The search is on for talent. Whether companies are still reducing numbers, standing still or growing staff count, there are few who can afford to miss out on the talent that can help to make step changes in performance in a business. Whether it’s a truck driver, supervisor or senior manager, those who have the knowledge, skills, creativity, enthusiasm and desire to make positive things happen, are essential to any business.
Finding such people is never easy. They may be under your very nose and not recognised or you may have to tease them out of the market place by effective recruitment either using your own resources or fast tracking by using the expertise of a professional recruitment agency. There are risks in recruiting. They can be minimised by using a professional recruitment agency or by adopting sound recruitment procedures.
One of the biggest risks relates to the accuracy of candidates’ CVs. It has become apparent that more and more candidates seem to be lying on their CVs. According to HR Director magazine a recent survey suggests that around a quarter of job seekers deviate from the truth on their CV. The most common distortions being: salary; level of previous experience; educational qualifications; periods of employment and job title. The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development has reported that 25% of employers had to withdraw job offers last year after finding candidates misrepresented themselves in their application. A few employers are now taking a far more robust view of those who misrepresent themselves on their CVs which could damage the business. Last year a NHS Trust took a manager to court that had misrepresented her qualifications on her CV and she was given a six-month suspended prison sentence, ordered to pay nearly £10,000 in compensation and carry out 150 hours of community service.
So you can avoid the pain to the business of poor hiring as well as candidate shame by carefully checking CVs. Look for incorrectly written qualifications; check that employment dates align themselves and there are no gaps; and check that career growth is as you would expect and that the candidate has not jumped three promotions virtually overnight. Ask detailed questions at the interview and don’t be put off by mumbo jumbo – take ‘route one’ when asking questions. Also, and of vital importance, don’t forget to take up references and the best way to do that is to telephone the candidate’s last two bosses and have a frank discussion with them. This route almost often provides answers to questions you would not have dreamed of asking.
Dr Hugh Billot
HR+ is a leading HR consultancy: for advice please call 01233 772431
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