|By Morley Surcon,
Vice-President, Western Canada at Eagle
Shocking news — people lie!
There are many, many sources on the web showing how prodigiously people fib on their resumes and social profiles. One such article suggests that over half of resumes and job applications contain falsehoods. Misrepresentations can range from job titles and dates of employment to out-right lying about where one has worked and the education that they have… and everything in between.
In a slower economy, where there are more applicants than jobs, staffing agencies have witnessed a greater “stretching of the truth” by some independent contractors. For example, something that our company has been calling “resume blurring” becomes much more common. This is less of an outright lie, but more of a stretching of the truth. Resume blurring comes into play when people re-write their resumes to broaden the types of roles for which they might be a fit. For example, an IT contractor who has been a Project Manager might now have a resume that appears that they’ve got a lot more Business Analysis experience than they really do, or vice versa. As the two roles work so closely hand-in-hand, it is often difficult for clients and employers to weed out the candidates that kind of know the job versus the ones that have actually been doing the job and are experts at it.
Other times the deceptions are even more blatant. We have seen instances where contractors actually “buy” resumes and other people take phone interviews for them to win them the job. We’ve even had someone complete a skype interview for another person! (That’s a harder one to pull off) Regardless of what the falsifications are, it comes down to the fact that there needs to be a much deeper level of due diligence completed by recruiters. Honest contractors deserve a fair shake and the only way this is going to happen is through deeper background and reference vetting.
Again, when the economy offers fewer jobs than there are qualified applicants, companies often feel that they don’t need the services of employment agencies as they can gather more than enough resumes on their own. But given the propensity of some people to embellish or outright lie on resumes/applications, this is the time when they really need a good staffing agency partner the most. At Eagle, over our 20 years in business, we have come to know a large percentage of the independent contractors in the market. We’ve tracked their careers and we have relationships with many that span years. We know these technology professionals, we know what they do and have done, we know that they are the “real deal” and we share this information with our clients. And for contractors that are new to us, we complete a series of interviews, background vetting and reference checks before sharing their information with our clients; in this way, we get to know them and ensure they are what they claim to be.
For the reasons listed in the paragraph above, honest and professional contractors should make it a point to build strong relationships with their recruiter partners as we can be the voice of reason helping you to compete with the desperate people (or outright charlatans) in the market.
Have you witnessed any new or innovative ways that some people try to fool their way into jobs? I encourage you to share your stories below!