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Recruitment: 3 Ways To Eliminate Bad Hires In The Fake News Era

March 22, 2017

Preventing bad hires

As the terms “fake news” and “alternative facts” have entered our lexicon, it should not surprise business executives looking to hire that there has been an increase in fake resumes.

Given the enormous cost of bad hires—and to counteract this epidemic—businesses have increased their talent-acquisition spending in recent years to nearly $4,000 per new hire. Yet even as cutting-edge technology has been implemented to streamline the recruiting process, Glassdoor has found that a staggering 95% of employers admit to making bad hires.

The unfortunate fact for employers is that below-average job seekers have become increasingly sophisticated due to unprecedented access to information. Should they be so inclined, candidates can plagiarize resumes from LinkedIn and steal verbiage from videos on YouTube.

In this rapidly changing hiring landscape, my team has worked with companies to develop countermeasures to offset this trend and ensure that talent acquisition efforts produce only A-players.

Here are 3 tips to prevent bad hires in the fake news and alternative facts era:

Combine Big Data, bots, and humans

An Accenture study found that 94% of talent executives have used Big Data to identify candidates. However, while predictive analytics, algorithms, and keyword searches can reduce the need to examine hundreds of unqualified resumes by hand, they can also create blind spots. CareerBuilder surveyed more than 2,100 hiring and HR managers and found that 77% had caught a lie on a candidate’s resume.

So while technology is unequivocally critical, short of a lie detector test, humans are still needed to assess whether a candidate possesses the skills, experience, and DNA required to excel. In 2017, a half-man, half-machine approach works best to weed out fake resumes and bad candidates.

Eliminate gut instinct, keep a scorecard

Everything begins and ends with a consistent, structured, and rigorous hiring process for every candidate. This process includes multiple interviews involving the same set of key stakeholders; extensive background and reference checks that screen a candidate’s social media, personal, and professional networks; and third-party psychometric testing such as DISC to ensure a candidate’s behaviors and motivators match the role’s requirements.

We also recommend creating a unique points-based system to measure candidates against each other, based on objective criteria such as skills, experience, accomplishments, and personality traits. Combined, these criteria help remove subjective bias from the hiring equation and ensure frauds are eliminated from your candidate pool.

Ask “what have you done,” not “what would you do” questions

Any candidate will be ready to tell you about a successful project he or she has worked on. However, interviewing people is a lot like peeling an onion—it involves penetrating superficial layers and getting past conditioned responses.

The best interviewers get past the smoke screens put up by candidates by asking “proof” questions. For example, Facebook’s global head of engineering and infrastructure Jay Parikh said in Harvard Business Review that in order to identify true team players, his team asks “Can you tell me about four people whose careers you have fundamentally improved?” The answers to proof questions can be verified—in this case, by speaking to the four references. Ultimately, as important as it is to know what candidates will theoretically do in the future, you first must understand what they have done, and how they went about doing it, in the past.

In an era of unprecedented connectivity, it is more important than ever for hiring managers to have an ironclad recruiting system that filters out the fakes yet engages the true.

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About The Author

Eliot Burdett is an author, sales recruiting expert, and the co-founder and CEO of Peak Sales Recruiting, a leading B2B sales recruiting company launched in 2006. Under his direction, the company leads the industry with a success rate 50% higher than the industry average, working with a wide range of clients including boutique, mid-size, and world-class companies such as P&G, Gartner, Deloitte, Merck, and Western Union. Eliot has more than 30 years of success in building companies and recruiting and managing high-performance sales teams. He is a Top 40 Under 40 winner. He has been widely featured in top publications including the New York Times, Fortune, Forbes, Inc., Entrepreneur, Reuters, Yahoo!, Chief Executive, and CIO.

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