HireRight Q1 Candidate Health Check finds job application errors now at highest level since 2011

A new study reveals that the number of jobseekers including incorrect information on their CVs and job applications is at its highest level since 2011

A new study reveals that the number of jobseekers including incorrect information on their CVs and job applications is at its highest level since 2011

According to the latest research conducted by HireRight, the candidate due diligence specialist, nearly two thirds (63%) of job applications in the first quarter of 2015 contained errors. In fact, the proportion of inaccurate applications now sits at its highest level since 2011.

HireRight’s latest quarterly Candidate Health Check survey finds that the level of mistakes has risen on all sections of CVs with the exception of education. That said, the education section remains the area where candidates are most likely to include incorrect information. In fact, that is the case for two fifths of all applications.

More than one third (36%) of applications contain errors about employment history, while for nearly three-in-ten (30%) of all applications the claims made about professional qualifications and memberships are wrong.

HireRight’s Candidate Health Check research is based on the analysis of data from EMEA candidate due diligence programmes. 2015’s Q1 findings are framed by over 100,000 checks of more than 26,000 applications from 1 January through to 31 March 2015.

Commenting on these survey results, Steve Girdler, managing director for the EMEA region at HireRight, told Risk UK: “With slower growth forecast in 2015 than last year and the uncertainty that a General Election can create in the market, it’s perhaps not surprising that we’ve seen an increase in errors or exaggerations. To attract and recruit the most suitable applicants during this time of change, businesses need to balance carrying out due diligence that ensures candidates are properly qualified with ensuring a positive recruitment journey.”

“Trust me… I’m a director”

HireRight’s research goes on to reveal that the proportion of people making false claims about holding a director’s position has risen every quarter for the last 18 months.

Steve Girdler: managing director (EMEA) at HireRight

Steve Girdler: managing director (EMEA) at HireRight

The fact that 25% of job applications contain inaccuracies in this area represents a substantial 40% rise compared to the same period last year. In spite of this, the number of checks being carried out to verify such claims is falling.

Recent research by HireRight shows that in almost half (49%) of larger organisations it’s often assumed that people applying for senior positions are trustworthy. In truth, people at all levels are equally capable of lies or embellishment. In point of fact, a leadership lie has been exposed by screening in more than one third (36%) of corporates.

“No assumptions should be made in recruitment,” stressed Girdler, “even when a business is hiring to a high-level role. Companies need to ensure that the people they appoint to senior positions are capable of leading the organisation in the right direction and ensuring its ongoing success.”

The Untouchables: Protecting Your Organisation from Leadership Risk report is based on detailed interviews with 140 senior Human Resources leaders in regulated and non-regulated UK companies with over 5,000 employees.

*HireRight has been collecting data on trends since January 2011 and makes it publicly available each quarter

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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