This is the exact number of employees that have lied to their boss

Men lied slightly more (19%) than women (13%) when it came to getting a job – whether it was beefing up a resume or spinning a yarn in an interview. It’s not clear if these lies were whoppers, exaggerations, or white lies – or a combo platter.

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Ethics in the workplace have always been a wobbly area. While doing business is based on honesty and respect, people can easily rationalize that they might occasionally need to lie to get ahead or cover for themselves.

Workplace transparency site Comparably released a study based on survey data from 23,000 employees on workplace ethics.


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Who lies to get a job?

Men lied slightly more (19%) than women (13%) when it came to getting a job – whether it was beefing up a resume or spinning a yarn in an interview. It’s not clear if these lies were whoppers, exaggerations, or white lies – or a combo platter.

Broken down by department, employees in human resources lied on a resume or during an interview nearly 10% more often than workers in any other department. Think about that next time you’re calling into HR for a talking-to over a minor transgression.

Things got even more interesting within departments when broken down by gender. In admin, women were almost twice as likely to have lied or exaggerated on a resume or in an interview. Men in engineering were three times as likely to have done so. In legal, zero women said they’d lied to get a job, but 29% of the men said they had.

Lying to the boss

Nearly a third of employees said they’d lied to their boss at least once, with men and women at about equal measure.

That number changed by experience level, however. Forty-two percent of entry-level workers said they’d lied to their boss at least once. However, for workers with over 10 years of experience, that percentage is only 22%. Perhaps their experience taught them that honesty is the best policy.

Paradoxically, one-third of employees surveyed also wanted to improve their communication –  a skill that might render lying unnecessary.


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Sheila McClear|is a reporter for Ladders and can be reached at smcclear@theladders.com.