Background Checking

Falsified resumes on the rise with four percent hiding past crimes

Source – Herald Sun
Date – 10 February 2016

Up to 70 per cent of resumes contain lies, embellishments or omissions and four per cent of job applicants fail to disclose a prior criminal offence when asked by prospective employers, industry experts claim.

Sales, finance, IT and trades top the list of dodgy resumes and the most commonly faked information relates to skill levels, experience, education and references, according to Macro Recruitment director Daryl Keeley.

Mr Keeley said recent examples of job hunters found gilding the lily included an applicant for a $110,000 a year position as an IT sales manager who hid a prior prison stint for fraud, his status as a bankrupt and falsified references while a business development management applicant failed to reveal a conviction for assault with a deadly weapon and used his middle name to hide his identity.

“We detect around four per cent of resumes provided to us each year have outright lies, along with an alarming 70 per cent that contain either omissions or deceptions of significance,” Mr Keeley said.

He said overseas candidates applying for Australian jobs with the highest incidence of falsified resumes came from India, Pakistan, the UK and China.

Other recruitment agents estimate 25 to 50 per cent of applicants are guilty of embellishments and falsehoods in CVs.

American Andrew Flanagan, 47, was last year convicted of deception offences in the Victorian County Court after conning his way into a $400,000-a-year executive role with Myer using fake resumes and references.

Flanagan, who argued he was suffering “intermittent grandiose hypermania” was put on a three-year community corrections order, requiring 400 hours of unpaid work and treatment for mental health issues.

Another Victorian defendant is facing criminal charges for working as a teacher after allegedly falsifying documents to hide prior convictions.

The digital age and greater worker mobility has been in part blamed for the incidence of job hunters massaging credentials or making false employment or educational claims.

Prospective employees should take time to vet claimed credentials of applicants and not risk a “hire in haste” approach, Mr Keeley said.

“Too frequently employers with limited time to hire make decisions based upon gut feel, rather than actual facts.

“The onus of responsibility rests ultimately on the employer to ensure thorough background checks, whether in-house or via a trusted agent.”

Mr Keeley said employers should request at least three referees from recent employers in the past five years, verify stated qualifications and experience and even utilise Google searches on candidates.

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