Initiative and cheats

Research shows how Covid-19 has impacted on recruitment and how candidates are trying to get hired

Research from HR-tech company Tribepad has found significant levels of mistrust among candidates about the hiring process, as well as the tricks and tactics many are going to, to get hired. Confirming just how tough the employment landscape is, three quarters of respondents (78 per cent) agree that job-seeking has become harder due to the impact of Covid-19. Just over half (58 per cent) of those who lost their jobs or were furloughed, say they’ve struggled to transfer their skills, and therefore get hired, in a new industry. Not only that, but job seekers also feel that they’re losing out to unfair processes: two-thirds of job seekers (66 per cent) believe when it comes to being hired, it’s about who you know at the company, rather than what you know and your experiences. Over half (59 per cent) of job seekers feel the wrong people get hired because they know how to cheat the system, such as lying about their experience, qualifications or job history.

Due to the pandemic, nearly all job interview processes were digitised and taken online. The research showed that this has led to tech-savvy applicants taking a targeted approach when it comes to job applications.

Almost half (49 per cent) are going for quality over quantity when it comes to applying for roles or sending out their CVs, and 39 per cent are tailoring their CVs to match the required criteria for each role. A quarter (27 per cent) even search online to learn from success stories of previous hires or find questions asked by the company (42 per cent) on sites like Glassdoor.

Unfortunately, however, online recruitment has also led to a higher chance of candidates cheating or lying to get ahead; a third of young adults (30 per cent of 18-24 year olds) admit to lying or exaggerating about their experience in order to get an interview. Across all age groups, a quarter of male candidates (23 per cent), were more likely to cheat on psychometric or other tests, compared to just 6 per cent of females. An even larger proportion, 30 per cent of males, lie or exaggerate about their experience, compared to 18 per cent of females.

“Job seeking in 2021 looks very different than it did just a few years ago,” said Dean Sadler, CEO of Tribepad. “We’ve gone from record levels of employment, to record highs of unemployment in an instant. And that’s led to many people feeling frustrated with the hiring process, and losing trust in businesses’ commitment to hire fairly.

“At the same time, due to the increased use of technology, the savviest of candidates are changing their CVs to help them get noticed,” Sadley continued. “While many tactics – such as using buzzwords and tailoring CVs and applications – should be viewed favourably. There also remains a small, but significant number of people willing to lie and cheat their way into a role.”

Sadler says the recruitment function has to do more to make sure processes are fair and thorough. “We believe the solution lies in using technology to help manage this process,” he adds, “reducing the number of applications humans need to sift through; so that they can focus on ensuring the selection process is fair and accurate, and that everyone gets a chance.”

The research is based on the opinions of 1,000 job-seekers and is part of Tribepad’s Navigating the Hybrid Hiring Era report.

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