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HR Dilemma: Resume Liar, Pants on Fire

HR Dilemma: Resume Liar, Pants on Fire

by Frank Roche on December 2, 2006

in Culture, Policies, Recruiting, Resume

Pants on Fire

When I first saw this video of boys playing with gasoline, the line “Liar, liar, pants on fire” immediately came to mind. [Slightly NSFW.] I didn’t know how true the “pants on fire” bit would be though. You just have to watch it and shake your head. But that’s kids’ play. What happens when employees lie about their resumes?

I started poking around Google with these search strings: “lying on resume,” “lying on resume statistics,” and “workplace lying.” Zoiks! Here’s what I discovered: According to the Society for Human Resource Management, 53% of applicants lie on their resumes. And nearly 1-in-10 applicants falsely claim college degrees they don’t have, jobs that didn’t exist, or employers that were no more than figments of their imagination, according to Hire Right. So what’s up with that?

Working around HR for a good chunk of my life, I’ve heard one too many stories of people who have gotten into companies with patently false resumes. (Yes, even recently.) Claims that an employee had done some bigtime corporate job, only to find out he was a controller in a tiny little division. Strange claims of skillsets that clearly didn’t exist. Even odder claims of degrees from colleges that “changed their name” or aren’t even certified to grant degrees. RadioShack’s former CEO, Dave Edmondson, got away with it for 11 years before something was done about it. How does that happen? And what do you do about it?

Do you have policies to make sure that you thunder down like Thor’s hammer on candidates’ heads when they’ve lied on their resumes? Do you let them continue? Do you let them “update” their resumes once their mendacity is revealed? Hey, if you don’t, you can always send job candidates to Fake Resume, which boasts, “The ultimate guide to helping you get the great high paying job you want by helping you lie on your great resume. Everyone else is doing it, shouldn’t you?”

[Video via A Welsh View]


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