The Challenges for a recruiter today are manifold. On one hand they are faced with cutting across a complex clutter of applicants curriculum vitae, aspiring for a job, and on the other understand the best fits, simply on the basis of that paper called as Resume, Prima facie it might seem very easy, however, the actual repercussion of the moves are understood after a point in time, when the selected candidates are found to fake credentials, achievements, experiences, professional traits etc. The selected candidate is already part of the system and suddenly this bolt comes from the blue saying that his profile is full of fictitious claims. Renu Saldhana, HR manager with a mid sized Mumbai based BPO opines, that in spite of tried, tested and filtered mechanism of screening the prospective candidates, there is always some cases which are successful in going through the gate and joins the organization. To this Rajat Thomas employed with a leading headhunter in Bangalore added that there had been instances where the prospective seeker have even gone to the extent of making false certificates so as to prove his academic credentials, experiences, professional profile, completely forgetting the aspect that the same is to be verified by the employers.
Why they fake
Sameer Neware an engineering working with a IT firm was open while saying that many of his college peers and office colleagues try to project themselves in a complete contrast with their actual achievements. He spoke about a case where one of his colleagues having rudimentary knowledge is SAP projected all tall claims in his resume and landing a plum job in Thailand. On quizzing as to how he is going to manage his shortcomings while the candidate would be asked to leverage his knowledge and experience on the job, the astute reply was that the breathing space would be sufficient to do the cover up and catching up activities as the candidate has the rudimentary knowledge of the skill-sets claimed in his profile. Sameer also added that a experienced candidate fake only to that extent which he can successfully defend in front of the interview panel, without creating even the slightest doubt.
A fresh graduate with raw talent knowing very well the world admires the experienced professionals are the ones who are far more liberal in faking up things as they feel they can match their accomplished peers by making false statements, Little do they realize, once they are exposed to the grilling process of the interview panel, followed by credential verification they would be caught on the wrong foot. Adarsh jointed a pharmaceutical company as a project manage-trainee only after spending six months in the sales department of two pharmaceutical companies, whereas the opening called for at least two years of field experience. Adarsh confessed the fact that a project manager or one in the making should definitely possess hardcore frontline and hardcore sales experience as marketing entails formulation of strategies which is only possible if one has spent substantial time in the filed. Adarsh being a street smart individual was a fast learner, but practically it would not have been possible for him to learn things of two years in a few months. He confessed the fact that he can always learn while on the job and his skeletal knowledge in frontline sales would put him in a good stead. He wanted to make a career in product management and was not ready to wait for sometime more as he was getting fed up with his routine sales job. The company could not find out his wrong claims and interestingly is doing exceptionally well in his new assignment. However, this should not be taken as rule; it is rather an exception where in spite of faking a career aspirant is smoothly going about his professional moves. The major reason to fake is to move up the career hierarchy a little faster with plethora of potions available to an aspirant. The bottom-line of all such wrong practices is that there are no short cuts to success as it might lead to a weak foundation culminating in early breakdown.
Identifying fake claims
Companies have today put in practices which try to filters even the employee in the lowest rung of their organization. Reference checks, verifying with old employers, institutions where the candidate had worked or studied can also reveal some if not all the wrong claims. They are still not full proof and there are odd cases of fakers sneaking into the organization Nira Shah, a Recruitment specialist working with a conglomerate in Kolkata is of the opinion that one can very well identify whether a candidate is taking cross checking his claims with arguments during the interview process. This however, calls for above average reading of minds, body language, and non verbal gestures on the part of the interviewers and the time limitations of the interview process is a big hindrance on the part of the interview panel. This can reduce the case of wrong selection to a large extent, provided one has a experienced team of recruiters. Reference checks are also being managed by candidates by candidates by putting forth names of professionals or seniors with whom the concerned applicant shares a good rapport therefore nullifying a true feedback on the part of the referee. There had been instances of including distant relatives and family friends which might be a big deterrent in bringing out the true picture of the applicant. Companies have also started to ask for handwritten applications so as to match the personality claimed in the resume with that of the graphology finds to be done be handwriting analysis expert. Technologies like internet and telephone encouraging organizations to adopt techno savvy are doing away with the conventional mode of one to one interactions which can to an extend make out the actual personality of a prospective employer and tally the same with the claimed ones.
The employers has to be very cautious wile recruiting his employees as the ideal case of too many is posing new challenges as employees are trying to fake credentials for making it to the fore walls of the organization.
Author is Faculty Management at Tripude Institute of Management Education. TIME, Nagpur.
He can be reached at Email : [email protected]