Resume fraud and the importance of pre-employment screening

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Over a third of UK job applicants have lied on their CV at some point according to a survey from Job Today, a leading recruitment app.

A quarter admit to lying on their CV on a regular basis, and falsehoods can range from simple embellishments through to huge fabrications which could put businesses in danger.

Resume fraud might entail lying about qualifications (embellishing grades attained or even creating qualifications from schools never attended), exaggerating responsibilities in previous employment, creating positions to fill employment gaps and lying about a legal right to work in the UK.

CV fraud is illegal when it is intentional and is designed to make a gain or secure employment. But many people are unaware of this fact, contributing to the belief that “everybody tells white lies on their CV”.

Managers and HR personnel need to be hyper vigilant to ensure that they are not the victims of CV fraud and that they hire the correct candidates. Thorough background checks are critical to determine whether an applicant is being truthful.

Timely screening is especially important, it can be much harder to convince a team of people that a candidate they have become fond of during the application procedure is not who they say they are. At this stage, it is easy for managers to look past proper screening, or presume that someone with an extensive work history has already been vetted by a previous employer to rush the process through.

Studies have shown that applicants who know that background checks won’t be carried out are far more likely to lie on their CV. And, according to credit reference agency Experian, as many as 15% of applicants will drop out of the recruitment process if they know that a thorough background check will be conducted.

Carrying out pre-employment screening is an essential part of the hiring process and companies ignore it at their peril.