Cliff Lansley PhD

Cliff Lansley PhD

The cost of not picking up deception in job applications can cost employers £4k-£6k per mistake

Getting recruitment decisions right is essential at the best of times but in the face of economic uncertainty, it becomes even more critical. In this post-recession environment, the task of recruiting the best talent certainly presents some challenges for HR.

A CIPD survey report ‘Recruitment, Retention and Turnover (2009d)’ estimates the average direct cost of recruitment per individual in the UK in 2009 as £4,000 -increasing to £6,125 when organisations are also calculating the associated labour turnover costs. For workers in the managerial and professional category, these costs were considerably higher: £7,750, rising to £11,000.

Implicit costs are less quantifiable and include the following categories:

  • Poor performance
  • Reduced productivity
  • Low-quality products or services
  • Dissatisfied customers or other stakeholders
  • Low employee morale.

According to the research from the CIPD, 25 percent of employers had to withdraw job offers last year after finding candidates misrepresented themselves in their applications. It has been reported that 39 percent of UK organisations have experienced a situation where their employee screening procedures have allowed an employee to be recruited who was later found to have lied or misrepresented themselves in their application. The recent high profile cases against former NHS executives are testimony to this, highlighting the fact that CV fraud is not limited to junior candidates and that it can be committed by people in well paid, senior positions.

In the era of Facebook, You Tube and Twitter, not only will HRs need to navigate new recruitment processes such as social recruiting, and contend with the organisational challenges associated with it, but the recession has meant that employers now face a number of specific recruitment risks. With increasing numbers of candidates fabricating or exaggerating their CV’s in order to stand out in a competitive market or in the most extreme case, to commit employee fraud against an organisation, finding ways to limit uncertainty in the hiring process has never been more important.

Certainly it would seem that lying on CVs is on the increase. Surveys suggest as many as a quarter of job seekers deviate from the truth on their CV. The most common distortions include salary (23 percent), level of previous experience (14 percent) and educational qualifications (13 percent), followed by dates of employment (10 percent) and job title (9 percent).

Increasing numbers of candidates fabricating or exaggerating their CVs in order to stand out in a competitive market, or in the most extreme case, to commit employee fraud against an organisation.

Research and development
Paul Ekman International plc will be exploring this area in more depth to measure the impact that training in Evaluation of Truthfulness and Credibility can have in helping those at the front line of making recruitment and promotion decisions.

Please register your interest here if you are heavily involved with recruitment processes in the UK within a large public/private/social organisation (1000 employees+) and wish to be part of this study.

References and further articles:

About the author

Cliff Lansley PhD

Cliff Lansley PhD

Expert in emotional intelligence, behavioural analysis and high stake deception detection contexts. Cliff holds; PhD in Emotional Intelligence, B Ed (Hons), MIOD, MABPsych, Cert Ed.