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Not surprisingly, considering what we hear every day in the news,
employers are finding that candidate employees are more and
more embellishing and misrepresenting aspects of their career, as well as omitting
embarrassing aspects altogether.

It is also getting increasingly difficult to get a thorough picture of a candidate for a
position due to increasing restrictions being placed on personal information. This
tends to make previous employers nervous to share information on their employees
and more and more employers are now giving out no information at all.
The consequences of making a mistake when recruiting are damaging as the
process is time consuming and adversely affects staff morale, which can lead to a
business losing or making less money.

A matter of trust

The relationship between employee and employer is based on trust. Abusing this
trust by falsifying a CV breaks down this relationship as the employer begins to
doubt what the employee is doing and this usually results in a downward spiral
leading to disciplinary hearings and often dismissal. The business then has to start
the whole recruitment process again.
Labour courts have found that falsifying a CV is a dismissible offence and that there
is no need to prove that the misrepresentation led to your decision to appoint the

Whilst this is encouraging, in practice many cases end up being lost by the
employer due to some procedural error found by the court.

How to detect and deal with falsehoods in a CV

As noted above, it is becoming harder to obtain the true picture on a prospective
staff member. Think perhaps of joining the many companies now using informal
networks such as canvassing management in your organisation, or building up
Human Resource groups in the applicable industry. Often this approach leads to the
employer finding “someone who knows someone” and from there a more accurate
picture of the employee’s past can be put together.

Why not also pursue someone who commits a dismissible offence – if necessary
charge the person and go through the full disciplinary process? Then, be honest
with another employer as to why the employee left or was fired. This way at least it
will spare other employers making costly appointments and who knows, it may
begin to spread throughout the sector and come back to benefit your business
directly one day.

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