Most business owners have struggled to achieve success. They work hard and expect to hire employees who will also work hard and contribute to the growth of the business. Although the majority of job applicants are also honest and hard-working, there are some dishonest applicants. There are a few who are willing to lie, cheat and steal if they think it will help them get the job they want.
Business News Daily reports on a survey of 23 retail companies which own 18,900 stores across the country. Annual sales equal approximately $596 billion. Between 2011 and 2012, those stores lost more than $50 million in merchandise and 70,095 employees were arrested. The survey found that new hires, or those who have not been working very long for the company, are the most likely employees to steal.
Human resource professionals have offered a few tips for identifying dishonest applicants prior to offering them a job.
- Watch the applicant’s body language: Interviewers should pay close attention to the applicant’s body language during the interview. Does the applicant make eye contact or constantly look away? Does the applicant appear overly nervous and avoid using hand gestures? Although taken in isolation, these actions may not have significance. When coupled with other indicators of dishonesty, they take on greater significance.
- Have others in the company also interview the applicant: Dishonest applicants often have trouble keeping their story straight. If several people individually interview the applicant, but ask the same questions, inconsistencies in the answers may be identified.
- Check references and do a thorough background check: Honest people find it surprising to discover how many people lie on their resumes about their academic credentials. Recently, a basketball coach who had been hired by the University of Florida for a five-year, $5 million contract discovered he was out of a job when the University discovered that, contrary to what he had reported on his resume, he had never actually graduated from the University of Kentucky. In order to avoid hiring dishonest applicants, employers are urged to use a professional employment screening company to do a comprehensive background check of all applicants, including checking academic credentials, calling references and conducting a credit and a criminal background check.
- Ask applicants to show, not tell: If applicants claim to have special skills, employers should ask applicants to show the employer what they actually can do. If they cannot perform, the employer discovers not only that they do not have the requisite skill, but that they are dishonest by claiming they could do something they cannot do.