Here’s a statistic that’s sure to confirm what you already suspect: a survey from Checkster found that 78% of candidates admitted to or would consider lying on a job application. In fact, the number of people who wouldn’t embellish the truth was so small they were a minority.
Hiring managers are no stranger to exaggerated skills or dodgy references, but some lies are red flags that could indicate a bigger issue with the candidate. Here are five red flags to watch.
1. Their Title Doesn’t Match Their Experience
Everyone has a different career path, but most people usually ‘level up’ at the same time. So, if you have a candidate with five years of experience but a title that usually comes after seven to ten years of work, then you might drill deeper during the interview.
You might have a wunderkind on your hands, but you might also have someone looking to advance before they’re ready or looking for a big salary bump. It’s smart to ensure that their experience matches their title before proceeding.
2. They Describe Their Work in Vague Terms
Let’s say you want to hire a social media manager, and you bring in a candidate. You ask them what they do day-to-day, and they say “social media.” They don’t have much more to say than that. It’s a red flag.
Someone who can’t describe the day-to-day work involved in their role may not have the experience you’re looking for. A project manager who can only describe their work as “managing projects” may be trying to pull a fast one.
3. Their Dates Don’t Seem to Add Up
In today’s world, “job hopping” is par for the course. While the definition of a “short tenure” has changed, it’s worth investigating why candidates leave when they do.
The survey from Checkster found 50% of candidates said they stayed at one company longer than they did to avoid listing another employer on their resume. So, if someone tends to job hop and then stays on for longer than usual, raise the experience with them.
4. They Insist They’re in Hot Demand
A candidate who walks in the door and informs you that they have multiple other offers also walks in waving a red flag.
Most candidates leverage other offers during the negotiation phase. However, insisting they’re in hot demand before you get into their job history suggests they’re trying to direct you away from something in their job history.
5. They Use Too Many Personal References
There’s nothing wrong with using personal references. After all, you want a well-rounded candidate. However, if their references include friends, colleagues, or volunteer staff but never a single manager or leader, it’s a red flag.
You may want to dig deeper into their title, responsibilities, or tenure at their last place of employment.
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