India/ Bengaluru

Fail-safe Recruitment

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Improve the outcome of your screening and shortlisting process

High quality human capital is one of the key drivers and engineers of a healthy bottom-line. Consequently, businesses are always scouting for talent, and are engaged in a continuous endeavour to leverage their human capital reserves to optimize business efficiency and productivity. Across industries, enterprises struggle with streamlining and optimizing their hiring, retention and recruitment processes. Notwithstanding the contingency and criticality of hiring and retention, it is important to employ the right people for your business. Ideally, a good recruitment process can minimize the time involved in the searching, interviewing and hiring processes.

Organizations can pre-emptively screen those applicants who are entirely unsuitable, thus saving on the expense of processing the unsuitable applicant through the remaining steps of selection. In the recruitment process, shortlisting comes after sourcing and screening, preceding interviewing and assessment. Organizations can screen resumes from candidates, shortlist the best ones and move forward conditionally, because a lot of considerations apply to the shortlisting process.

52 per cent of the talent acquisition leaders say that the most difficult part of their job is shortlisting the right candidates from a large applicant pool: Industry Sources

On the other hand, embellishing a resume has become a convenient practice and is a means to stand out amongst a crowd of applicants. However, when dressing up involves falsifying work history, it poses a big challenge to recruiters and employers to unearth the “untrue” parts.

Data collected from numerous studies performed, over the years, on the employment market reveals some interesting findings. Approximately 20 per cent to 30 per cent candidates fake references on resumes; nearly 34 per cent of applicants lie on resumes, and nearly 23 per cent of background checks contained some or the other discrepancies.

The current process of recruitment typically involves multiple stages — starting from sourcing and screening, to technical and HR interviews, offer roll outs, and concluding with onboarding the candidate. During this process, the technical skills- sets claimed by the candidate are evaluated through multiple methods. However, claims on the “total years of experience” is assumed to be correct and gets verified only after onboarding, leaving the organizations with high exposure to risks.

Since enterprises begin with limited candidate information at inception; during the shortlisting phase, there is a challenge to avoid resumes with false claims at the initial round of screening and shortlisting.

This handicap shifts the focus of the hiring dilemma to the selection criteria; which is a concise list of the “essential and desirable”. Having decided on the shortlist criteria, assessing candidate fitment should not be based on personal opinions or gut feeling, or similarities between the candidates’ professional trajectory. Include “Integrity” in your shortlisting criteria. Adopt real-time and reliable, data reference activity for “effective shortlisting”.

“Somebody once said that in looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence and energy. And if you don't have the first, the other two will kill you. You think about it; it's true.” … Warren Buffet

Industry experts believe automated tools make shortlisting activities more effective. Intelligent shortlisting is possible, if you have real-time, reliable information, along with the curriculum vitae of the candidate. The recruitment team must be empowered with real-time and reliable data, to establish any incongruity, mismatch, or aberration, on the present or past employer, duration and salary, all of which are critical while making a hiring decision. Similarly, if technology-enabled solutions can help validate claims in areas such as education qualifications and criminal records, as it would enable organizations to avoid bad hires.

Many organisations are considering the adoption of “Shift Left – Employment History Verification” in their recruitment process to ensure high quality hiring. Shift Left – Employment History Verification is a practice intended to find dishonest applicants early in the recruitment process — whose information does not match up with the employment history verification outcome.

“Never judge a book by its cover.” That’s a common saying that’s been around for many generations. In terms of recruitment, it occupies an importance of more than being just a critical one. According to the industry source, organisations are wasting time, efforts and money, interviewing fake candidates and only discover their error, after onboarding. In the traditional recruitment model, screening - interviews - offer letters - Onboarding are kept on the left side of the process, and the Employment BGV on the right side.

In a Shift Left approach, prima facie evidence is established at the early stages, by moving employment verification to the left in the recruitment lifecycle. By adopting a “Shift Left” strategy, organizations can eliminate fake candidates early in the recruitment lifecycle – at the screening stage, and process only genuine candidates. “Shift Left – Employment History Verification” has considerable business impact and delivers tangible benefits, because it directly contributes to stated priorities and organizational parameters – Quality of Hire, Time to Fill and Cost of Hire, standard barometers long endorsed by the industry and HR fraternity.

When it comes to selecting the best candidates to work for your business, going deeper than just face value should be a practice. This is best done at the screening stage, so that you can discover the truth, at the right time and eliminate fake candidates early in the hiring process.

An unfilled position is painful because work keeps piling up. Remember when you make an offer that it is not just for the present open position. You are asking an individual to join your company who will represent your culture, ethics and compliance. You need to consider the overall value that the candidate brings. To begin with integrity. Smart business owners practise ZERO tolerance, at every possible instance on integrity aspects.

In short, technology is a great enabler for intelligent shortlisting. Organisations can discover candidates with false claims; who are a threat to the organization’s reputation early on, and invest time and efforts with genuine candidates who will uphold ethics, compliance and trust.