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Separating Fact from Fiction: Let Background Screenings do the Work

Background Checks work.

In-person interviews are necessary. You do have to know about a potential employee beyond how they appear on paper. With that said, in-person interviews have the capacity to be deceptive. It isn’t because every person you meet is a raging liar. There is a distinct difference between an overt, outright liar and the kind of deception that happens in interviews. The dishonesty is a two way street. People share (or omit) information in a way that puts them at an advantage. Job hunting and job recruiting is a competition after all. All parties involved want to appear as attractive as possible. To do that, employees (and employers) aren't comfortable advertising their biggest flaws or the worst moments in their history. When conducting an interview, the reality is that there will be information you need, but cannot get access to.

According to a study conducted by the University of Massachusetts, 60% of adults can’t have a ten minute conversation without lying at least once.


People will tell a lie if they believe it is in their best interest to do so. This is where the background check comes in.

Background checks uncover criminal or civil history that an individual might not want to put forward when they are trying to make a good impression. This doesn’t necessarily mean they are a bad candidate (unless, of course, they fail to answer honestly when asked a direct question), but it does mean you need top-notch resources in your hiring arsenal.


A CareerBuilder survey found 75% of human resource managers have caught a lie on a resume. In a previous study, they found that 56% of hiring managers in their study were able to spot a lie on a resume. In another study, 69% of hiring managers said that a candidate lying to them would be a deal breaker.


If you catch that, based on these studies, there is a discrepancy between the number of hiring managers concerned about lying and the number of hiring managers with the ability to detect a lie. In this case we are only referring to resume lies - lies of commission.


Here are other ways a candidate can practice deception in an interview:

  • Lies of Omission - When a candidate answers a question (even honestly) but does not answer fully, leaving off information that would make them appear undesirable.
  • Failure to Answer a Question - When the hiring manager asks a direct question, but the response is not a direct answer to the question being asked.
  •  An Honest Response - When a candidate answers a question in a way that is technically true, but does not honestly answer the question. A candidate could tell you they have never been convicted of theft (which might be perfectly true), while omitting the fact that they were previously terminated for theft or accused of theft by a court of law.
  •  Bolstering Their Reputation - When a Candidate lists off their character credentials in place of a direct answer to a question.

“Every study conducted since 1986,... has demonstrated that we humans are no better than chance at detecting deception.That means that if you toss a coin in the air you will be as likely to detect deception as the truth.” Psychology Today

How can you be sure you are hiring an honest employee?

At Workplace Safety Screenings, we encourage honesty at every level. We want to help you decipher between a job candidate that is trying to do well in an interview and one that is craftily trying to find their way into an organization they intend to exploit. The discoveries made with a background check are what make this distinction possible.


If you are looking to hire the right job candidates or ready to promote an existing employee into an information sensitive position, click here to get started on background checks and other pre screening services.


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