Are small employers really checking to see if they have a degree?

Application swindlers: How employers expose blenders and boasters

There is a wide range of application frauds: They range from declaring a vacation to be a language trip to falsifying certificates or qualifications.

Such cheating is often dismissed as a trivial offense. But they are by no means, because depending on the severity of the fraud, they have far-reaching consequences: Application fraud costs the fraudster his job if it is exposed. The reputation is ruined and with it the chances of a new, lucrative job. Companies can also suffer considerable damage.

Today companies check exactly which employees they are hiring. Fewer and fewer employers rely only on the application documents. Because wrong appointments are associated with high costs: the fraudster is dismissed during the probationary period or afterwards.

Thus, the investment costs in the search and training are lost. Depending on the position, the new vacancy weakens the company's development and sales, and the new search also costs. When it comes to filling a management position with an external impact, the company's image can even suffer. Damage that is difficult to quantify in numbers.

Where people particularly like to cheat

In HR departments it is well known which points on the résumé people are particularly fond of cheating: Hardly anyone thinks of anything when they describe their rudimentary school French as fluent or include a vacation in Spain as a language trip on their résumé. Many forget that language skills are particularly easy to check. Quite a few applicants are speechless when their interlocutor switches to the required language in the middle of the job interview. For this reason, applicants should rather be honest in their cover letter and signal their willingness to quickly compensate for any deficits with an appropriate language course.

The practice of covering up gaps in the résumé is also widespread. Wherever months and years should actually be given, the applicant only notes the year. For example, attempts are made to hide unemployment. Other applicants sell this time as a self-employed activity.

Even if they don't have to fill in any gaps on their résumé, applicants sometimes try to put their skills in a better light by exaggerating their responsibilities and tasks. Assistance activities sometimes turn into management positions. Or the applicant ascribes soft skills to himself that the HR manager cannot even begin to recognize in the interview. In particularly severe cases, application fraud even goes so far that applicants forge certificates or degrees. Companies are therefore proceeding more and more analytically in order to uncover these inconsistencies and to find the candidate who really fits the position to be filled with his personality and his skills.

The résumé is being checked

In advance of the search, you define exactly which qualifications and skills are necessary for the position and, in addition to the classic job interview, also rely on aptitude diagnostic procedures such as structured and competence-based interviews and assessment centers - often with the support of a personnel consultant.