You’ve just interviewed the ideal person for a vacancy in your company. Your projects have been stalled by the lengthy process of recruitment, and deadlines are looming. It’s understandable that you want to get that bright-eyed candidate to sign on the dotted line. After all, they’re perfect for the job.
Recruitment agencies throughout the UK concur that more than a third of job-hunters have admitted to lying on their CVs. In addition, some 30% of HR professionals admit they waive qualification checks if the candidate has previous experience. Mix up that heady little cocktail with the fact that you can buy anything on the internet, and, as an employer, you’re in a whole world of trouble.
Fail to check the truth of your applicant’s qualifications and you could risk your business reputation, risk litigation, and – most importantly – you could risk the lives of your employees and the public, too. Imagine hiring an ‘experienced electrician’ whose certificates turn out be forged. Yep, that’s a pretty sobering train of thought. So, to ensure that what your candidate claims is true, you must be vigilant at every turn, even though you want to press on with your to-do list.
At interview, leading questions can expose a fake. Does the applicant recognise industry terminology? Are they able to explain the acronyms they’ve used on their CV? If you’ve hired them, are they asking rookie questions on the job that don’t fit their experience? Listen. Listen in the interview. Listen to the new recruit working with colleagues. And share a cup of coffee with those working with the new hire. Are they happy?
Have a quick check of the candidate’s ‘web imprint’. Check Facebook and LinkedIn to see that dates and locations marry up to the CV timeline and any certificated qualifications earned.
If (and when) you request hard copies of certificates, have a close look at them. How does the paper quality feel? Is the text aligned and well laid out, or are there a variety of fonts and layouts used? Check for watermarks, and for raised or imprinted seals: these are a little harder to forge. Signatures on degree certificates can be revealing. While you may not know whether the signature matches the genuine signature for the person named, was that Principal or Vice Chancellor correct in terms of the date of issue of the document? Lastly, how does the language read? Too informal? Badly spelled? Poor grammar? All the skills you use at home to spot a spam email should be put to work on your applicant’s certification. What’s more, building a library of certificates will give you a benchmark to check against next time.
All of these checks are helpful, but nothing beats checking directly with the issuer. Carry out driving licence checks online, check CSCS online records for construction skills and call any certifiers of key qualifications to check that the certificates are legit. The ten minutes you take to do this now could save you weeks of work, save your business, or even save a life. Take the time.
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