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Lies, damn lies and statistics

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Lies, damn lies and statistics

The recession has fuelled a dramatic increase in untruths entering job seeker’s CVs. In fact a new research reveals a two-fold increase in the number of CV irregularities.

New analysis from screening provider Kroll Background Worldwide, reveals that the number of discrepancies uncovered in employee CVs during 2010 increased by more than 115 percent compared with 2009. The company, which undertakes background screening on thousands of prospective employees for its blue-chip client base, found that more than two in five (42 percent) CVs screened contained an inconsistency between the information provided by candidates and Kroll’s own verification checks. This compares with just 19 percent for the same period in 2009, and represents a 115 percent increase in inaccurate CVs.

The type of CV discrepancies that turned up predominantly related to previous employment (41 percent) followed by education (19 percent). Although employment and education have consistently remained the sections of the CV where discrepancies have been most likely to crop up over the last three years, Also reported was a wider variety in the type of checks containing irregularities in 2010, such as directorships (four percent) and professional qualifications (two percent).

Type of irregularities in screening during 2010
Employment 41 percent
Education 19 percent
Non-employment  15 percent
Directorship four percent
Professional qualification two percent
Other 17 percent

“The dramatic increase in CV irregularities that we have identified could be due to the current economic climate,” said Alexandra Kelly, managing director of HireRight’s EMEA region. “The pressure of the recession on the job market seems to have led to some applicants believing that they should lie or embellish their resumes in order to stand out from the crowd.”

During 2010 Kroll’s clients not only undertook more screenings but also increased the depth of their screening, with a six percent jump in the number of components per screening in 2010 compared with 2008. “Screening techniques have become more sophisticated and widely adopted, meaning that CV embellishments can be more easily identified to help organisations ensure they are hiring the most honest and appropriately qualified candidates,” explained Kelly. “With 44 percent of fraud committed by employees it is critical that employers know who they are hiring to manage their risk.”

9 February 2011

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