“Over 50% of job applicants are providing false information on CVs” states HireRight

A new study reveals that more than half of jobseekers are including incorrect information on their applications

A new study reveals that more than half of jobseekers are including incorrect information on their applications

More than half (56%) of job applications in 2014 contained false or inaccurate information. That’s according to the latest research findings issued by HireRight, the global due diligence specialist.

As the economic outlook brightened, the proportion of job seekers providing incorrect details during the recruitment process fell (from a high of 64% in 2013). Despite this, more people are actually providing false information about some of the most important facts around their education and previous employment.

HireRight’s Candidate Health Check research is based on an in-depth analysis of more than 125,000 job applications in 2014.

Steve Girdler, managing director EMEA at HireRight, commented: “This year, Europe’s economic forecast is not as positive as it was in 2014 and so it’s likely that we’ll see a rise in the number of people who embellish the truth on their CVs. Businesses need to be aware of this and minimise the risk of hiring candidates who are unable to fulfil their job responsibilities.”

The Top Three Untruths 

The HireRight research goes on to reveal the three areas of job applications that most often contain errors:

(1) Job seekers are currently most likely to make mistakes when outlining their educational background. Last year, two-fifths (40%) of applications featured an incorrect grade, qualification, institution, course or date. This represents a 25% increase since 2013.

(2) Inconsistencies in previous employment history claims are also on the rise, with more than a third (35%) of checks uncovering inaccurate information in 2014 – up from 33% the previous year.

(3) Completing the Top Three, employers should be aware that, consistently, three-in-ten (30%) statements made about professional qualifications are untrue.

Steve Girdler: managing director EMEA at HireRight

Steve Girdler: managing director EMEA at HireRight

Girdler added: “We’re witnessing a concerning new trend. The number of multiple errors on job applications is rising in important areas such as education and employment history.”

He also stated: “Human Resources procedures should be in place to reveal when errors appear on applications. Hand-in-hand with this, candidates also need to double and triple check all of their claims or honest mistakes could increase the amount of time it takes them to start a new role or, at worst, affect their chances of employment.”

HireRight has been collecting data on such trends since January 2011 and, each quarter, makes this information publicly available.

HireRight’s Candidate Health Check research is based on the analysis of data from EMEA candidate due diligence programmes.

2014’s findings are derived from 456,000 checks of more than 125,000 applications conducted between 1 January and 31 December 2014.

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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