Are Candidates Giving You Fake References?

Have you ever bent the truth when applying for a job? Maybe you left something off your CV. Perhaps you asked a friend at your old workplace to give you a reference rather than the person you should have asked. Or maybe you’re one of a small, but significant, group of people who actually paid for fake references (yes, this is a real service that exists). When it comes to references especially, people are notoriously shifty.

Recorded in a 2016 viral YouTube video, Australian radio personalities Hamish and Andy called a random stranger and asked him if he would give a fake reference. When they called back a few minutes later, pretending to be the potential employer, the total stranger jovially complied, lying for the applicant, and even adding his own off-the-cuff embellishments, like the applicant did fundraising for his soccer club and was definitely bilingual.

Most of us have at least bent the truth, or been guilty of lies of omission. In fact, according to Xref ’s 2016 Recruitment Risk Index, 71% of respondents admitted to exploiting flaws in the reference-checking process. Founded in Australia in 2010, and recently launched in Canada, the cloud-based candidate referencing company surveyed 1,000 Australian jobseekers. A full 42% of the respondents admitted to having deliberately lied to a potential employer.

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