Would you hire a liar?

August 11th, 2014

 Would you hire a candidate who deliberately lied on their CV?

As a small business owner, you've most likely been through the experience of sifting through piles of CVs in the hunt for the best talent to grow your company. You've also likely had that nagging question at the back of your mind as you did so - how do I tell if these candidates are telling the truth or not?

Business owners looking for honest staff may want to stay extra sharp as lying on CVs is fairly widespread, according to a new survey from CareerBuilder. The human resources firm found that well over half (58 per cent) of employers said they have come across a dishonest CV.

Further results from the survey suggest that tough economic conditions in recent times may have prompted candidates to lie on their applications. A third (33 per cent) of respondents noted they saw a rise in lying on CVs following the recession.

So what are the most common lies employers found on resumes? Embellished skill sets and responsibilities stood out as the most prevalent, with 57 per cent and 55 per cent of employers respectively saying they have seen instances of these.

Among the industries, the highest rate of dishonesty was reported in the financial services sector, where almost three-quarters (73 per cent) of employers encountered inaccurate CVs. Leisure and hospitality was close behind with 71 per cent.

However, perhaps the question job seekers want answered most is just how lenient employers are when they come across a lie. Surprisingly, while roughly half (51 per cent) of employers said they would immediately rule out a lying candidate, the rest were slightly more lax. For example, 40 per cent said it depended on what the applicant lied about, while 7 per cent said a likeable candidate personality would override a lie on a CV.

Lying has long been a taboo subject in society, and one that takes on extra significance in the work arena. What is your take on dishonest CVs?

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