July 20th, 2016 | Sterling

Lies On A CV: How To Expose The Truth

The discovery that Andrea Leadsom had allegedly made ‘misleading’ claims on her CV may not have been the final nail in the coffin of her campaign to become the next Conservative party leader, but it certainly didn’t help. Within days of allegations coming to light that she had no experience as an investment banker, despite suggestions that she managed billions of pounds’ worth of funds, Leadsom had pulled out of the contest, paving the way for Theresa May to become our next Prime Minister.

In Leadsom’s case, the embellishments on her CV (as well as that Times article, one would imagine) dashed any hopes she had of becoming leader of the country. Yet lies on a CV is a common problem facing many businesses, no matter what position you are recruiting for, so how do you weed out any ‘dishonest’ candidates?

CV lies can range from minor exaggerations about hobbies and interests to more serious issues such as degree fraud. And it would seem quite a few candidates out there are not averse to the odd fib. According to a Higher Education Degree Datacheck report, around one third of graduates falsify important information on their CVs every year, with 40% exaggerating their academic qualifications, and 11% falsely claiming to hold a degree.

Meanwhile, a survey of 2,000 UK job-seekers by CV Library revealed that 28% lie on their CV, with 9% of those admitting the lie was ‘significant.’ Interestingly, the report also found that 75% felt it was the company’s responsibility to uncover lies during the interview process, as opposed to the candidate being honest.

Including background screening in your recruitment process is therefore vital, as performing a check will help you to reveal the truth and make informed hiring decisions. In an infographic we published last year, we outlined potential lies you might find on a CV, and how background checks can help to expose them.

For instance, a candidate may alter their dates of employment to cover up the fact that they were sacked from their last job or, worse still, had spent time in prison. Or they might exaggerate their job title to help them get a better job or salary. A background check can verify past employment and activity of a candidate, helping you to identify any gaps in their work history, as well as verify positions held, which would uncover any inflated job titles.

Another common lie on a CV is falsifying qualifications. This can range from exaggerating a grade gained at school to buying degrees from diploma mills. Hiring someone who lacks the skills to do the job can be extremely damaging to your business and your reputation, so it’s crucial to carry out a background check to mitigate the risk of making a bad hire. In this case, background screening would verify a candidate’s education history by confirming the degree type and date of completion with the registrar, as well as conduct additional investigations – if necessary – to rule out a purchased degree from a diploma mill.

In addition, some candidates may give a false name on their CV to cover up a criminal record. In order to ensure you maintain a safe workplace, a background check can be carried out where appropriate to the job being applied for to identify any candidates who may have a criminal past. There are three types of criminal record checks available – basic, standard and enhanced disclosures. A reputable background screening company would work to ensure the most appropriate criminal record check is carried out for your needs.

One other problem area is when a candidate provides a fake reference, and claims to be a top performer. A background screening company can provide experienced, unbiased interviewers who carry out reference interviews with a candidate, and probe for information to spot any details that don’t add up and expose any fake references.

Identifying people who lie on their CV can be time-consuming and challenging, so it can be a good idea to outsource your background screening and use a provider that will seek to uncover any dishonest or fraudulent information on a CV. This will not only give you peace of mind, but will ensure you stay compliant and enable you to make good hiring decisions.

This publication is for informational purposes only and nothing contained in it should be construed as legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out this information. We encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.