Lying on CVs on the rise

595198534Durban – There was an increase in the number of people who were found to have lied in their CVs, either by using fraudulent documents or omitting criminal records, said a background screening company.

Kirsten Halcrow, the managing director of Employers’ Mutual Protection Services, said prospective employers were now cautious of people lying when applying for jobs.

“We are seeing more employers submitting the applicants’ documents for verification,” she said.

Background checks, including verifying qualifications, could cost under R500, depending on the service provider.

Halcrow said in the past year there had also been a rise in applicants using fake South African identity documents, and lying about criminal records.

“These documents are almost impossible to verify because they were issued by Home Affairs and, despite the fact that they are fraudulent, they appear on the Home Affairs database.”

She said 38% of candidates who were found to have omitted criminal records were repeat offenders, with some having up to 20 convictions.

The number of forged matric certificates uncovered remained constant at about 10% with symbols and subjects altered.

“The most common problem we find is that job applicants replace less desirable subjects with ones that are highly valued in the workplace, such as maths and science.”

Halcrow called on the government departments to take a tougher stance against officials who participated in producing fake documents.

The Department of Higher Education and Training has also expressed its concerns over the “cheating” trend. It wants to name and shame fraudsters through its new registry which is being developed.

“The South African Qualifications Authority is working on a registry where the names of those found using fraudulent documents will be registered because we don’t want them to ever find jobs in South Africa again using those documents,” said the department’s spokesman, Khaye Nkwanyana. He could not confirm by when the registry would be available.

“The only way to curb this trend is to create an environment where there are no loopholes for potential cheating both in the public and private sector,” he said.

While former KwaZulu-Natal police spokesman Vincent Mdunge was the only person known to have been given a jail sentence for lying about his matric certificate, Nkwanyana said the department was busy with “legal consultations” to see that criminal charges were brought against those using fraudulent qualifications.

Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Commerce chief executive Melanie Veness said the business community was concerned.

‘The prevalence of ineffective people in key positions will restrain growth and hamper the economy. Human Resources are a business’s most valuable resource,” she said.

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