The number of mistakes and lies on job applications has reached a four-year high in the midst of the uncertainty surrounding the general election, according to the employment due diligence service, HireRight.

The report conducted a total of 100,000 checks on 26,000 job applications and found that among the political unpredictability and competitive job markets, an increasing number of applicants are lying on their job application forms.

Providing incorrect information

The report concluded that a staggering 63% of job applications during the first quarter of 2015 contained incorrect information. This is a level that has not been witnessed since 2011 and an increase on the 56% witnessed during 2014.

HireRight’s Managing Director of EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa), Steve Girdler, commented that the figure for this year so far is not surprising considering the job growth rate is a great deal slower than 2014.

The study found that four in ten applications contained incorrect information regarding the applicant’s educational background, while a further 36% lied about their employment history.

Some 30% of job seekers were also found to have lied about the number of professional qualifications they have obtained.

Fraudulent job applications

The analysis also highlighted that 25% of applications contained false information regarding directorships – an increase of 40% from the same quarter in 2014 – however, the amount of background checks being made by employers are also decreasing.

2014 saw a fifth of applications lie about their directorships; a 16% increase from the previous year.

Credit Industry Fraud Avoidance System (CIFAS) actually prosecuted a total of 324 individuals during 2013 due to submitting fraudulent job applications – a 58% increase from the previous year – the study found.

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