The hiring process can be time-consuming but a necessary evil. At American Management Services, we have a dedicated hiring team, and they have to sift through the thousands of resumes we get every week and widdle them down to the applicants deemed appropriate for an interview.
From there, our vetting process kicks into gear; I spoke about it in my previous Forbes piece. Whether we bring in people for an in-person interview or (because of COVID) schedule a Zoom meeting, there will always be lies told.
These are usually white lies applicants say to make themselves look like they’re the perfect person for the job. It’s so commonplace that a study from the University of Massachusetts tabulated 81-percent of applicants lied about themselves during an interview.
But applicants aren’t the only ones who lie; hiring managers tend to ‘lie and embellish’ during interviews all the time.
Allow me to clarify–I’m using ‘lies and embellishments’ broadly. And, it’s not something most hiring managers do purposefully. Here are some of the most common ‘lies’ we (royal) tell everyone in job interviews, and what you can do to change that.
Embellishment: “Our Company Culture Is Great!”
When selling yourself to candidates, you tend to oversell, resulting in telling people that you “have an awesome company culture.” While you may think your culture great, the candidate should decide that for himself or herself.
You may not be offering what your applicant is looking for. Based on what you put in the job description, it’s up to the interviewee whether or not they think your culture great.
Lie: “We’re Going In A Different Direction.”
Anyone with a brain will look at that title and read right between the lines. This lie isn’t intentional. It’s more of a catch-all.
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It might be more comfortable for the hiring manager to say, “we’re moving in a different direction,” than to face confrontation. Or fines from the EEOC.
Lie: “We’ll Keep Your Resume On File.”
This is not so much of a lie but more of compliance with federal law. Every business is required to keep resumes from applicants on file for one year, with legislation like the Americans With Disabilities Act requiring a little more time.
Like, “we’re going in a different direction,” “we’ll keep your resume on file” is a catch-all statement used in rejection emails, calls, and texts.
Getting “ghosted,” or not hearing back from a job (slang my millennial cohorts taught me), is near the top of the list of the most annoying things companies do when filling a position. Anywhere you look on the world wide web, you’re bound to land on a forum of people complaining about getting “ghosted.”
Breaking The Mold
Most, if not all, hiring managers will not say these lies with any malintent. “Lying” in this way is more comfortable than having to be confrontational with a rejected applicant. It’s hard to be upfront about why a candidate was rejected for a position without being on the receiving end of a fine from the EEOC or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
That doesn’t mean you have to continue following that model. At American Management Services, we strive to be better than our best selves. We’re constantly working on improving our company culture to better coincide with the rapidly changing environment.
We’re also looking at getting in contact with candidates we previously rejected, whether by email or by phone, promptly.
However, I think “lying” is here to stay–for the most part. We find most people can’t take criticism too well, and the majority of those looking for work already know to shrug off these common lies. It doesn’t hurt that you should better your company in the process.
If you’re struggling to find the right people for your business, or maybe you need help with vetting them, send me a message on LinkedIn; I want to hear from you.