HR & EDUCATION | Staff Reporter, Singapore

One in four Singapore candidates submit false information on job applications

Singapore’s discrepancy rate is above the APAC average.

More than one in five (21.5%) background checks conducted on job candidates in the Asia Pacific region (APAC) in 2016 identified inaccuracies in the information supplied by candidates. This finding was based on the results of background checks performed by HireRight in the APAC region last year.

While this discrepancy rate has decreased from the previous year (29%), it remains almost three times higher than the discrepancy rate globally (9.7%). A discrepancy is marked when the information provided by the candidate does not match records of their previous places of employment, education or other relevant organisations and databases. Discrepancies could include a disparity in dates of education or employment, qualifications attained, graduation dates, positions held and job responsibilities.

Here’s more from HireRight:

Almost one in four (24.7%) background checks conducted in Singapore in 2016 contained discrepancies. Singapore’s discrepancy rate remains above the APAC average (21.5%), but has seen a notable decrease from 2015 (28.4%).

Surpassing education and employment history discrepancies, professional license discrepancies represented the highest rate in 2016. These checks, designed to confirm that a particular license is held in good standing and has not lapsed or expired, apply to a range of professional occupations, including accountants, engineers, lawyers, auditors and doctors. In particular, one in four (25%) candidates inaccurately reported license information in 2016 – twice as many as in 2015 (13.8%).

A possible explanation for this uptick could be that, amidst a slowing economy and a more competitive job market, employers looking to make better informed hiring decisions are extending background checks to include professional licenses, thereby increasing the number of professional license checks being conducted (and discrepancies identified) in 2016.

Conversely, the biggest decrease in discrepancies among Singapore candidates was with respect to their education qualifications, with the rate in 2016 (18.3%) less than half that of 2015 (40.9%). With increasing publicity over the last two years regarding the pervasiveness of false degrees issued by diploma mills and employees embellishing their educational backgrounds, perhaps candidates are being more cautious when submitting educational history details.  

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