The recent story of how tech giant Yahoo was misled by now former CEO Scott Thompson may be hitting home for many small businesses. Thompson, who lied on his resume by saying that he had a bachelor's degree in computer science when he did not, was forced out of his position when the truth was revealed.
However, the fact that a company like Yahoo fell victim to a flat out lie may cause many small business owners to wonder if the same thing could happen to them. After all, good help is hard to find and hiring the right person is among the many small business challenges entrepreneurs face.
Experts say that lies, no matter how big or small they are, are not uncommon when individuals are applying for all types of jobs. In fact, a 2010 report from employment background screening company HireRight revealed that 69 percent of the more than 1,800 companies surveyed said they had caught applicants lying on their resumes. The most common lie involved the college degree or previous credentials.
In addition, ABC News reports that a 2008 CareerBuilder.com survey found that 8 percent of 8,785 U.S. workers polled said they had lied on their resume.
"You won't believe what our searches turn up every day," said Joel Goldberg, a spokesperson for Aurico Reports, Inc., a background screening firm, told ABC News.
But there are ways small business owners can ensure they aren't fooled by potential employees.
John Challenger, CEO of outplacement consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, recently told Entrepreneur Magazine that it's important to take time and put in a little bit of effort to avoid being a victim of a padded resume.
"Sometimes when you're in a hurry to make the decision, you're not thorough in your process," he told the publication.
Challenger also recommends conducting multiple interviews and doing background checks on all potential hires. Small businesses can contract with a background screening company to take care of these checks, rather than doing them on their own.
He also said that it's important to check references and to seek out other personal references that haven't been listed.
"Go beyond those listed on his resume," the publication suggests. "Reach out to former co-workers or others who can verify the applicant's employment history and give you insight into the person's character."