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Almost two-thirds of job applications feature false information

Written by Josh Russell on Tuesday, 08 March 2016. Posted in HR, People

New research from HireRight reveals that a majority of job applications contain either accidental or deliberate inaccuracies

Almost two-thirds of job applications feature false information

Even at the best of times, it can be tough for a startup to find the right person for the job. But when the candidates you are interviewing are being economical with the truth, then recruitment can become a minefield. In light of this, we have some troubling news for the nation’s small businesses, with a report finding that increasing numbers of jobseekers are including inaccurate information when applying for a new role.

Based on analysis of 125,000 applications conducted by HireRight, the background-check company, the research found that 64% of applications made in Europe, the Middle East and Africa in 2015 contained inaccurate information, which was a significant increase from 56% the previous year. Perhaps even more noteworthy, December 2015 marked the highest monthly level of inaccuracies since May 2011, with 67% of applications containing erroneous information.

It seems the area that applicants are most likely to fudge is their education, with a little over two-fifths of applicants including inaccuracies when covering their qualifications. Employment history was the second most unreliable, with more than a third of applications containing false information about previous work experience. Finally, the research found that more than a quarter of job applicants included incorrect details pertaining to their professional qualifications.

 “Businesses are becoming increasingly aware of the reputation and performance risks of not carrying out thorough due diligence on candidates," said Steve Girdler, managing director for EMEA and APAC at HireRight. "As a result, candidates need to pay real care and attention to their initial applications, making sure that every job title, grade and date is accurate. Otherwise, they risk holding up the recruitment process when the business comes to check the information they have provided.”

And for those sitting the other side of the interview table, its definitely worth making sure you check those references. 

About the Author

Josh Russell

Josh Russell

Our former editor, Russell was the man in charge of properly apostrophising our publication and ensuring Oxford commas are mercilessly excised. Our former digital doyen, he’s also a Photoshop pro, a dab hand with InDesign and the man to go to if you need a four-hour soliloquy about the UK's best silicon startups.

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