Two thirds of expat job applications in the Gulf States contain deliberate errors that misrepresent the candidate to a future employer.
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A culture of telling lies on a CV means many employers do not find out about a candidate’s short comings until a contract has started, which can have financial and legal consequences and even reputational damage.
Employment screening firm HireRight argues that giving a job to an expat is always a gamble.
“The financial implications of a wrong hire could be incalculable,” said James Randall, the firm’s sales director for the Middle East.
Wrong hires are damaging to a business
“You would need to consider the cost of severing the employee’s contract, before hiring and training a new one. This process can be time consuming, and all the while you could be losing money. Further, the financial damage done while he or she is on your books may not even be evident until they are gone.”
Randall also explains that the impact of a wrong hire on the morale and performance of other workers is also damaging.
“Harvard Business School found much as 80% of employee turnover results from bad hiring decisions. Many managers even admit it could be the most harmful aspect of a bad hire, as the losses on corporate culture could be irreversible,” he said.
Expats embellish their applications
“The actions of an individual could also have a negative effect on a brand, which could inflict damage beyond repair. Adverse press resulting from fraud, harassment or violence towards co-workers, or abuse of company data could lead to potentially ruinous reputational damage.”
Randall suggested that the Middle East had inherited an attitude of not checking references which was changing as regulation, especially in banking and financial services was tightening.
“When considering employment verifications, it is not uncommon for expat workers to embellish their employment history, whether by using false dates or grading up the job title,” he said.
“Using a screening service enables employers to deal in facts, as opposed to relying on information provided by references, which are also often false.”
Other common lies on CVs include covering up criminal records, disguising drug habits and overstating qualifications, says recruitment service Monster.
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