Sometimes job candidates shade their applications somewhat. Leave one job a little later, start another a little sooner so that the one in between where they got fired does not make an appearance. But there is a point where you can go too far.
According to SHL, a company that provides psychometric assessment and development solutions, almost 80 per cent of the HR professionals surveyed in Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong think that candidates deliberately mislead organisations about their qualifications or skills.
Note China is not included in that list. Not because all applicants there are full of purity and honesty. But because the survey did not extend that far.
Of the interviewers about 62% have actually encountered a candidate who had fiddled qualification.
Such figures are generally higher — by as much as 35% — than in Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom, where a similar study was carried out six months ago. (In fact, in Australia, the writer had the happy job of vetting applications to a newspaper. Just taking out the ones that could not spell in English reduced the task considerably.)
SHL’s sales and marketing vice-president (Asia-Pacific) Chng Poh Hwa suggested that this high figure, could be put down to the region’s greater emphasis on paper qualifications. Hence, more job-seekers might be tempted to embellish their resumes.
Chng Poh Hwa said, ‘In ancient China, for example, people were selected into government or administrative service based on the Imperial Examinations.’
Credit Suisse had a fund manager on its payroll for six months, only to find out that he did not hold an MBA and law degree, as he had claimed. It is now seeking to recover the salaries it had paid out to him, on top of $820,000 the bank had to pay a couple for his alleged mishandling of their funds.
One way to sift out these charlatans, according to SHL’s director of product management Nick Hallwood, is through psychometric tests which, among other things, determine a candidate’s numerical and linguistic abilities, as well as his personality.
He said, ‘Candidates can do the first round of psychometric tests in their own homes or cybercafes. If they do well enough, the companies can invite them to their offices for the second stage, where they will take a 10-minute verification test while waiting for their interviews. If there are inconsistencies between that and the first test, they will be flagged.
‘I could fake a first-class degree certificate in Mathematics and hope to get away with that. But if I’m asked to take a verified test, I’m going to be forced to demonstrate my abilities.’
Source: Channel News Asia