With recruiters always on the lookout for candidates who fudge their experience or skills, it may come as a shock that hiring managers are doing the same thing, according to a new report by ResumeBuilder.
A whopping number – nearly four in 10 (36%) – of hiring managers admit to lying to candidates about the role or company during the hiring process, including in interviews, job descriptions and even the offer letter.
Here’s what hiring managers are lying about – and how you can stop it from happening at your organization.
Deep dive: What, why and when
ResumeBuilder’s report found some surprising numbers about when hiring managers are lying, what they’re lying about and why.
When do hiring managers lie the most?
Of managers who report lying:
- Three-quarters (76%) do so during the interview process
- About half (52%) do so in the job description, and
- Nearly a quarter (24%) lie in the offer letter.
While only a small number (6%) say they lie “all the time,” nearly half (45%) report lying “some of the time” and about a quarter (24%) say they do it most of the time. What’s more, nearly two-thirds of hiring managers (66%) say that lying is “somewhat acceptable” at their company – which could indicate a larger cultural issue when it comes to the hiring process.
What are they lying about?
According to the data, hiring managers most commonly lie about role responsibilities (40%), growth opportunities (39%) and career development opportunities (38%). Other areas that hiring managers admit to lying to candidates about include:
- Company culture
- Commitment to social issues
- Financial health of the company, and
Why are they lying?
So, it’s clear what hiring managers are lying about. But the question remains: Why?
When respondents were asked why they lie during the hiring process, they said:
- To protect sensitive company information
- To cover up negative information about the company
- To attract job seekers, some benefits are exaggerated
- To deliberately say things that will please the candidate
- To make the job sound better than it really is, and
- To attract more qualified candidates.
The effects of lying to candidates – and one key to stop it
Although lying to a potential hire may get them to accept a job offer in the short term, it certainly won’t persuade them to stay.
In fact, over half of hiring managers who admit to lying to candidates (55%) say they’ve had an employee quit after being hired on false pretenses after they discover that they were lied to during the hiring process.
Of employees who left due to being lied to:
- 14% quit within a week
- 35% within a month, and
- 31% within three months.
“Lying to candidates undermines an organization’s integrity and is bad for business,” says Stacie Haller, chief career advisor at ResumeBuilder. “Candidates are making decisions based on the information they receive, and deceit only leads to bad outcomes for both the organization and candidate.”
As an HR pro, you know that lying to candidates is a huge faux pas, but how do you get hiring managers on the same page? Aside from sitting on interviews and meetings to ensure managers are being truthful, HR can provide mandatory training for the hiring team to quell bad behavior.
Ensuring managers know the risks of lying to candidates – like rampant turnover that can suck up company time, energy and money, a culture of dishonesty and a tarnished company image – can help keep hiring managers stay truthful during the hiring process.