December 2nd, 2013

Liar Liar – Take care when you hire!


Liar Liar – Take care when you hire!

Many of our clients are in the final stages of wrapping-up their strategic planning for 2014 and setting their sights on execution. For most organizations, hitting growth targets will require hiring more sales people and replacing underperformers with those with the potential to hit the number.

Hiring sales reps is time consuming and risky. According to Manpower’s Talent Shortage Survey, Sales Reps are the second hardest jobs to fill. This difficultly, and a sense of urgency to cover an open territory, might tempt your hiring managers to work around your process to expedite hiring. However, research published last year from Accu-Screen, Inc., ADP, and The Society of Human Resource Managers reveals some shocking statistics:

  • 53% of resumes and job applications that contain falsifications;
  • 46 % of employment, education and/or credential reference checks conducted revealed discrepancies between what the applicant provided and what the source reported;
  • 78% of resumes are misleading
  • 21% of resumes state fraudulent degrees
  • 29% of resumes show altered employment dates
  • 40% of applications have inflated salary claims
  • 33% of resumes have inaccurate job descriptions

Consulting firm Marquet International compiled this list of the top 10 lies.

  1. Stretching dates of employment.
  2. Inflating past accomplishments and skills.
  3. Enhancing titles and responsibilities.
  4. Exaggerating education and fabricating degrees.
  5. Unexplained gaps and periods of “self-employment.”
  6. Omitting past employment.
  7. Faking credentials.
  8. Falsifying reasons for leaving prior employment.
  9. Providing fraudulent references.
  10. Misrepresenting a military record.

How to make better hiring decisions

Hiring is an important process, and with so much riding on your need and ability to make good hires, it is a process that should be optimized, trained to and

Your process should start by clarifying the different sales jobs you need to fill, and updating job descriptions and competencies to reflect the objectives you need people in the role to achieve. The hiring process should specify how you will go about advertising the position; recruit, screen and interview candidates; make your conditional offer of employment; conduct pre-employment your due diligence such as background and reference checks, as well as any other checks such as drug testing references; and ultimately, onboard successful candidates. Establishing a fair hiring process and following process should also protect you from hiring-related lawsuits.

We encourage the use of valid, reliable and predictive pre-hire assessments to support your screening and decision making process. When used correctly, these assessments can reveal more and better information about a candidate than most hiring managers could uncover during the interview process. For example, pre-hire assessments can tell you the type of job a candidate is best suited and how they are best motivated.  This insight gives a hiring manager more focus and direction to dig deeper in an interview. For example, our TalentGauge™ assessment generates an interview guide to really help a hiring manager cover their bases.

We can’t overstress the importance of using a reputable assessment that is both valid and reliable. Reliability determines how consistently a measurement of skill or knowledge yields similar results under varying conditions. If a measure has high reliability, it yields consistent results. Validity or face validity is defined as the degree to which the instrument measures what it’s supposed to measure. If an instrument is not reliable over time, it cannot be valid, as results can vary depending upon when it is administered. An instrument can be neither reliable nor valid, reliable and not valid or both reliable and valid. However, an instrument must be reliable in order to be valid. That’s a mouthful, but the bottom line is that creating your own assessment in SurveyMonkey or using an assessment, such as Meyers-Briggs, that cannot be validated for hiring can get you into a lot of trouble. There’s a very comprehensive guide to pre-hire assessments published by the US Department of Labor

While a good hiring process and valid, reliable pre-hire assessments help make better hires, none of this happens without the involvement of people. While there is no set formula, the assessment results should be take into account with a candidate’s relevant experience and what you learn in the interview process. Interviewing is a skill that takes some training and a lot of practice to do well.

A good hiring process with the right tools and skills will help you hire faster and with less risk.




About The Author: Dario Priolo

As Chief Strategy Officer, Dario Priolo is responsible for driving Richardson’s market, product, and corporate strategy and planning — sharing critical insights with clients to help them win in today’s changing market place. Dario gathers intelligence and market and customer knowledge to: drive Richardson’s innovation; ensure that Richardson offers the best and most relevant solutions for clients that exceed client satisfaction; and raise awareness of Richardson’s extensive capabilities with sales and business leaders.

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Dario Priolo

One Response to “Liar Liar – Take care when you hire!”

  1. August 28, 2015 at 6:03 pm, Chris Carlson said:

    Great article Dario!
    As a sales recruiter with 20 years experience placing B2B reps I actually think the figures you shared understate how prevalent “exaggerating” on resumes is. Assessments can definitely help.
    It’s also imperative to make sales candidates verify their sales #s. I wrote a blog on how to catch lies on a resume that you can view here –


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