We see an abundance of articles warning about candidates telling fibs on their CV, how to spot them and what to do to catch them out. CV fraud makes up a huge part of our working day here at PeopleCheck; however, recently we had a candidate who was devastated to learn that there was a major inaccuracy on her CV. It was a good reminder that, despite our findings, treating candidates with honesty and respect is crucial to what we do.
This particular candidate had been working as a paramedic for the past 20 years and had just been offered a new position in another state, hence the request from our healthcare client for a background check.
We carried out the candidate’s employment verification and reference checks which clearly indicated the candidate was a well-respected professional in their career so far. The candidate’s police check and public information checks came back clear. However, we were having trouble verifying the candidate’s paramedic qualification – the institute could not find the candidate graduating with their claimed Diploma in Paramedical Science (Ambulance).
Our researchers were in extensive communication with the institute and the candidate who was distraught and could not understand why their qualification could not be validated. In the end we received a letter directly from the Dean of the institute informing us that, as the last unit of the qualification was incomplete, the candidate had not been awarded the paramedic qualification. It appeared the qualification had never been checked with the candidate’s previous employers.
What We Actually Do
When people think of background checking, it conjures up pictures of scary investigators going through a candidate’s personal details and gathering information on their background from others to build a case against them – this IS NOT the case. We seek to verify first and support both our clients and candidates through the process regardless of the outcome. Working with our client, in this instance we had to break some upsetting news to a concerned candidate who seemed genuinely shocked that she did not technically hold a qualification for her profession of two decades. Not to mention having to advise our client of a difficult situation for a prospective hire!
Of course, there are plenty of intentional “fibs” out there, but it is possible that mistakes and oversights happen, even if the impact and risk to an employer is just as real.
The information contained in this post is the opinion of PeopleCheck Pty Ltd and does not form the basis of legal advice.