Brits three times more likely to falsify job applications

22nd June 2010, Comments 0 comments

UK job applicants are more than three times as likely to lie on their CVs as those from the rest of the world, a recent study has found.

London – Pre-employment screening specialists Powerchex today released its annual research into CV embellishments, looking through details of almost 6,000 job applications made over the last twelve months.

Powerchex, which specialises in background checking on behalf of financial institutions, found that 22 percent of all British job applicants’ CVs contain a serious untruth or embellishment (Figure 1). This compared unflatteringly to job applicants from the rest of the world, with the average embellishment rate of just seven percent. Job applicants of Asian origin were found to be the most honest, with just four percent of CVs found to contain hidden negative information.
Powerchex Figure 1

Powerchex MD Alexandra Kelly believes that there may be good a reason why British job applicants may appear to be more dishonest than their international counterparts, though she would have expected the level of veracity to be a lot closer.

“Applications for more junior positions are more likely to contain hidden negative information, and these tend to be dominated by British jobseekers, with the new points-based immigration system creating a substantial barrier for non‐UK job applicants to non-specialist roles.

More senior positions tend to be offered to a much higher standard of job applicants, from a wider cross‐section of nationalities, with such individuals less likely to conceal negative information, or embellish their work history or academic background.”

As such, I might have expected that the discrepancy rate for British job applicants to be very slightly higher, but I am surprised that the figures say they are so much more deceitful than their international counterparts.”

In an effort to determine where the worst offenders were coming from, Powerchex researchers segmented the data by current address. This revealed that job applicants to the Financial Services Sector from South West England have the worst discrepancy rate, with upwards of one in four CVs from residents of Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Hampshire found to contain at least one discrepancy (Figure 2).

Powerchex Figure 2

Applications for jobs from those residing in the North of England or the Midlands also had higher than average rates of embellishment, including 62 percent of UK job applications containing concealed criminal convictions, despite contributing just nine percent of the total sample. CVs from residents of Scotland, Wales and North Ireland were the UKs most honest job applicants, with a discrepancy rate of 16 percent, a full 10 percent lower than in South West England.

“What these figures may indicate,” continues Kelly, “is that the economic difficulties of the last 18 months are affecting the confidence of British jobseekers. That 22 percent of applicants to the Financial Services Sector feel the need to either pad their CV with false achievements, or else conceal negative information from their future employers, should strike fear into recruitment professionals across financial services.”

Powerchex / Expatica

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