According to a 2017 employment screening benchmark report, a staggering 85 percent of companies surveyed said that they uncovered a lie or misrepresentation on a candidate’s resume or job application during the screening process. Another recent survey indicates that 80% of Americans agree that the U.S. is facing a skills gap. New advancements in technology paired with employers’ hesitation to spend money to provide training for current employees to keep up with said advancements is one reason employees may feel like they are lacking in skills. The same study found that 35% of Americans feel personally affected by the skills gap, and 40% feel that the ever-changing skills requirements will have an impact on their jobs in the next five years.

Employers agree that there’s a skills gap, with the most common complaint being that there just aren’t enough talented workers to choose from when hiring. In order to stand out from the crowd, some applicants do more than just “fluff up” their resumes. There are techniques that employers and recruiters can use when interviewing candidates in order to attempt to determine the validity of their resumes, but with new regulations for employers in 2018, some of those techniques may no longer be legal.

Under Assembly Bill 1008, eligible employers may no longer request that applicants disclose information their criminal convictions history through the application or interview process, until a conditional offer of employment has been made. Employers may also not seek salary history information about an applicant for employment in any way, whether orally or in writing, personally or through an agent or associate, thanks the new law, AB 168.

What can employers ask applicants? Plenty of things. Here are a few tips that can help employers uncover resume lies or less-than-truthful job applicants.

Ask detailed questions about past work experience. If an applicant embellished their resume, they may not be able to answer some of the more detailed questions. Ask very specific questions such as; “What was a time during your position at (company name) where you encountered a difficult project or situation and how did you overcome it?” This is not only an excellent way to get a peek into a potential employee’s problem solving skills, but it will likely stump an applicant whose resume isn’t truthful.

Seek additional references. If your applicant doesn’t provide references from previous jobs, you may want to contact previous employers for a reference check. There are no laws regarding whether or not you may contact previous employers without an employee’s permission, but it is considered polite to ask for it. Some applicants tend to worry about what a former employer may say about them, in which case you might ask; “May I contact (company name)’s HR department to verify your employment?” If the employee says no to that request, that’s a red flag.

Employ a certified recruiter to help with the hiring process. It helps to have someone in your corner that’s certified and experienced in the full cycle of hiring and recruiting. A recruiter can help weed out resume lies through resume and social media searches, which saves you time and energy in the hiring process.

Despite skill gap challenges, job seekers remain confident in their talents and abilities, and many workers are proactive in developing their skills further or learning new ones. And while some job seekers may lie to make themselves look more promising, there are many others out there who are truthful and talented.

Emplicity understands that HR Outsourcing should be simple and meaningful. As a Professional Employer Organization (PEO), we strive to be a great partner in supporting your business. If you would like to request more information on how we can assist your needs, please reach out to us at 877-476-2339. We are located in California – Orange County, Los Angeles, and the greater Sacramento and San Francisco area.

NOTICE: Emplicity provides HR advice and recommendations. Information provided by Emplicity is not intended as a substitute for employment law counsel. At no time will Emplicity have the authority or right to make decisions on behalf of their clients.

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