60% of job applicants lie on their CV, says recruitment background specialist

Feb 24, 2020

THREE out of five job applicants have lied on their CV, new research by a leading background screening company has found.

Pre-recruitment checks are vital, ensuring that claims made on a CV are true. “If someone claims to have a skill or qualification necessary for a specific task, it is too late to find out they have lied on their CV once something goes wrong,” said Eyal Ben Cohen, chief executive of background screening specialist Verifile.

However, lies and exaggerations are all too common in the recruitment process, he added.

The discovery by referencing teams at Verifile’s headquarters in Bedford found 60% of CVs checked by them in 2019 contained lies. The teams found inaccuracies in:

  • 13% of employments checked;
  • 15% professional memberships and licences checked;
  • 13% of qualifications checked.

“While modern technology has brought the world closer together, and created access to a worldwide workforce, it has also made it easier for some to try and defraud others with fake identity, qualifications and careers,” said Mr Ben Cohen. 

Eyal ben Cohen, pictured with Dr Stephanie Hussels, director of Cranfield University’s Bettany Centre for Entrepreneurship. MrBen Cohen was named the university’s Alumnus of the Year

“Sadly, too many people still believe that no one will take the time to check their CVs fully for the suitability of the role they are applying for.

“Verifile is committed to changing that and creating transparency so that any relationship a business enters into, whether that’s through recruitment or for another reason, is built on a strong foundation of trust.”

Verifile carries out a wide range of checks on behalf of clients, including those who need to carry out screening during their recruitment process. Its work led to a drop of 7% in the number of checks returning ‘no result’, when compared to 2018 figures.

In 2019 Verifile were only unable to verify a tiny 4% of qualifications, employments and memberships listed on CVs.

“This is a very impressive figure,” said Mr Ben Cohen. “This number can never be 0% because there will always be companies or schools that have closed down and their records are unavailable. However, we continue to reduce it year on year by chasing organisations for a response and by only using direct sources to confirm a candidate’s claims.” 

The global background screening sector is booming, with more and more industries recognising the need to carry out pre- and post-employment checks. Verifile saw 88% more individuals checked in 2019 compared to 2018. The company secured  329 new clients and checked people across 154 countries.

Much of this is down to Verifile’s investment in technology with a third of its checks now being placed via its own application programming interface. The company offers a host of pre- and post-employment background screening options, individually or as part of a bespoke package. These include CV verification, social media checks, credit checks, identity checks, and criminal checks. They can carry out these checks via thousands of up-to-date data sources in almost every country in the world.

“Pre-employment background screening not only builds trust,” said Mr Ben Cohen. “It also makes sure public safety remains intact.”

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