40% of Hiring Managers Admit to Lying to Candidates

...and nearly all of them justify their deception. What are they lying about? When? Why?

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Aug 17, 2023

It’s no secret that candidates will at times lie on their resumes or during interviews. But research shows that they aren’t the only ones telling untruths. A new survey from Resume Builder reveals that nearly 4 in 10 hiring managers say that they lie to candidates during the hiring process. What’s more, of the more than 1,000 hiring managers surveyed, 80% say that lying is “very acceptable” at their company.

Dissecting the Deception

Here’s when they are most likely to lie:

  • 75% during the interview
  • 52% in the job description
  • 24% in the offering letter

As for how often hiring managers lie:

  • 25% say not often
  • 45% say some of the time
  • 24% say most of the time
  • 6% say some of the time

The reasons for lying vary and include protecting sensitive company information, covering up negative information about the organization, to attract more qualified candidates, and, no surprise perhaps, to make the job sound better than it really is.

This also explains why role responsibilities and growth and career opportunities top the list of things that hiring managers will lie about.

Does Lying Pay Off?

It’s a loaded question — one that comes with an uncomfortable answer. The research shows that of hiring managers who’ve lied to candidates, 92% say they misled a candidate to eventually accept a job offer. The problem is — and you can likely guess what’s coming — 55% say that they’ve had an employee quit after realizing that they’ve been deceived during the hiring process.

In fact, a stunning 80% of employees who felt they were lied to ended up leaving by their third month.

“Just as organizations seek professional and courteous behavior from candidates, the same should be reciprocated,” explains Stacie Haller, chief career advisor at Resume Builder.

In a statement, Haller continues, “Failing to communicate honestly and transparently not only damages an employer’s reputation but also undermines the broader hiring ecosystem. By treating candidates with the same professionalism we expect from them, we not only preserve the human aspect of recruitment but also contribute to a more respectful and equitable job market for everyone involved.”

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