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Recruitment Expert Says NFPs Need Thorough Process to Hire Honest Candidates


Friday, 22nd September 2017 at 4:50 pm
Luke Michael
A not-for-profit recruitment expert has warned that organisations need to implement a thorough hiring process to select honest candidates, after new research revealed one in five people lie on their CVs.


Friday, 22nd September 2017
at 4:50 pm
Luke Michael


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Recruitment Expert Says NFPs Need Thorough Process to Hire Honest Candidates
Friday, 22nd September 2017 at 4:50 pm

A not-for-profit recruitment expert has warned that organisations need to implement a thorough hiring process to select honest candidates, after new research revealed one in five people lie on their CVs.

Data from market research firm YouGov, found a fifth (18 per cent) of Asia-Pacific (APAC) residents admitted to having lied on their CV when going for a job.

Experience was the most common area of embellishment, with 44 per cent of those lying on their CV claiming they had experience which was actually fraudulent.

Three in 10 (32 per cent) of CV liars admitted to lying about their personal interests, while 30 per cent lied about how long they had spent in a job and 30 per cent put down education or qualifications they didn’t have.

Colin Marson, the CEO of YouGov APAC said: “The findings of the latest YouGov Omnibus survey may surprise a fair few employers and recruiters, who have long relied on CVs as a primary means of short listing candidates.

“Given the potential and capability of emerging technologies, recruiters may have to look to more diverse integrated models of recruitment to ensure that companies are getting the best and the most honest candidates, coming through in the future.”

But Richard Green, the director and founder of NGO Recruitment, which is a specialist recruitment agency for the not-for-profit sector, told Pro Bono News he was not surprised by these findings.

“I review hundreds of CVs a day and you’re always going to assume that at some stage someone is going to exaggerate or lie on their CV, so you’re always on the lookout,” Green said.

“So we go through very thorough processes to make sure we only put forward quality candidates and to ensure we don’t put forward people who lie or exaggerate on their CV.”  

Green said people applying for jobs in the not-for-profit sector probably lied less than applicants in other industries, but he admitted there were still those who tried to trick their way into jobs through false claims on their CVs.

“I would say in the not-for-profit sector it would happen less, because the quality of people who are applying for roles in the not-for-profit sector are normally very high calibre and have integrity,” he said.

“But saying that, it’s second nature to exaggerate or lie for some people, so you never assume people are saying the truth every time.”

He warned not-for-profit organisations that they needed a thorough recruitment process, to ensure they were not being swindled into hiring a fraudulent person.

“It’s usually just about having an experienced interviewer, who can catch out that lie,” Green said.

“But a lot of the time, [an inexperienced interviewer] in a not for profit can easily get caught out, because some people are so good at lying and so good at deception that they’ve built their career on it.

“We’ve seen candidates get jobs who have lied their way through their career. And they are getting these jobs because they are being interviewed by people who aren’t overly experienced.

“But people looking for jobs in the not-for-profit sector generally have a lot of integrity.

Because they know they won’t get very far if they try to scam people from day one.”

Green outlined the “vigorous process” that NGO Recruitment employed, to ensure an honest candidate was selected.  

“We thoroughly screen applicants on the phone about their career and CV, so even before you invite someone to come in and be interviewed for a position, you screen them very heavily on the phone and are looking for inconsistencies on their CV,” he said.

“Then we bring them in for a very thorough interview for an hour, going through their CV in great detail and making sure all the dates line up on their CV… to minimise the risk of someone lying to you.

“And then there is a very thorough reference process, so by the time you get to the point where you’re about to offer someone a job, they have been through such a vigorous process that you’ve ruled out people who have exaggerated on their CVs.”

YouGov’s research also found that young people were more likely to lie than older people on their CV, with one in five (20 per cent) of those aged under 45 having lied on a job application, compared with one in seven (14 per cent) of those above 45.

However Green did not agree that young people in the not-for-profit sector lied more than older people.

“I’ve seen as many older people lie on their CV as younger people. I think in the not-for-profit sector it wouldn’t be fair to paint young people with that description. They are generally so highly educated and motivated that they wouldn’t even think about lying,” he said.

“I would say younger people are trying to get ahead, and sometimes they might exaggerate because it’s so competitive. But it’s never worth exaggerating on a CV, because at some stage you are going to get found out.

“And so if you don’t go through a thorough process when you’re recruiting, [not-for-profit organisations] can get caught out by people lying on their CV.”


Luke Michael  |   |  @luke_michael96

Luke Michael is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

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