A senior NHS Human Resources manager who exaggerated her qualifications has been given a six-month suspended prison sentence and ordered to pay nearly £10,000 compensation.
The individual in question was found to have made the claims when her Trust merged with another in 2006: staff were asked to submit expressions of interest for new posts, and she made a series of misrepresentations in an attempt to obtain alternative employment.
She last week pleaded guilty to six counts of fraud by false representation at Exeter Crown Court. As well as the fine, she must also carry out 150 hours of unpaid community work. The conviction follows an investigation by the NHS Counter Fraud Service.
Alexandra Kelly, Managing Director of city pre-employment firm, Powerchex (powerchex.co.uk) has considerable experience of similar situations and is well aware of the repercussions that CV embellishment can have on both in the individual and the company affected.
“Jobseekers should be aware of the perils of being caught lying on their CV or any other documentation used in order to gain employment. More and more employers are outsourcing their pre-employment screening to professional firms with the tools and experience to uncover CV embellishments or even outright fabrications. While this particular situation is unusual in its severity, most employers will look to terminate if they get wind that you have misrepresented yourself at any stage of the hiring process.”
Perhaps even more saliently, employers need to be aware of the reputational damage CV embellishment can cause to their company, especially if information comes to light after the individual has already started their employment. “Sadly it is no longer enough for firms to simply ask their employees to sign a declaration stating that any information supplied about themselves is true,” continues Kelly. “Like the above situation, such incidences can gain bring considerable negative exposure, with associated financial and reputational consequences. Firms must make clear to their potential employees that the information they provide during the recruitment process will be subject to relevant checks, and that employment is conditional upon verification of all information supplied. Unfortunately, the risks are now too great not to err on the side of caution.”