HR departments need to be on their guard after research revealed that increased competition for job vacancies is encouraging candidates to lie on their CVs.

Performance management firm SHL found that 23 per cent of candidates admitted that recession pressures were forcing them to be liberal with the truth.

One in three job seekers said they would be tempted to lie if they were being interviewed for their dream job, or if the salary was substantial.

Commenting on the survey, James Bywater, head psychologist at SHL Group, said: "Given the current job market, the results of our survey are really not that startling and if anything recruiters can expect to see more of this attitude to CVs and interviews as redundancy programmes contribute to a larger talent pool."

Mr Bywater warned employers that, in the current economic climate, they must be wary of believing claims made at interview and on CVs and he suggested that candidates undergo strict testing to assess their suitability for a position.

Patrice Barbadette, founder of Jobpartners, recently said that an increasing number of companies are turning to online recruitment as it provides a fast, cheap alternative to advertising jobs in publications.