One in three Australians admit to having lied to their employers about their career credentials in order to get a job.
According to research by training organisation Upskilled, 32% of Australian citizens believe honesty is not the best policy when it comes to climbing the career ladder.
Exaggeration, inflation or outright lies about previous positions, training and qualifications were found to be common amongst the Australian workforce.
“These are worrying results, as the reality is that lying on a resume or in a job interview is a sackable and in extreme cases, criminal offence,” said Upskilled spokesperson, Mark Sexty. “The fact that Australians are feeling the need to lie about their professional skills highlights the need for more access to education and training.”
Cherie Curtis, head of psychology at Onetest, told Human Capital that most of the steps around the recruitment process are prone to faking, bias or human error.
“Recruitment is a game of courting where candidates try to put their best foot forward and there are a whole range of strategies a candidate can engage in to do that,” she said. “The recruiter is trying to sieve through this information and find out how suitable this person is for the job.”
Curtis said that one recruitment method that provides more accurate results is psychometric testing. She suggested that employers adopt a combination of a cognitive ability tests and structured interviews to achieve the best results.
"What psychometric testing does is scientifically measure an attribute in an individual. We can actually profile or gain statistics about that characteristic in that individual. It can be a much more reliable source of information.
"[Research] shows from a reliability perspective, it is a better predictor of future job performance than job knowledge tests, unstructured interviews and very clearly better than reference checks."
The Upskilled survey also found that the lies don’t stop at the workplace, with a further third of respondents confessing to embellishing their job roles and qualifications to impress friends, partners and family. This figure was found to be 60% amongst 16-24 year-old staring out in their careers.
A further 21% admitted they felt ashamed and embarrassed about their job and lack of career progression or qualifications.