Study Reveals Discrepancies in Opinions Between Jobseekers and HR Professionals
TORONTO, Nov. 21, 2017 /CNW/ - A new study entitled The Recruitment Risk Index commissioned by Xref, has revealed discrepancies in the level of perceived honesty during recruitment.
While an overwhelming majority (93 per cent) of Canadians claim to maintain a squeaky-clean jobseeker reputation, with no exaggeration to their qualifications or work experience, a juxtaposing 82 per cent of HR professionals surveyed believe people providing references are not always being honest. Furthermore, though 97 per cent of Canadians disagree that they have asked a referee to exaggerate on their behalf, 68 per cent of HR professionals that were surveyed claim to be fairly confident they were being lied to when checking references by phone.
While, culturally speaking, it's not very "Canadian" to exaggerate or boast, when it comes to highlighting job qualifications and providing references, it seems Canadians aren't doing themselves any favours in the eyes of potential employers. According to the survey, almost four in 10 Canadians (38 per cent) have been named by a friend for an employment reference, with 50 per cent of respondents suggesting it's more important to put forth a "good reference" versus a direct manager. A rogue 17 per cent of Canadians even admitted going as far as asking a friend who was completely unrelated to their previous place of employment, to provide an employment reference.
"Among many, many desirable qualities, Canadians have a worldwide reputation for being honest. However, it seems that a portion of the population are, perhaps unwittingly, deceiving potential employers when it comes to employment references," says Lee-Martin Seymour, Xref CEO and founder. "It may be that Canadians just don't realize some of the mistakes being made when applying for new jobs – and when submitting references as part of the process – but what this study has discovered is a bit of a black hole of truth. Whether that's intentional or not, organizations must be able to safeguard their systems and not fall victim to dishonest candidates."
This study, which highlights the difference between the two sides has uncovered further, potentially questionable behaviour:
- When it comes to candidate sleuthing, Facebook reveals more to employers than LinkedIn: It's no surprise that a good majority of HR professionals surveyed (60 per cent) are indeed 'stalking' their prospective job candidates online to find out more about them. However, it's your Facebook that needs a facelift, not your LinkedIn. Facebook surpasses LinkedIn and even Google as the go-to destination for 'stalking' (79 per cent for Facebook versus 66 per cent for both LinkedIn and Google). Of course, young Canadian jobseekers (aged 18-24) are hip to this game, with one in three (35 per cent) admitting to setting their social accounts to private while job-seeking. Close to a third (28 per cent) also admit to editing their social media profiles and hiding certain posts.
- Older, not wiser? Millennials aren't the ones exaggerating: It's not the aspiring, young Canadians, but rather, the 30 to 49 year olds who revealed they are almost twice as likely as their national counterparts to have exaggerated their qualifications and work experience to get a job (12.5 per cent versus seven per cent). Shockingly, they are also three times more likely to admit asking a referee to pretend to be someone they are not (nine per cent versus three per cent).
- But, millennial jobseekers are the most anxious about the reference checking process: Not surprisingly, the Index revealed that the reference-checking process causes anxiety for a significant portion of the country's job-seeking population. Sixty-two per cent of young Canadians (aged 18 to 39) admit to feeling the delays the validation process could cause in their quest to land a role. Half of all women and 44 per cent of the general population also agree that delays in the reference checking process have caused them anxiety.
The study also uncovered "reference fatigue." Sixty-six per cent of Canadians indicated they had named the same reference on more than one occasion, citing an average of 4.4 times. A further 42 per cent reported not knowing how many times their referee had been contacted overall. At the same time, a good majority of HR professionals surveyed (58 per cent) agreed that being a referee is inconvenient when they are contacted multiple times for the same person. Forty-one per cent admitted that, if they had a choice, they would prefer not to provide references for their organization's past employees, citing the main reasons for this as their concern about being asked more than they are comfortable with (40 per cent), and the threat to the privacy of their data (36 per cent) or the candidate's data (36 per cent).
"Clearly, more transparency is needed," says Seymour, who has seen Xref's success continue to rise thanks to new agreements with the likes of global tech giant, Snapchat, and valuable ongoing relationships with local enterprises SIR Corp and Revera, among multiple other organizations in Canada and the U.S., EMEA, and APAC. "That is why Xref is challenging traditional and sometimes antiquated reference checking processes, and instead, replacing them with a safer, faster and smarter cloud-based platform which offers transparency, efficiency, and assurance for all involved."
Canadian public: From October 5th to October 12th, 2017 an online survey was conducted among 1,011 randomly selected Canadian adults who have applied for a job with a new employer in Canada within the past two years and had to provide an employment reference, and who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to age, gender and region. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.
Canada's HR industry: From October 24th to October 30th, 2017 an online survey was conducted among 102 randomly selected Canadian adults who are employed in human resources and involved in the reference checking process for their organizations and who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 9.7 per cent, 19 times out of 20. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.
ABOUT XREF: Xref brings ease, security and value to the candidate referencing process. The online, automated solution collects greater and more accurate feedback that delivers the data-driven insights organizations need to make smart, confident hiring decisions. Its customer-centric platform and team enable the flexibility and scalability its global clients require to hire the best talent, quickly.
Headquartered in Sydney, the ASX listed organization has since expanded into APAC, Europe and North America. In February 2016, Xref commenced trading on the Australian Securities Exchange under trading code XF1.