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Just as we were promoting our #HiringConfessions program that encouraged recruiters, hiring managers and talent decision makers to share their stories, another hashtag began to trend big on Twitter, only #LiesOnMyResume featured the deepest darkest secrets of job candidates.

After reading some of the stranger things job candidates shared, we understand all too well how difficult it can be to really know the candidates you’re evaluating. And, given some of the doozies shared through #LiesOnMyResume, it may be getting even harder. According to this Marketwatch article, Millennials are five times more likely to lie on their resumes than boomers.

Naturally, this leads to why there are so many #HiringConfessions where hiring managers come clean on the times they got it wrong. Here’s a run-down of some of the stories we heard (edited for brevity):

When HR is over-ruled

One Human Resources Manager hiring an IT assistant was over-ruled by the department manager, “The hire was one of the best, and most calculated liars I’ve ever seen.” It led to “Hundreds of hours wasted on an employee that contributed little to nothing to the organization.” She advises it took two years of documentation to get rid of the employee.

‘I saw the signs…”

“My team insisted that I hire person x, when I had evidence from the interview that she was not likely to follow feedback (answering different questions than what she was asked in the interview even when re-asked). It was a disaster. On the job, she noted that she didn’t understand why we wanted procedures followed as she didn’t think that the rationale we gave was important enough.”

From Green Lights to the Red Light District

One HR Manager learned that their newly hired employee was not having lunch in their car everyday but was engaging in illegal substance activities!

And another HR manager was stunned when she learned about a newly hired field sales representative’s behavior two weeks into the job at a sales conference. “The interview feedback was fantastic, and everyone loved the candidate. Green lights all the way!” But at the conference, the employee had too much to drink and started making out with a co-worker in public in the hotel bar. “Someone on the team stopped them as they were beginning to take their clothes off!”

Focus on the right skills

The Regional Manager for a retail store chain in the entertainment industry learned the hard way to keep in mind the skills that matter. “I made the mistake to focus too much on the “entertainment” and not the “retail”! I hired a person who really only wanted the job as a way to get closer to making their first album and could not sell, run the register or even fold t-shirts!”

Trust but verify!

These two examples are similar to those described in a previous blog post where hiring managers shared their biggest mistakes. During a hiring ramp a talent manager shared that they hired someone before receiving the background check because they had a strong recommendation from a prior, senior level employee.

An attorney advised the fate their organization encountered (including embezzlement) after hiring an in-house counsel based on the recommendation of the previous general counsel. “With that kind of referral behind him, HR didn’t run the ordinary reference and background checks … Con men are slippery, and this is a great case study in why a single instance of trust should not be the sole basis of reliance for a sensitive position. Trust, but verify folks!”

Charmed by the interview

“He did SO well in the interview and said everything that you are supposed to say. Shortly after hiring this candidate into a director role, the staff had complaints about his poor behavior, including talking during meetings, trying to skirt the law, talking down to women, and the list goes on. Unfortunately, for us he is a charmer.”

But not all hiring stories are bad….

One Business Systems Specialist admits “I always feel awkward being approached about someone’s friend who has been looking for work. The friend wants to do good but that might put them in a bad spot is the person does not work out. But in one case the person turned out to be very good quality and surpassed the work of their friend. Awkward in another way….”

Recruiting changed my life for the better

Finally, we all get goose bumps from this corporate recruiter who started their recruiting career in a temporary role.

“I knew nothing about the industry but soon realized that recruiting was my calling. I was brought on as a temp, and I asked my manager what else could I do to help, and soon ramped up into a full-time sourcing role. I’ve been a successful full cycle recruiter for almost 3 years. Recruiting challenges me, yet I take on whatever task is given to me with an open mind and drive to do my best. I’ve grown so much. Recruiting changed my life for the better and I’m glad I took a risk in accepting the temp role.”

What do all these #HiringConfessions and #LiesOnMyResume tell us?

Says one recruiter, “Regardless of the questions I ask, a candidate will spin their story to show themselves in the best light. I have never forgotten this candidate and continue to hone my skill as a recruiter. I have learned not to take a bad hire as a blemish on my skill as a recruiter but to chalk it up to someone who may just be great at impersonating a good candidate.”

Everyone involved in hiring needs to have more accurate insights on the candidates they’re hiring. Online reference checking is one of the fastest, most reliable ways to do that. Check out this video to see how it works.

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