Let’s be honest, we all tell lies.
‘I’ll be there in five”, “this coleslaw is amazing”, “Santa knows everything” – these are small, necessary, polite lies – and society says they are relatively harmless.
However, when it comes to lying on your job application or your resume to try and cover up your criminal history, there is a very real chance you will be caught out and this is not going to help your case.
We know from recent high-level discrimination cases that a criminal history does not necessarily mean that your application will be disregarded by an employer. They may, however, disregard you for lying in your application.
A PeopleCheck case involving a candidate who had applied for a new position with an IT firm. We were asked by our client to carry out various checks, including an employment verification to confirm his last employment period. After speaking with the candidate’s former manager, we were adivsed that the candidate only worked at the company for one month, not the two years he spciefied on his resume and job application. The reason for this apparent discrepancy all made sense when we received the candidate’s police check result, which revealed that the candidate was serving a two-year prison sentence at the time he claimed to be working in his last role!
Holding onto the hope that your criminal past will not be uncovered by a background check and taking to your CV with such creative flair as this candidate did may not be the best course of action. The spent convictions scheme, information release policies and discrimination laws including guidance from the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) are all in place so that only disclosable criminal convictions will be identified and if they are, this information is used appropriately by employers in context of a hiring decision.
We find that more employers than ever before are relying on background checks as an indicator of the candidate’s good character, not just to verify their skills and experience. This case highlights the importance of undertaking a variety of background checks for each candidate to gain a complete assessment…..even the big guy runs additional checks on his naughty and nice list!