New Zealand & Australia Candidates top in Asia Pacific for CV Embellishment

A study released this month by screening analytics company First Advantage places New Zealand and Australian candidates as those most likely to stretch the truth in their CV’s, with 26.9% of CV’s found to be significantly embellished, compared to the next two highest scorers being Singapore (18.8%) and Hong Kong (16.4%).

Of all CV discrepancies in Asia Pacific, 54% related to Employment History, in particular, job title/designation and responsibilities, followed by reason for leaving, salary and eligibility for rehire.   Educational achievements accounted for 20% of discrepancies, mostly centred on unverifiable degrees and dates of claimed graduations.

Health and Energy sectors recorded the highest levels of discrepancy across the APAC region.

So, if over a quarter of your applicants are significantly embellishing their CV’s, here’s a checklist to build into your recruitment and selection process:

  1. How good are you at Interviewing?

Interviewing seems to be a bit like driving a car in that very few people are prepared to admit they aren’t very good at it.

Skilled and experienced interviewers are far more likely to succeed at getting beneath the highly polished veneer of a candidate with seemingly perfect career experience on their CV and uncover the actual extent of their responsibilities and achievements.

The same is true when checking references, so if you don’t interview often, bring in a trusted colleague or advisor who has the interviewing skills you need to make a thoroughly assessed recruitment decision.

  1. Build Background Checks into your Screening Process

In the First Advantage study, APAC employers most requested background checks were employment verification at 53.7%, education verification (21.3%), followed by criminal history (3%).

New Zealand employers, especially in the SME sector, tend to take candidates at their word on many aspects of their career, educational and social history, even when these aspects can be critical to success or failure in the vacant job.

The skilled interviewer you have borrowed will cut through discrepancies and vagueness in employment history, with NZQA able to verify NZ qualifications with ease. Determining overseas qualifications is more time consuming, although NZQA has a list of comparable qualifications for core professions such as law, accounting, medicine, nursing & professions allied to medicine to name but a few.

Professional bodies also have databases of overseas qualifications that are accepted in New Zealand or eligible after a period of professional supervision.

Place the onus on the candidate to verify the authenticity of less clear qualifications before a job offer can be made.

Professional assistance can also be accessed through businesses such as

3. Test & Assess CV Claims

If candidate CV’s claims skills and behaviours essential to success in the job, then determine whether a candidate has those skills and behaviours before they sign the employment agreement, rather than making costly discoveries about their shortfalls later.

  • If a senior manager or business analyst role requires advanced abilities to turn raw data into meaningful financial or production performance information, why rely on candidates talking about it in an interview when you can insist they prove it through Critical Reasoning Ability Tests designed to measure just that?
  • If an operations manager is going to be measured on their capacity to engage teams of supervisors and lead them through substantial change in transforming the way a plant manufactures and distributes products, the core elements of their leadership, communications, change management styles & stress tolerance can be uncovered in a 30-minute personality questionnaire.
  •  If a project manager absolutely has to have strong negotiating skills, then insist they demonstrate those skills in a negotiation exercise observed by the selection panel.
  •  If a financial controller needs to be effective in managing the businesses management, financial and cost accounting functions, as well as taxation, then insist they complete a Chartered Accountant skills & knowledge test

Testing and assessing candidates to ensure employers make thoroughly informed selection decisions is the core of our business and we test and assess every level from factory floor to CEO in every public and business sector, so contact us today.