Lying workers lead employers in a merry dance of deceit

Jun 06 2005 by Nic Paton Print This Article

A quarter of British employers withdrew at least one job offer in the past year after discovering a person had lied or otherwise misrepresented their application.

Nearly as many – 23 per cent – dismissed someone who was already in post for the same offence, according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

Nevertheless British employers are by and large a trusting lot when it comes to hiring people, it appears.

The organisation's survey of the recruitment and retention experiences of 715 UK employers also found many employers did not carry out routine checks on the people they employed.

Nearly a quarter of employers did not always take up candidates' references, although 90 per cent did so mostly or always.

A quarter never or rarely checked on academic qualifications, with a further 19 per cent doing so only sometimes;

And 20 per cent of employers either rarely or never checked on absence records, with a further 19 per cent doing so only sometimes.

Employers were most likely to satisfy themselves about an employee's application simply by checking their most recent employment history, just 6 per cent never or rarely did this. Rebecca Clake, CIPD recruitment adviser, said: "A CV is not the best place for modesty. There's nothing wrong with selling yourself when you're applying for a job. But lies or deliberate distortions could leave you out of a job, and limit your chances of getting a new one."

Employers needed to be careful because in a strong economy with low unemployment many were are struggling to find applicants.

"But there are risks that go with rushing candidates into fill vacancies without pausing to make basic checks. If you don't have rigorous pre-employment checks in place, you risk being a soft touch for people who are willing to be dishonest to get work or advance their careers," she added.

"If all employers carried out checks on a more regular basis, it's more likely those people who genuinely fit the criteria for the job will be successful."