Plagiarism is a widespread problem in the academic and professional world. Students tend to use it in both academic work and resumes. A comprehensive survey was conducted that showed 95% of students used either plagiarism or cheating tactics on a test.
Now the question is how this behavior can impact your hiring process. Have you ever used a tool to detect plagiarized content in your applicants’ resumes? As a hiring manager or employer, the task of effectively managing the recruitment process is crucial.
Resumes, cover letters, and reference letters are essential tools utilized to evaluate candidates. With a high volume of applicants, verifying the authenticity of these documents becomes a critical concern.
When you hire an unqualified candidate, it can lead to significant negative consequences for your organization, including downsizing or financial losses. It is imperative that hiring managers take the necessary steps to assess academic records and detect plagiarism in these documents to ensure that the most qualified and suitable candidate is chosen for the job.
In this blog post, we will delve into explaining plagiarism in recruitment and what strategies you can use to prevent this problem.
What is plagiarism in recruitment?
In the recruitment process, plagiarism refers to the act of presenting someone else's work or ideas as one's own, whether intentionally or unintentionally. This can occur when job applicants submit resumes or cover letters that contain copied or paraphrased content without proper attribution.
Organizations receive hundreds or even thousands of applications for one open position, With the increasing use of automation in the recruitment process, it becomes easier for applicants to plagiarize by copying descriptions or skill sets from the hiring company's website and pasting them onto their resumes.
This is an unethical practice and does not benefit the candidate in any way as it undermines their authenticity and qualifications for the position. It's important for hiring managers to be aware of plagiarism and have methods to detect it in the recruitment process.
How to prevent plagiarism in recruitment
Here is what you can do to prevent plagiarism in your recruitment process:
Define what plagiarism means to you
Before you figure out strategies to detect plagiarism throughout your hiring process, make sure to define what plagiarism really means to you. It can mean different things to different managers, depending on their field of expertise, company policies, and personal beliefs.
Some managers may view it as an act of cheating, while others may see it as an acceptable practice. For example, in software development, re-using code is often encouraged, but it should be properly cited.
In contrast, in academic research, copying and pasting text without proper attribution is not allowed. It is crucial for organizations to establish a clear understanding of what constitutes plagiarism within the organization and communicate it to hiring managers and candidates to ensure fairness and consistency in the recruitment process.
Incorporate skill assessment tests into your hiring process
When it comes to evaluating the reliability of job applicants, traditional methods such as written tests and competency-based interviews can be highly effective. In the early stages of recruitment, written tests can be used to assess a candidate's knowledge, experience, and skills.
This can include a variety of tests such as coding tests, intelligence and aptitude questions, and
test specific to the role. Besides, a competency-based interview, which involves asking the candidate to describe similar situations they have faced and how they handled them, can provide valuable insights into the candidate's experience and problem-solving abilities.
While these methods may require a significant amount of preparation, there are various tools available to assist recruiters.
Communicate expectations with your candidates
The next crucial thing is to communicate your expectations and guidelines for the assessment process to candidates before you start the evaluation process. This includes providing an understanding of your definition of plagiarism, as well as any specific criteria or rules that +have been established with hiring managers.
Failing to clearly define your expectations can create an unfair situation for the candidate and may lead to overlooking qualified people. To ensure fairness and transparency, you need to inform candidates of specific guidelines such as the requirement to develop solutions within the assessment platform.
Conduct background checks
When candidates have inaccuracies in their past experiences, they’ll be reluctant to provide references or any information to verify their claims. View such reluctance with caution and carry out a thorough review of your candidates’ backgrounds. It is ideal to conduct background checks during the later stages of the recruitment process when you have a limited number of candidates.
Social media is a good place to gain valuable insights into a candidate's personal life and online presence, which can be useful in determining their suitability for a role. Consider using social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter to gather information on a candidate's qualifications, experience, and professional network.
Validate candidates' information through follow-up video interviews
Asking candidates about their thought process and approach to problem-solving is one of the most effective ways to validate their understanding. By conducting follow-up video interviews after a coding challenge, for example, you can gain a better understanding of the candidate's understanding of the problem and their solution.
During the video interview, you can ask the candidate to walk through their thought process, the choices they made, the approaches they took and the solution alternatives they considered.
If a candidate can clearly explain these elements, it is a strong indication that they constructed the solution themselves. On the other hand, if a candidate is unable to explain their solution in detail, it may indicate that they copied the solution without fully understanding it.
Use a powerful plagiarism checker
There are also reliable tools available that effectively detect plagiarism. Implementing the right tools in your candidate evaluation process can make things a lot easier and transparent.
Grammarly, Copyleaks, and Turnitin, to name a few, are widely used plagiarism detection tools in the academic world. However, you can use them to check resumes, cover letters, and other materials for plagiarism.
Ouriginal is also an efficient plagiarism detection tool specifically designed for the recruitment process. It checks resumes and cover letters for plagiarism and provides a similarity score. It also allows recruiters to view the original source of the plagiarized content.
What policies work best to avoid plagiarism in recruitment
Strategies that we have just mentioned perform well when it comes to avoiding plagiarism in recruitment. Nevertheless, do some research and adapt according to your unique needs. Highly experienced HR professionals and the use of the right technology can help you make your hiring process more transparent and free of plagiarism content.
While talent management platforms like Wiggli make your recruitment processes time-efficient and strategic, traditional tools like assessment tests and interviews can help you detect instances of deception and find the right talent for your organization.