Maxwell Stephens

Avoiding “Catfishing” Whilst Hiring

Catfishing is the act of making misleading statements to another person in the hopes of inducing them to agree to something. In terms of employment, this can come from both the organization or the candidate.

Employers have a lot of authority over the lives of their employees. They control the working environment, they control compensation, opportunities for growth and more. Sometimes businesses can actually have a negative impact on their employees.

During the hiring process organizations often make false promises about what the job entails and the nature of the company. This can damage the relationship with the employee and lead to a lack of trust. Surprisingly 45% of candidates claim that they felt catfished during the interview process.

On the other hand, job seekers can in fact catfish employers, which is becoming a growing concern. Exaggerating accomplishments, lying about education or work-experience and presenting false references are all reasons why there is becoming a lack of trust throughout the hiring process. It was found that 78% of candidates who have received a job offer in the past six months have, or would consider, misrepresenting themselves to look more qualified than they actually are.

Why Job Seekers Catfish Employers

The job market is becoming increasingly competitive and so candidates may be starting to feel the pressure when it comes to applying to roles. They may feel like their only chance of standing out from the competition is to oversell themselves. This can have serious implications for the organization, it can lead to the wrong person being hired, causing significant disruption to the company culture and will ultimately hinder their profitability. If caught, the job seeker may lose their job and damage their own professional reputation. It could lead to legal action.

Businesses can catch job-seekers misrepresenting themselves by conducting background checks, verifying information on the job seeker’s resume and use online resources suh as social media platforms.

How Companies May Misrepresent Themselves to Job Seekers

  • Making the job seem more appealing than it actually is
  • Exaggerating the salary and potential for bonuses in order to attract employees
  • Not disclosing the negatives which come with the job: stress, overtime or poor conditions
  • Misrepresenting their financial stability
  • Promising certain benefits such as flexible working and not delivering on them

Honesty is Key

For both employers and candidates, the only way for both parties to benefit is through honesty. Employers being transparent will result in job seekers being able to choose the right job for them. When candidates are honest, it helps the organization know that they are hiring the right candidate for the role. In both cases, the workplace will become more productive and successful.

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