- Seventy-eight percent of job seekers "misrepresent themselves" throughout the job application process, according to a Feb. 13 Checkster survey of 400 applicants and 400 hiring managers. The report also revealed 66% of hiring managers are "willing to accept" this.
- Sixty percent of applicants reported claiming they had mastered skills of which they had only basic knowledge. More than half of applicants said they worked longer in some jobs to hide having worked for another employer. Other false claims from applicants included having more experience, falsifying their reasons for leaving a job, inflating their job titles and lying about where they earned their degrees.
- "While these high levels of applicant misrepresentation are shocking, what's even more disturbing is that most companies do not weed out these fraudulent applicants during the hiring process," said Yves Lermusi, CEO, Checkster, in a media release. "This suggests that there are most likely people in your organization with vastly different standard and who would knowingly offer a job to someone who lied on their resume or during the interview."
Job seekers lie — this finding is not a new one. A January ResumeLab survey found 31% of job seekers had been caught in the act of lying, and 65% of them were either not hired or fired. And 93% of respondents said they knew someone who had lied on a resume.
These findings arrive as other reports provide insight into how applicant tracking systems (ATS) have influenced job seekers. Of the 22% of applicants who understand the recruiting tech, 88% have optimized their resumes to boost their chances of getting a job, an October 2019 TribePad study of U.K.-based workers found. Applicants' resume doctoring lines up with the embellishments and lies reported in the Checkster survey. TribePad respondents said they listed skills to match requirements, loaded their resume with buzzwords, lied about experience and cheated on employment tests.
As recruiting professionals hone in on talent acquisition — an area HR leaders forecasted would be a top challenge in 2020 — they may want to prioritize reference checking. If sizable numbers of applicants and, ultimately, candidates are lying about their credentials, experiences and skills, employers may lack the quality of workforce they need to meet demands. After all, managers who do conduct reference checks rule out as many as a third of candidates from consideration, according to a March 2019 Accountemps survey.