Shocking stats show the extent of the problem
Almost 100,000 job applicants have lied about qualifications in the past three years as they attempt to secure a job, new research has found.
The AXELOS study found that almost half (48 per cent) of UK-based HR professionals do not always check that applicant’s qualifications are valid.
Many organisations only find out members of staff have lied on their application after they have started work. A total of 14 per cent of HR professionals said they had dealt with at least five incidences within the last three years of employees not holding the qualifications they had claimed– the equivalent of around 100,000** job seekers.
Exaggerating qualifications such as degree results or modules can have serious repercussions – 37 per cent of survey respondents said they would dismiss an employee if they discovered qualification results had been exaggerated. This increases to over half (54 per cent) if a job applicant outright lies about qualifications they do not hold and is later found out.
More than half (53 per cent) of HR professionals said that poor performance was the most significant risk from under qualified staff. Reputational impact was the second most important issue with more than one quarter (26 per cent) of those surveyed listing it as their chief concern about hiring someone not properly qualified.
John O’Brien, head of membership at AXELOS, said: “In an increasingly competitive jobs market, there are clearly many people who are willing to exaggerate or lie to win that much sought-after role. So it’s hard to believe so many organisations do not routinely check the qualifications of job applicants.
“Lies can quickly get out of hand – it can soon become apparent that the individual is having difficulty meeting the expectations set out in the new position. While the employee could face their contract being terminated, the employer has a lot to lose, both financially and in terms of its reputation.”