These are the most common lies on CVs in South Africa

Background screening company, Managed Integrity Evaluation (MIE), has identified the most frequently lied about areas on candidate resumes in South Africa, in a new report.

The seventh edition of MIE’s annual BSI report is based on the data from the company’s vetting services conducted between 1 January and 31 December 2017. During this time, MIE completed over 2.87 million transactions.

“Although volumes of certain checks have decreased slightly, when compared to data from 2016, this is in line with the tougher economic climate and fewer new employment or appointment opportunities being created over the 2017 period,” said MIE CEO, Ina van der Merwe.

“It is, however, still positive to see that despite clear strain being felt in the economy and marketplace, organisations see the value of making use of background screening,” van der Merwe said.

Highlights from the BSI report findings include:

  • Criminal records remain the most frequently requested check by MIE clients in South Africa;
  • MIE conducted 724,507 criminal checks during 2017, of which 9.91% of candidates were found to have a criminal or pending criminal record;
  • Over 52,000 candidates whose criminal records were checked had lied about having a record;
  • Apart from HR & recruitment, which is across industries; the highest number of criminal check requests were in the retail industry – yet retail has one of the lowest associated risks;
  • The two sectors found to have the highest associated risk are mining and manufacturing;
  • 2017 also saw growing demand for criminal background checks within public sectors and SOEs;
  • Misrepresentation and fraud of qualifications remains high;
  • MIE conducted 552,871 qualification checks in 2017, where 14.3% of these checks were found to misrepresented, fraudulent or the transaction was cancelled;
  • Findings show that a candidate’s qualification(s) is the most likely aspect to contain discrepancies, when compared to other background screening checks;
  • MIE’s Global Screening Department’s data highlights that qualification verification is the most requested check across Africa;
  • Qualification discrepancies carried the highest associated risk across all 30 African countries that MIE operates in – highlighting the critical importance of doing cross border qualification checks;
  • Overall the potential risk associated with confirmed credit checks has increased to 18.08%;
  • Apart from HR & Recruitment, the highest volumes of credit check requested were in the financial services sector.
 MIE found that the number of qualifications found to be fraudulent has decreased to 1,678 in 2017, from 2,049 in 2016; however, the number of misrepresented qualifications has increased from 44,880 in 2016, to 50,618 in 2017.
Results showed that a candidate’s qualification(s) is the most likely aspect to contain discrepancies when compared to other background screening checks.

Aspects of a CV most frequently found to be misrepresented or incorrect:
  • Skills;
  • Job titles;
  • Responsibilities;
  • Period of employment;
  • Reason for leaving;
  • Employment history.

“Organisations today have to contend with economies, financial and business markets that are in a state of flux. However, and regardless of how the macro environments change, one thing that remains constant for all organisations – across any sector and in any region – is the need for dependable and trustworthy employees and suppliers,” said van der Merwe.

Read: Beware fraudulent or misrepresented CVs as new graduates try to enter the workforce

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These are the most common lies on CVs in South Africa