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29.03.2022 : News

What happens when a candidate lies on their resume?

As a result of the greater accessibility of higher education, and the consequent increase in the number of people obtaining higher degrees than a few years ago, the competitiveness for top jobs has exploded. It is therefore no surprise that in order to increase their chances of being hired, more and more unscrupulous people decide to embellish or simply lie about their qualifications, experience or skills when applying for such positions.


But what are the consequences for them when their lies are discovered? And how can we prevent these hires from being a legal hazard, as well as a significant risk to a company’s reputation?


What are the most common lies when applying for a job?


Most job applicants use small lies that could easily be overlooked, such as:


  • Exaggerating the length of their previous employment by a few months, usually to cover up periods of inactivity. A red flag might be someone who doesn’t record the months of their activity but just the years.
  • Filling in periods of inactivity with hard-to-verify jobs such as “self-employed,” “volunteer” or “intern” is also very common.
  • Exaggerating jobs or responsibilities by embellishing position titles or adding details to post descriptions.
  • Highlighting an uncompleted education or degree, for example by listing a college program they did not complete.
  • Omitting a termination or indicating a termination for misconduct as a layoff.
  • After a bad experience in an organization, listing a reference as a former manager when it really is a colleague or, more damagingly, a friend they never worked with, in order to get a positive reference.


In some rarer cases, but more often than one might expect, some applicants go so far as to present fake diplomas or certificates, either falsified or from what is commonly known as diploma mills (usually unaccredited organizations) that issue “diplomas” for a fee. It is also not uncommon for some candidates to simply make up experiences, justifying their intractability by the closure of the companies in question.


How to prevent the hiring of dishonest candidates?


Due diligence should, of course, be done during the hiring process, with a robust screening program organized according to the needs of the various positions to be filled. Mintz recommends prioritizing face-to-face meetings and interviews, and implementing a system for verifying what candidates bring to the table. Criminal record checks are important, but they are not enough to ensure a good hire.


At a minimum, a reliable screening program should contain, in addition to criminal record checks:


  • An employment verification. At the very least, an employment verification will be able to confirm the dates, exact title and reason for leaving through the company’s human resources records. An employment verification should never be done with a co-worker or even a supervisor, it is essential that the source of the information be factual.
  • A verification of the diploma or professional titles. This verification, like the employment verification, will be done through the archives of the organizations or universities and will provide inviolable facts such as whether or not a title or diploma was obtained and the date on which it was obtained.
  • A reference check will cross-reference the information obtained with the employment verification. In addition to ensuring the honesty of a candidate, this check will allow you to go into more detail about the tasks they have accomplished during their experience, as well as getting an overview of the soft and hard skills of a candidate.


What happens when a candidate has lied on their resume or during their interview?


In Canada, it depends on whether the employer discovered the lie before or after the hiring. If a recruiter becomes aware of the lie before hiring, there is no other option than to simply stop the process with the person.


Unfortunately, in most cases the lie is revealed after the hiring.


In this case, an employer may decide to terminate the employment for cause and without notice by justifying that the contract was made on false grounds and therefore constitutes a breach of contract. The employee has no real recourse in this situation. They may sue the organization for wrongful termination and it would then be up to a court of law to decide if the individual was dishonest in order to obtain the job.


It is difficult to put a dollar figure on the damages of a bad hire. Indeed, on top of the lost financial investment a company has to put on training and retaining an employee, a bad hire increases considerably the risks related to bad performances, the toll on other members of your team that will have to pick up work load to compensate, the potential consequences for your relationships with clients and your organization’s reputation. Are you sure you are putting all chances on your side with your recruiting strategy? How is it ensuring your company will be protected against dishonest individuals? Contact our HR experts for any advice on your background check strategy.

05.02.2024 : News

Revealing beyond the resume: Introducing Open Source Media Search

In today’s interconnected world, an individual’s contributions extend far beyond the confines of their workspace. What they express, engage in, and how others perceive them can significantly influence a company’s reputation. At Mintz Global Screening, we understand the importance of gaining a holistic understanding of potential employees beyond the transcending facts and figures presented on their resumes.   We are thrilled to introduce our latest innovative service: Open Source Media…

Aerial view of workers on cement factory under construction with high concrete plant structure and tower cranes at industrial production area.

06.12.2021 : News

Distribution of fake safety certificates puts public at risk

In Alberta, the RCMP has Uncovered a Fraud Involving the Distribution of Thousands of Counterfeit Safety Certificates   On November 4th, the RCMP has uncovered a large-scale fraud involving the distribution and selling of thousands of counterfeit safety certificates across the western provinces of the country. The operation mostly involves first-aid and hydrogen sulphide awareness trainings as well as other safety courses.   The two major organizations affected by the…

Hr manager reading report

31.03.2021 : News

What does look bad on a background check?

Tips to undergo a background check   If you have just applied for a new position, chances are your potential future employer will ask you to undergo a background check as part of the hiring process. If this is your first background check, the process may seem intimidating and it is only natural to ask yourself what might be detrimental to your application or what might tilt the odds in…