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Lying in the Hiring Process: What HR Needs to Know

People lie all the time during the hiring process. It’s up to HR and hiring managers to catch those liars. In this intense job market, it’s no surprise that many applicants exaggerate parts of their resumes to look more enticing to potential employers. The concept is so widespread, however, that nearly half of all applicants admit to lying on their resumes. But no matter how clued in you are to what applicants fib about, you’ll still inadvertently bring many of them in for interviews. That’s when your skills at judging character come in, and being skeptical can actually work against you. A recent psychological study found that people who trust others – or who assume the best in other people – are the best at identifying liars. Adam Grant of The Washington Post says, “… lie-detection skills cause people to become more trusting. If you’re good at spotting lies, you need to worry less about being deceived by others, because you can often catch them in the act.” Therefore, Grant advises employers to put individuals who tend to see the best in others in the interviewer role to prevent applicants from duping you into hiring them. Even still, it is important to sprinkle a few ounces of skepticism into each pound of trust.

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