Will the real slim shady please stand up…
As the pandemic began, recruiters, along with the rest of the world, had to modify our way of doing business (and life in general). Suddenly, working from home wasn’t just a convenience – it was a necessity. As the Director of Talent Acquisition at CC Pace, remote work wasn’t a seismic shift for my team as I’ve long believed that recruiting can be done effectively from home. We could continue to source, screen, and pipeline candidates from our home office and still manage to meet candidates face-to-face throughout the interview process… just with one small change (enter the video chat). However, that small change had a bigger impact than I ever anticipated.
With remote work becoming the norm, professional ‘norms’ started to evolve – and not all for the better. New challenges emerged that were unprecedented. As if recruiters didn’t already have a tough time finding top-notch candidates that fit in with team and company dynamics, a slew of new challenges were introduced. Among them is the fake candidate.
Fake candidates come in many forms. If you’ve been involved with recruiting or hiring for technical positions, you’re probably chuckling to yourself (or cringing if I’m bringing up suppressed trauma) because you know what I’m talking about. If you’re one of the lucky ones who hasn’t been personally victimized by fake candidates, allow me to elaborate.
Breaking Down the Fake Candidate Personas
First, we’ll start with the ‘classic counterfeit’, which is a candidate who has a fake resume. These are real people who concoct a fake work history tailored to fit the needs of the position they are seeking. These resumes generally include fictional skills and fictional employers. In my experience, counterfeit candidates are doing this to get higher-paying jobs and are prevalent within the corp-to-corp contract/freelance world.
Then there is the ‘bait and switch’ applicant (this is a particularly infuriating one). This approach happens when unethical companies bring candidates to the US, sponsor their visas, and tremendously inflate their resumes, marketing the candidate as a highly skilled technical consultant. Again, the company is trying to recoup its investment quickly. This scenario might sound familiar to the ‘counterfeit candidate,’ and so far, it is. Cue the ‘bait and switch’. This happens when a technical interview is scheduled, and a very senior, highly skilled technical person takes the interview and lands the job, only to have a lesser qualified or even unqualified individual show up for the job. Seriously, who would ever think that this is acceptable?! But sadly, it happens.
My final example (save the best for last, right?) is a new emergent class of faker: ‘the moonlighter.’ You’ve heard of this! Just as the nickname suggests, this is the candidate who has the skills and experience to land a great job. However, instead of landing a great remote job (with a great salary), they decide to accept two full-time jobs (or maybe more!) and work them simultaneously, doing just enough to get by. Not only is that unethical (and a sure way to get fired fast), but it’s also giving the rest of the remote workers a bad name.
While we’ve tried to make light of these new challenges, in all seriousness, they have really complicated the job market. It impacts recruiters and employers in the worst of ways. Experienced recruiters have become very savvy at identifying these folks early in the process, although you can never be 100% sure 100% of the time. However, you can look at individual red flags and make a reasonable judgment. Here are a few of the red flags that can help you identify the real candidates from the pretenders. Note -some ‘legit candidates may show one or two of the signs below, but if more than a few of these concerns arise, further investigation may be warranted.
When verifying a candidate on their LinkedIn profile, be wary/concerned if:
- They don’t list their full name
- No details or limited information is provided (especially education)
- They don’t have a photo (or use a stock photo, cartoon image, etc.)
- A very low number of LinkedIn connections
- They show no upward progression in their job history; only senior-level positions are visible
- Work history only shows large worldwide companies (which makes it difficult to verify on social media)
When conducting a video interview, be aware of:
- Video: Not turning on the camera and/or, when asked to use video, giving an excuse as to why they cannot do this.
- Long Pauses: When answering questions, the candidate appears to be reading a script or ‘Googling’ to look for answers.
- Mute: If you notice audio going on and off, along with a delay in answering questions, your spidey senses are probably going off (and for good reason!).
- Other Red Flags:
- Sharing strange phone numbers that don’t line up with past or current physical locations.
- Giving generic descriptions of their role and projects they have worked on.
- Lacking knowledge of the companies they have worked for in the past.
- Requiring 100% remote, even if the position is located in the area they claim to reside.
Hopefully, these tips help to protect your organization from hiring a fake candidate (or you feel like you have a support group if this is something you’ve experienced yourself). While you can’t be 100% sure every suspicious resume is a fake, our goal is to find the right, real candidates for our clients – every time. At CC Pace, we’ve instituted a lot of standard procedures to help us identify and eliminate the fake candidates from the get-go so that you never have to experience a counterfeit candidate, a bait-and-switch, or a moonlighter at your organization! Give us a call if this is something you need help with!
The latest trend on TikTok is a game called “He’s a 10 but.” It’s a simple game where friends rank imaginary partners based on different traits. For example, he/she could be a 10 when it comes to looks, but he/she chews with their mouth open. That might be a deal breaker for some people and they might decrease the ranking on that individual to a 2 or maybe a 5.
