The CV lands on your desk and it shows the perfect candidate, qualifications, skills and experience – you sigh with relief. But at this point you must stop and check!
This is because businesses across the country are unwittingly employing frauds who chose to buy their qualifications from diploma mills. It’s becoming an increasing problem. It is reported that 38% of CVs from applicants aged 25-32 included embellishments.
Who is at risk?
Smaller companies are often a big target for the fakers as they’re less likely to be able to verify qualification certificates. Applicants can therefore appear well qualified and be paid more.
Whilst purchasing a fake diploma is not illegal in the UK, using one to apply for employment constitutes fraud by misrepresentation. It could result in a ten year prison sentence.
In regulated sectors like education, medicine and finance, checking candidate’s academic and professional qualifications is mandatory and necessary, as bogus qualifications are dangerous. In other roles you may think that the person’s relevant experience is more valid – but if they lie about this, what else will they lie about? Do you really want someone you cannot trust in your company?
Precautions are essential
Always ask candidates to bring all their qualification certificates to interview and then wait for the excuses. “I have just moved house and not unpacked yet” is a favourite.
Check the highest and most relevant qualification, as this is the one most likely to be questionable. Ask in depth questions about the course and where they studied to test their knowledge. If you are still in doubt, check with the university or use a professional referencing agency.
In a lot of fraud cases, the pieces of paper might look genuine but they aren’t verified or validated. The Higher Education Degree Datacheck (HEDD) can verify a degree transcript (with the consent of the applicant).
This may seem like an additional cost to an already expensive recruitment process. But bogus qualified staff can seriously damage your reputation.
Ensure that contracts include clauses to deal with dishonesty in recruitment so that their employment can be terminated.
What else do I need to think about when hiring staff?
There’s so much! For a chat about how The HR Dept can help your business grow through recruitment, just get in touch.