What’s so scary about recruitment practices and why should you be scared? Well in the spirit of Devil’s Night and Halloween, which is nearly upon us, it’s time for businesses to also get scared. So be afraid. Be very afraid because…
According to the 2017 report by HireRight APAC Employment Screening Benchmark Report, some incredibly shocking findings revealed a disturbing behaviour in workplaces. Perhaps it is an unofficially sanctioned practice or maybe just a collection of human errors, but there is something many business owners, shareholders, and managers will want to be aware of.
That Risky Kind of ‘Gut Feeling’
In the report, an amazing 41% of respondents to the research made decisions on hiring for high profile positions with nothing more than ‘gut-feel’. That’s 2 out of 5 applicants! That’s an incredibly disturbing high number. Furthermore, a staggering 53% of recruiters that responded actually KNEW of problems because these applicants weren’t screened. This means the odds of hiring the wrong person is actually higher than the odds of a person getting cancer in their lifetime.
Gut instincts are unreliable because it’s accuracy is really no better than a coin toss. Besides, how can you even explain to management that they should hire or dismiss an applicant just because your guts feel a certain way? How sure are you that it isn’t gastric or gas? Con-artists, scammers as well as eager, ambitious upstarts hoping to short cut their corporate climb up are rejoicing at the news of this gaping hole in hiring policy. What’s better than being unqualified but hired for a 5 or 6 figure salary working for a big company and having a great chance of not being caught? It’s surely better chances than winning the lottery!!
Are All Applicants The Same?
Well, no. Not all applicants are after the same entry level job of ‘cubicle occupier’ handling paperwork and crunching numbers. Some jobs take more thought, more skills, more experience, must handle more responsibility, and require more maturity. So it would make sense that recruiters have a different, more scrutinised process for handling higher level positions, right? RIGHT?!?
“…Only 37% use a different screening process for higher level positions…”
Only 37% of organizations use a different screening process for higher level positions! Let’s just let that horror sink in. What this implies is that for the other 63% of companies during recruitment for a managing director or CEO, the same set of questions are being asked and graded for the same level of answer as a fresh graduate. It would be laughable if it wasn’t so scary.
A Little Knowledge Is A Dangerous Thing
It’s already disturbing when you add the earlier two points together. It shows such a gaping hole in recruitment practices that you almost shouldn’t need this other point. But I don’t think you’re scared enough yet. So to complete this trifecta of horror, here’s another revelation the report highlighted – 31% of senior executives take fewer tests and interviews than entry level applicants do. That means that gut-feel coupled with the expectations of applicants ‘already having some experience’ or ‘excellent communication skills’ allows nearly one third of applicants automatically get away with special treatment.
Now, these are decisions to hire high ranked positions that are crucial for the company; and the way some organizations become ‘more confident’ is by learning even less about their hires? Is it just laziness? Or is it misinformed confidence? Or is it possible that recruiters are not paying attention to the signals?
“Most lies succeed because people don’t through the work
to figure out how to catch them.”
– Dr. Paul Ekman Ph.D.
Although these statistics are from 2017, it really isn’t all that new. These patterns are not so different from other similar reports over the past few years. In 2009, the CPID (UK) report already showed the rising trend of deception taking place in companies starting with recruitment. More disturbingly, it had already recorded that about 75% of of internal fraud and deception cases involved middle to higher level positions!! With every barometer research and study in place showing the growing risk and threat of fraud in the workplace, HR professionals and recruiters cannot be so complacent to believe that there isn’t a better way to screen and practice their due diligence in upholding the task entrusted to them.
“When people lie, it matters what they feel and think”
One of the reasons for Dr. Ekman’s success in applying the science of emotions to lie detection is that when people lie, especially in situations where the reward of succeeding and punishment of failing is high, is that every effort to lie causes a strong likelihood for emotional and/or cognitive leakages, which can be seen or heard clearly. Thanks to Dr. Ekman’s work in identifying the universality of 7 emotions and micro-expressions, it becomes so much easier to recognise these signals and know definitively what they mean. These ‘hotspots’ give recruiters and investigators objective, unbiased information to proceed with better quality questions about a specific content, rather than a hunch or gut-feel.
If you would like to get your HR teams trained in the science of lie detection, contact us to schedule in-house programs for your organizations today.