The CC Pace Recruiting team decided to take on this little trend and have some fun with what it takes to be a great candidate! Watch and enjoy!
In our previous blog What Really Matters to Millennials Today, we discussed that more than one third of the workforce today are millennials. Employers are now asking themselves, what can we do to appeal this demographic?
How to Attract Millennials to Your Company highlights 4 key areas to consider when focusing on these job seekers to join your team:
- Millennials Value Passion and Purpose
- Allow Autonomy With Flex Hours
- Don’t Ban Social Media
- Revise Your Recruiting Process
This list is actually not limited to just millennials. Everyone, regardless of age, wants to feel passion and purpose, desires flexibility, uses social media and has changed the way they now job search. However, it is the millennials who have driven more companies to consider the importance of addressing what they have to offer. Are you ready to revamp and do what it takes to attract millennials?
Any business will tell you that retaining employees is important. The costs involved with the turnover of employees equals about a quarter of their annual pay. That takes into account the cost involved in: hiring, onboarding, the new hire’s learning curve and the ripple effects on the rest of the team. Every employer knows that the longer a person stays with a company, the more valuable and productive they become for that company.
At CC Pace, the retention rate for our staffing placements has been above 90% for the past 5 years. This article 4 Reasons why Employee Retention is Important (And 4 Reasons All Business Owners Should Use to reduce turnover) highlights why workforce retention is important, and strategies that can improve employee loyalty. A great deal of our success with our people is due to our commitment to provide our clients with the best candidates, based on this approach:
- We work with our clients as a partner, finding the right fit by taking the time to truly understand their business and technology needs.
- We are a consulting firm first – with full time business and technology experts available to help guide the qualification process and customized screening tools.
- Most importantly, we make quality a priority over quantity. Knowing people means assessing their technical knowledge, their soft skills, their cultural profile, and everything in between.
Now that you have read about what we offer our clients and how we find the right fit for each position, you must be wondering what’s it really like to work for CC Pace? Let our consultants tell you firsthand about their experience working with CC Pace.
“The primary reason for choosing to work with CC Pace AGAIN is that they have top notch people who will ensure that you are a great fit for the openings, as well as making sure that your values align with theirs.” – Travis R., Consultant
“At the client site, CC Pace has always made sure I succeeded in doing my job which only shows how much they care about their people and their clients. I particularly appreciated how management was available to answer any questions I had while working on the client’s projects. Even though I worked with CC Pace as a consultant, I should note that I was treated equally as an employee.” – Namgyel D., Consultant
“I’ve been involved with CC Pace as an employee, contractor and customer for more than 22 of my nearly 35 years in the working world. I can honestly say that there is no better employer, contract vendor, or business partner with which I have had the pleasure to be associated. The employee-centric culture, strong business knowledge and technical expertise, and an ethical standard par none are why I have remained associated with them over the years. CC Pace provided me with the experience and opportunity needed to launch my career. Now, so many years later, I’ve come full circle, rejoining them and leveraging all that they helped provide.” – Paul H., Consultant
Looking to make a change in your career? Think about joining us and check out our latest job opportunities.
Looking for a new job or Staffing Assignment? Here are some tips from American Staffing to help you land that position. They give you helpful hints in how to construct/format your resume, putting together a cover letter as well as some interview tips. These helpful hints can be used for finding or interviewing for a permanent full time opportunity or a subcontracting/consulting assignment.
At CC Pace, we aren’t trying to fit you into a role; we’re committed to finding the best fit for you. Why? Because we are not your average staffing firm. This commitment is the reason our clients have stayed with us for over 35 years and why many of our candidates have worked with us for over a decade. As a recruiter at CC Pace, I strive to get the best sources available to keep up to our firm’s reputation.
‘Purple squirrel’ is a term used by recruiters to describe a job candidate with precisely the right education, specific, hard-to-find experience and qualifications that perfectly fits a job’s multifaceted requirements (Wikipedia). It may sound unrealistic, but if your hard work pays off, and maybe with a little luck, you find just the right candidate which fits your clients requirement – and that’s your purple squirrel. You simply cannot afford lose them!
They’re in high demand. As the author of the article below says, you can’t just blast them with impersonal email and expect them to respond. They get dozens of those emails each week and it’s never going to work. You can’t just tweet them a job title or send an InMail with a link to your job posting and expect them to drop everything and apply online. It just isn’t going to happen.
So, how is it going to happen? There are some great tips in this article, Recruiting Purple Squirrels? Here’s the Trick, by Stacy Donovan Zapar, for courting your purple squirrel. Enjoy and hopefully it adds to your recruiting arsenal.