The Truth About Resumes

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and Applications (and what to do about it)

Here’s the truth. People Lie.

Not all people.  Not all the time.  And definitely not all the people all the time.

If you’ve done any amount of recruiting you’ll know this to be true.

Resumes and applications are full of lies.  In fact, people all over the world run training for applicants in order to help them to get jobs and be better at interviewing.  They rewrite their resume’s for them so they are ‘better positioned for the job’.

There have been a number of public examples of this over the years, and even some movies made about people who were really good at it.  I loved ‘Catch Me If You Can’ as entertainment.  The reality is that this happens on a smaller scale way too often.

I have close personal friends, as well as clients who have had between $50,000 and upwards of $1.5 million stolen from them by people they trusted.  People who lied.  People who created long term devious lies and smiled at them the whole way through the process.

I’d really like to help you make sure this doesn’t happen.

For me it begins by understanding trust and rapport.

The ability to build rapport is used by people to gain trust.  Rapport is built and there are many ways to do this.  It’s one of the main skills of psychopaths and sociopaths.

Trust is often misunderstood, so that’s where I’m going to focus the attention of this post.

First – a question.  On the subject of Trust, what comes first?  Do you give it first, or earn it first? Comment with your answer below before you read any further.

Whatever your answer was, I’m going to ask you to be open-minded about it.

My observation has been that trust is given first and earned second.  Not the other way around.  If it was the other way around (earned first and then given) there is no proof that it is earned.  It’s necessary to give it so that you can test whether or not it is deserved.

There are levels of trust.  I’ve had mates in the past that I knew I see down the pub and have a beer and a laugh with (that’s a level of trust).  I also know that some of them were not trustworthy enough to leave them alone with my little sisters.  They were slime balls that acted inappropriately.  And yes it does beg the question of why I spent time with them in the first place.

The thing is that we tend to give trust too easily when someone is good at building rapport.

This is dangerous in life and in business.  Particularly dangerous in recruiting.  People can go and receive training on how to build rapport (and also have their resume written for them!).

Here’s my advice – take your time.  Don’t rush into any decision when hiring. Hire slow, fire fast. Get good at the skill of communication. Written, phone, face to face – all of it. Train yourself to ask questions – and especially the questions that you don’t want to (or you think they don’t want you) to ask.

Most importantly, test. Test candidates before you hire them. 

What do I mean by that? I know someone who hires backpackers often.  He’ll hire them, and get them started.  Within the first week, he makes sure that they get called to his office for a chat.  He’ll leave money on the desk (spread out, so it looks unorganised).  He’ll ‘get called out of the room for something’ and leave them in their on their own.  He know’s exactly how much money is on the table and when he gets back, he’ll know whether or not they still have a job at the end of that day.

That’s a test.  And it works for him most of the time.  He’s been burnt before, and he developed that test to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

For me, I’ve discovered a series of tests that I know people can’t hide from.  I use them for every single position I hire for, and I recommend all my clients do the same.  They tell you whether or not the person is going to create problems for you.  You can find out a bit more about them on my website, or by emailing me.

I’ve learned that even after all the experience I’ve had recruiting, hiring and training people, I can’t always tell.  I don’t know 100% whether or not someone is going to have the attitude and integrity I’m looking for until I’ve spent a lot of time getting to know them.  Same thing with general competency. And if either of those two things is out of whack, then damage is going to occur in your business.

The tests we use are not for everyone.  The same way that the money on the table test is not for everyone. What tests do you use?  What hurdles do you have in place for someone to be appointed to your company?

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The Truth About Resumes

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