Lies and More Lies in the Hiring Process

by Sep 21, 2023

Lies in the Hiring Process


The hiring process is riddled with lies and obfuscation with both sides being almost as bad as the other. There are very few percentage points in it.

In a recent study published by Resumé Builder using data from a survey of 1,060 respondents released in August 2023 in partnership with Pollfish, 37% of hiring managers admit to lying to candidates during the hiring process.

Research from earlier in the year revealed that 72% of candidates have lied on their resume and 68% of them lied during an interview.

Many employers and recruiters admitted to finding these practices acceptable. Employers are only held to account via attrition levels in their organisations and the impact on their business of creating a toxic workplace culture.

Nearly half of candidates have not  faced consequences for lying.

Source: Resumé Builder

Employer lies

Most common lies:

  • The role’s responsibilities (40%),
  • Growth opportunities at the company (39%),
  • Career development opportunities (38%).
  • Company culture (31%), benefits (28%),
  • Commitment to social issues (27%),
  • The financial health of the company (26%),
  • Compensation (24%).

Most common reasons for lying 

  •  To protect sensitive company information.
  •  To cover up negative information about the company.
  •  To attract job seekers, some benefits are exaggerated.
  •  To deliberately say things that will please the candidate
  •  To make the job sound better than it really is.
  •  To attract more qualified candidates.


How to spot red flags in the hiring process – 3 Plus International


Candidate lies

Most common lies told by candidates 

  • Educational credentials( 44%), specifically, lied about the degree(s) they obtained (49%), graduation date(s) (46%), and GPA(s) (43%).
  • The number of years of experience they have (40%),
  • Skills and abilities (37%),
  • Length of previous  positions (29%),
  • Responsibilities of previous jobs (28%).

The research noted that candidates lie also during the interview to a similar degree. The most common lie candidates have told during an interview is the number of years of experience they had (38%). Additionally, candidates say they’ve lied about their skills and abilities (36%) and responsibilities at their previous job (28%).

Some also lie about their veteran status (12%), race/ethnicity (11%), and disability status (11%).

hiring process


Most common reasons for candidates to lie

On the candidates side, when researchers asked why they’ve lied in the hiring process, they gave the following reasons:

  • To improve their chances of being hired (60%)
  • Obtaining a higher salary offer (31%),
  • Add more resume keywords (31%),
  • To over come a lack in necessary qualifications (25%),
  • They were fired or parted on bad terms from a previous employer (23%).


3Plus can help you with some simple ways to make your hiring process appeal more to women with our FREE ebook on 12 key steps to attract, recruit and retain female talent.


Impact of lying

The impact of dishonesty is significant from both sides. This is reflected in “buyer’s remorse” from hiring managers when they misled candidates. 92% of hiring managers indicated that when they candidates they resigned quickly after being hired.

  • 14% say the employee quit within a week,
  • 35% within a month,
  • 31% within 3 months.

When candidates lied 

  • 18%  were reprimanded but allowed to continue working,
  • 12% were fired after starting a position,
  • 9% had a job offer rescinded,
  • 6% had their pay reduced,
  • 5% were suspended.


Any kind of dishonesty in the hiring process contributes to a toxic culture based on a lack of transparency. There is no substitute for open and honest communication from both sides.


Tackle these issues in your organisation head-on by changing the way you approach recruitment



3Plus welcomes any writers to join 3Plus as a Staff Writer. If you are an expert in Job Search, Career and Mentoring or just want to share your experiences, contact us! We would love to give you a voice!

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