Candidate Health Check: Application Errors Up in 2015

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There has been an 11 per cent jump in errors on job applications compared to the same period last year, finds HireRight’s latest Candidate Health Check.

During the second quarter of 2015, almost two thirds (63 per cent) of applicants provided incorrect details in areas including criminal records, previous employment, educational attainment and membership of professional organisations.

This growing number of inaccuracies could reflect the competitiveness of the current jobs market, and is a cause for concern for busy HR managers during a period of growing employment. Jobseekers may be rushing through applications and making mistakes, and some may be overstating achievements in order to stand out from the crowd. As a result, managers in charge of hiring must be vigilant when checking the backgrounds of new recruits.

HireRight’s Candidate Health Check takes into account analysis of more than 123,000 checks of 31,000 applications, providing an in-depth look into job applications quarter on quarter.

Education continues to be the area in which there are the most inaccuracies. Nearly half (48 per cent) of all applications now contain education errors such as incorrect grades, qualifications, institution details, courses or start and end dates – a rise of 9 per cent since the beginning of 2015.

And this isn’t the only area that’s seen an increase. Employment history errors have hit their highest level since 2011, with over a third (37 per cent) of applications containing mistakes in this area between April and June.

Bad hires have the potential to significantly damage the reputation, profitability and overall performance of a business. Of course, inaccuracies can occur for many reasons, so it pays to thoroughly check that a candidate’s experience meets the needs of the business. In-depth due diligence allows hiring managers to rest easy knowing that employees’ past performance indicates that they are right for the role. Companies who fail to find out who they’re employing risk recruiting people ill-equipped to perform, or in extreme cases, plan to harm the organisation through theft or fraud.

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