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Hong Kong applicants the biggest fibbers on CVs: survey

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Just a little white lie to spruce up the résumé. Just a couple of harmless porky pies to secure that all-important new role. Everyone does it, right?

Not as much as you might think – at least not according to this just-published survey by HireRight, that measures “discrepancies” on candidates’ CVs. But of the three key markets covered (Hong Kong, Singapore and India), Hong Kong did top the list.

Hong Kong’s overall discrepancy rate actually dropped from 21.4% in 2017 to 17.0% in 2018. Employment checks were the most common form of screening across both years.

But overall it was educational discrepancies that dominated, with Hong Kong recording unusually high rates of inaccuracy. One in five (20.8%) education screenings marked a discrepancy in 2018 (down from 25.8% in 2017), far outstripping the regional average of 9.4%.

Singapore’s overall discrepancy rate came in at 18.3% in 2018 – down from 20.1% in 2017. Employment checks were found to be the most common type of checks, jumping by 24.1% from 2017 to 2018.

India recorded the lowest discrepancy rates across all of the APAC surveyed, registering 12.5% in 2018. It was 15.8% the year before. India made great strides in professional licence discrepancies, massively down from 15.8% in 2017 to 5.9% in 2018, possibly because of recent government crackdowns.

Overall, candidate discrepancy rates across Asia Pacific (including Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Philippines and Singapore) have registered modest improvements – from 16% in 2017 to 15.1% in 2018.

“It’s reassuring to see that the tides of change continue to sweep through the region, placing background screening at the top of the hiring agenda,” commented APAC general manager at HireRight, Ko Hui Yen.

“However, we must be wary of resting on our laurels. As recent high-profile cases of résumé and CV fraud such as Mikhy Farrera-Brochez demonstrate, or indeed as our study reveals on a market-by-market basis, there is always room to improve processes and better prepare for risk.”

For those not in the know, Brochez was formally charged by a grand jury in the United States in March for leaking data online from the Singapore HIV registry.

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