Over half of job applications contain inaccuracies

More than half (56%) of job applications in 2014 contained inaccurate information, according to the latest research from HireRight.

As the economic outlook brightened, the proportion of jobseekers 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 such as education and employment.

job application

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

Steve Girdler, Managing Director EMEA at HireRight, comments: “This year, Europe’s economic forecast is not as positive as it was in 2014 and so it is likely that we will see a rise in the number of people who embellish the truth on their CV. 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 research goes on to reveal the three areas of job applications that most often contain errors:

1. Jobseekers 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 rising, with more than a third of checks uncovering inaccurate information in 2014 – up from 33% the previous year.

3. Rounding up the top three, employers should be aware that consistently 30% of statements about professional qualifications are untrue.

Steve Girdler adds, “We are seeing a concerning new trend – the number of multiple errors on job applications is rising, in important areas such as education and employment history.”

“HR processes 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 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.”

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