Check that Fake CV – Part III

fakecvPreviously, in Check that Fake CV – Part II

(Missed us along the way? Click here for Parts I and II)

The job advertisement for that vacant position has attracted scores of applications. Some good, some better, and some too-good-to-be-true. If South Africa’s unemployment rates have done anything, it’s to bring out the creativity in many an eager job applicant. But this doesn’t help the employer-to-be, for whom this is not a creative writing competition. For a business to be successful and sustainable, it is crucial that they hire quality employees who can do the job, and do it properly. Fortunately there are measures that the prudent employer can implement to weed out the works of fiction. In addition to having a Recruitment Policy in place, there are a number of documents that can underpin this policy in support of the recruitment process.

The Job Application Form

The goal is to appoint the right person into the right job. To do this, the company needs to get the right information from the applicants. When faced with an array of CVs, each as distinctive as its owner, it is easy to overlook deficiencies. A curriculum vitae certainly does have its place, and can provide unique insight into the applicant’s personality, previous experience and education. But to level the playing fields – and help the company to acquire the information it needs, as opposed to the information the applicant wants to relinquish – the company could consider stocking a standard Job Application Form in its reservoir of precedents. Applicants could be required to submit their applications using the company’s prescribed form, or the first wave of short-listed applicants could be asked to re-submit their applications using this form. Either way, having this information available can assist:

  • the selection committee, when determining if the applicant has the appropriate qualifications and experience; and
  • the interviewers, when asking the applicant pertinent work-related questions.

In addition, and more importantly, the Job Application Form should contain something that no CV contains: a warranty and a consent. By warranting the correctness of the information provided, the applicant is confirming that the information provided has not been fabricated and constitutes a true reflection. If it later transpires that the employee was appointed on a downright lie, the Job Application Form, warranty and all, could be presented in the disciplinary in support of a dismissal. Furthermore, the applicant can be required to sign a consent to the company performing verification checks on the information that has been provided. If the company stumbles over a recalcitrant gate-keeper quoting privacy laws to withhold information, the applicant’s signed consent can be called into play to acquire this much-needed information.

The Interview

Many an interviewee laments the interview process. The nerves, the sweaty palms, wondering what questions will be asked, what the right answers are. Not to mention endlessly rehearsing the perfect answer to that stale, age-old question “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” What few candidates realise is that oft-times the interviewer is equally, if not more, nerve-wracked than the interviewee. Often the interviewer sits with a page of predictable, arbitrary questions hurriedly prepared a few minutes before the interview. Then, while the interviewee fidgets and fumbles through rehearsed lines, the answers are barely heard. The interviewer is too busy wondering what questions can and can’t be asked. What is considered too personal? Un-PC? Irrelevant? What should be asked next? When all’s said and done, the interviewer often feels like an inexperienced, unqualified psychologist obliged to make sense of the interviewee’s answers, feeling overwhelmed at the pressure of making the right selection, and swallowing panic at the mere thought of the blame-game that is sure to follow if the wrong person is appointed.

A company can help its managers to ask the right questions, record the answers, and make measured, objective, appropriate selections, by providing a company-approved Interview Guide. Such a guide can prove instrumental in helping interviewers to navigate the labyrinth of potential interview questions, ensuring that appropriate questions are asked and inappropriate questions are avoided. The right questions can also assist interviewers in assessing the validity of the candidate’s CV and determining to what extent the CV has been exaggerated or fabricated.

Once the final rounds of interviews have been completed, there’s many a manager who determines that it is now time for the final selection to take place. But making that selection without having completed one further, crucial step in the process can prove fatal.

Stay tuned for the final installment.

Please note that this information is supplied for general information and does not constitute legal advice. It is advisable for you to contact a legal practitioner for guidance in respect of your unique requirements.