CV Fraud how well do you know your employees?

Recent research shows 51% of adults in the UK admitted to lying on their CV and the area lied about the most (by 41%), was about their previous job responsibilities. A significant number also admitted to lying about their qualifications, with 27% falsely increasing GCSE grades and 20% their A-Level grades.

This clearly highlights the challenges faced by management teams and the importance of thoroughly checking through a prospective candidate’s CV to get an accurate picture of whether they will be a good fit, competent at the role and if they are worth the salary you are investing in them.

Few people however lie so much that it ends up in a criminal court but the case of Jon Andrews who spent over 10 years working as the CEO of a hospice and in other senior roles should serve as a warning to employers.

In Mr Andrew’s case not only did he make up a Degree, MBA and PHD, he also created a long work history that simply wasn’t true. Once discovered the case ended up in the criminal courts where he pleaded guilty to obtaining pecuniary advantage by deception and he was ordered to reply to his former employer £100,000 of salary under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2022.

There are several issues for employers to unpack around CV fraud, especially at a time when many are struggling to recruit. It’s also essential to remember how important all checks are, and it could also be a criminal offence to employ someone who doesn’t have the qualifications they say they have for some roles or the right to work in the UK.

So, what can employers do during the recruitment process to spot or avoid CV fraud?

Draft a clear job description and list the qualifications and experience which is necessary for the role and do not compromise on this for any candidate. If you subsequently find out that an applicant has falsified this in anyway then you would be able to demonstrate the candidate would not have been successful without it.

Make a list of the roles within your business that have a legal requirement for certain qualifications, for example a driving licence in the right category and make sure managers are aware of the legal consequences if this isn’t checked. Develop a procedure to ensure certain checks are always made before any candidate is offered or starts a job.

Make sure all job offers are conditional subject to certain requirements being met and ensure you receive original copies of all qualifications and certificates relevant to the job and follow up with references.

If you are using a recruiter, make sure you have a clear arrangement with them and ask them to ensure all background checks are carried out on any candidates they suggest to you.

Ask candidates to complete an application form with a signed declaration that the statements they have made about their qualifications and work experience are all true and correct and that they understand the job offer could be withdrawn at any time if found to be untrue.

If you have any concerns about an employee, you have hired and their competence and suitability for the role and you believe they have falsified aspects of their CV, make sure you take legal advice to ensure disciplinary and/ or dismissal processes are followed accordingly.

Amanda Finn can be contacted at