When instances like this come up, ask the candidate to provide you with a copy of their W-2s. If they tried to pull the wool over your eyes, this is your secret decoder ring. Not to mention that the W-2 will also show past salary, which is the second-most falsely claimed information.

9. Candidate uses multiple social media profiles to hide inappropriate behavior/content.

You tell the applicant that your policy is to perform a social media background check. They know that they’ve made a boatload of inappropriate posts on their Facebook page and don’t want you to see the skeletons. So, they create another profile and point you in that direction.

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In truth, if they were smart, they would just restrict the “naughty” page to their friends or connections. If that happens, you really wouldn’t be able to see the information. However, if the page is not restricted, it’s yours for the finding. Make sure you go beyond the profile that the applicant provides to you and see if there are any other pages.

10. Applicant gives inaccurate information, knowing exactly what past employer will/won’t verify.

Your applicant knows that his past employer will only verify dates of employment and job title. So, he decides that he’s going to tell you that he made $25,000 more than he actually did and you have no way to verify it, right?

Wrong. If the past employer won’t verify income, ask the candidate to provide you with a copy of their W-2s.

Bottom line: Resume padding and other applicant sins have always existed, but with more people applying for fewer jobs, the problem has escalated. Employers need to ratchet up their verification efforts to avoid all the tricks that desperate or unsavory candidates use these days.

Ask for original documents whenever possible, and take nothing at face value. In the age of employment mills, social media and Social Security fraud, due diligence requires much more work than in years past. With the tips you’ve just read and/or the assistance of background screening professionals, you are well-equipped to hire well.

This was originally published on EmployeeScreen IQ.


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