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Technology knows when you're lying on your CV. Here's how

·3-min read
Person handing resume to another person at office desk.
Here's what you need to know for your next job application. (Image: Getty).

The world is about to see the “biggest migration of talent” in history, and companies that fail to adequately vet new recruits could be left with frustrating problems, the CEO of a major reference checking firm has warned.

A 2020 survey of more than 1,000 workers undertaken by ResumeLab found as many as 93 per cent knew someone who had lied on their resume, and as workplaces embark on hiring sprees, the wrong hire can take months of time and thousands of dollars to fix, Xref Limited (ASX:XF1) CEO and co-founder Lee-Martin Seymour told Yahoo Finance.

Xref is a reference and identity verification platform that allows employers to request references in minutes and receive feedback within 24 hours, with clients including KPMG, Airbus, Xero, Colliers International and The Salvation Army.

“People have always stretched the truth. A resume is nothing different to your holiday photos,” Seymour said.

“A resume is very one-sided. Recruiters and employers need to find out all of the information that actually isn’t on a resume, and they need to do it quickly.”

He said with 600 million people around the world out of work, the task for employers will be identifying the workers that have truly been “superstars” in their previous roles, and those that are stretching the truth.

“Referencing and checking is the only way to decipher between a job candidate that can stand out in an interview but can’t do the job, and somebody that may not interview very well, may not have a very flash resume but are absolutely incredible at doing the job you’re hiring them to do.”

He said technology is now allowing recruiters to spot red flags in references as well.

In one instance, a candidate’s two referees responded to the Xref reference check within seconds of the callout, and both using the same IP address.

While the candidate said it was because both referees were at the same barbeque that they were at, the fact that the reference checks were both submitted at around seven in the morning implied otherwise.

While the ResumeLab research found long periods of unemployment and hopes for a higher salary were the two most common reasons for resume fibs, Seymour noted that lying is also common among higher and even C-suite positions.

“People believe that it’s really the lower end salaries that give it a go, but we have found C-suite recruits of six-figure salaries that have faked their backgrounds,” Seymour said.

He said Xref sees itself as a champion of the underdog.

“We love the person that hasn’t interviewed for 10 years because they’ve had long tenures and they haven’t had to interview.

“Then, all of a sudden they find themselves in an interview and they can’t perform - they don’t know how to sell themselves, but they’re the best person you’re ever going to hire.”

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Image: Yahoo Finance
Image: Yahoo Finance
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