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CV lie-detection service in strong demand

CV lie-detection service in strong demand

If you think you can get away with lies on your CV because employers don’t bother to check your claims, you could be in for a rude shock! A unique new service which checks whether prospective employees are telling the truth on their CVs and job application forms has been inundated with enquiries from employers concerned about fraudulent claims.

Driving the need for such a service are recent revelations about the surprising number of lies told by those applying for jobs. Some of the more colourful deceptions are claiming to be a CEO when you’re only a personal assistant, falsely claiming to have an MBA and a doctorate to make your CV look great, telling your new boss that you have a clean driving licence when you’re a disqualified driver, or that you have no criminal convictions when you’ve done time for fraud.

According to Devonport careercare recruitment specialist, Therese McNaughten, more than 30 percent of people are economical with the truth on their CV. Most, however, merely expand the dates of their employment, but the incidences of much greater fabrications are rising. And this is of increasing concern to companies, says McNaughten.

Interest in a CV lie-detection service should come as no surprise given the number of recent high profile cases of staff trying to hoodwink their employers. Remember John Davies? Recruited by a reputable employment agency as CEO for Maori Television. Found to have falsified his CV and ultimately sent to jail. Several fabrications were found in his CV and not by the company hiring him or their recruitment agency, but rather an enterprising reporter.

Recently, another case was reported in the Waikato where a highly respected recruitment firm was paid $14,000 for finding a senior executive only to discover that the candidate had used a false name, claimed qualifications she did not have, and failed to disclose a fraud conviction.

Recognising the increasing need for employers to check the credentials of their employees, Therese McNaughten teamed up with private investigator, Grace Haden of Epsom, and launched a service which carries out comprehensive background checks on applicants on behalf of employers.

The service, offered by Wholeoranges Consulting Ltd, checks an applicant’s identity, employment history, education background, qualifications, immigration status, credit rating, references and criminal history. A full report is produced for the client which can then be checked against the information supplied by the applicant.

McNaughten says a full pre-employment check is cheaper than the stress and cost of litigation, the embarrassment of negative publicity, the loss of productivity and the havoc the wrong person can wreck if they turn out to be other than who they claim.

Up to 85 per cent of businesses perform some background checks on potential employees. But generally the extent of such checks is having someone in Human Resources call a previous employer or check a reference.

McNaughten believes that employers need to be more diligent in the current employment climate where every candidate is looking for that edge over someone else.

Her new service came about through personal experience after she noticed a widening gap in the vetting process used by recruitment companies.

She says: “I tried to find a comprehensive investigative service to aid my own company’s clients so that I could feel safe and secure about the applicants I was putting forward, but I couldn’t find one. I located Grace and together we spent time finding out what was missing and researching ways to solve the problem.”

The result is the Career Verification Check, which McNaughten believes is unique in New Zealand.

Employers choose from three menus, depending on the type of position they’re seeking to fill. The standard service confirms identity, employment history, references and credit checks. The next level adds to the standard checks with education, licenses, professional qualifications, directorships and shareholdings, and confirms a person’s entire work history. A range of optional extras, including checking a person’s criminal history, is also offered.

Grace Haden is a former police sergeant who has strong investigative skills and computer expertise combined with a business background, making her well equipped to delve into other people’s backgrounds.

As part of the Career Verification Check, she seeks confirmation of each element in a person’s CV from independent sources.

Therese McNaughten believes that such a pre-screening service will have a major impact on recruitment and business. “If a prospective employee knows they will be checked out, I imagine it will rather quickly put the brakes on creative CV writing,” she says.

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