Are you being deceived by candidates?

HRD talks to Lee-Martin Seymour, CEO and co-founder of Xref, about the recruitment challenges facing employers

Are you being deceived by candidates?

Candidate deception is one of many challenges faces employers in the recruitment process. HRD talks to Lee-Martin Seymour, CEO/Co-founder, XREF about what HR needs to get better at to recruit the right candidate.

What do you see as the key recruitment challenges employers are facing?

Issues such as the war for talent, tighter immigration laws and a lack of industry-ready graduates are all increasing the need for employers to:

  1. Speed up recruitment
  2. Reference check
  3. Police Check
  4. Focus on onboarding

With a buoyant recruitment market there are more people contracting than taking permanent roles. Navigating the contractor minefield when trying to hire a permanent, committed candidate is also difficult.

However, the industry has an addiction to automation, and not everything needs to be automated. HR professionals are choosing automation over candidate education or proper recruitment behaviours and principles. The tech landscape is in abundance but organisations need to decide whether the technology they want to adopt is business critical and fit for purpose.

With candidates in high demand, the chances of hiring someone who is not who they say they are or can’t actually do what they say on their resume, is high. And, with the number of roles a candidate is applying for at one time increasing, employers need to find a competitive advantage and adopt approaches that will allow them to hire fast and with confidence.

How significant is the problem of candidate deception for employers?

It’s not an urban myth, it’s a fact. Our Xref Recruitment Risk Index research found that:

  • 71% of job seekers will admit to exploiting flaws in the traditional reference checking process to land a role.
  • 56% avoid choosing someone who might give a bad reference.
  • 51% choose someone who will provide a good reference rather than the most appropriate person, including someone they worked with but not closely (11%), a family member (11%), a friend (16%).
  • 42% admit to having deliberately lied to a potential employer.
  • 23% would actively encourage a referee to lie on their behalf.

What do you think HR needs to get better at in order to recruit the best candidates?

Firstly, it’s critical to understand the key, unique selling points about the organisation you are hiring for and decide how to tell its story. Then, understand why the role exists, what the benefits are for a candidate’s career and learn to educate candidates to reduce the risk of losing them to a competitor.

HR professionals must also be careful not to fall into the trap of restricting their hiring efforts to the times they are actively hiring and meet great candidates at any time to help build a pipeline. Part of this involves implementing a passive candidate strategy, to reach the best talent that is not actively seeking a new job but might be the perfect fit.

Finally, we need to get better at understanding that HR and Talent Acquisition are separate. HR should focus on existing talent and Talent Acquisition should run as a recruitment business within the organisation. It should be run commercially to hold the business and TA professionals responsible for retaining the talent they source, with a direct reporting line to the CEO not just HR leaders.


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