HR Advice - please don't be too harsh ... genuine, horrid, dilemma

(35 Posts)
trickynicky Thu 29-Aug-13 14:09:33

So, my best friend has had a TERRIBLE time. Husband went off and left her with 2 young kids, mortgage, debt etc etc. She went through a very tough time but she decided to get out a find herself a job even though she hasn't worked for years. She is a bright, intelligent, experienced and wonderful woman who deserves a break! She managed to get a really good local job - we were over the moon for her. However, she rang me last night in a state. She had lied on her CV apparently - telling them she had a 2nd class degree rather than a 3rd class degree. All else on the CV was correct. However, she's been asked to bring in real copies of all her certificates on her first day of work and she's in bits. She is thinking of changing the certificate (they say a photocopy will suffice) but I am desperate for her NOT to do this - I know it's fraud! Even if they don't check, she'll surely get found out. If she simply hands in her true certificate, they are bound to notice that she lied on her CV and again, she'll surely lose the job. What do you think she should do? I'm at a loss as to what to advise her to do. She is so desperate not to lose the role. She doesn't need to be told how stupidly she acted - she's beating herself up already. What would you do/suggest/say??

flowery Fri 30-Aug-13 22:58:48

I think any employer would struggle to convince the Crown Prosecution Service that prosecuting for fraud in this case would be in the public interest...

BerylStreep Sat 31-Aug-13 13:55:49

I think I would have to draw it to their attention - 'I noticed an error in my CV - I have no idea how it happened - happy to provide originals of all qualifications for inspection - does it make a difference to the job offer'

Don't let her start changing certificates - that really is the way to get a conviction for fraud.

78bunion Sat 31-Aug-13 14:11:13

A lot of employers these days write to the universities to verify the certificates brought in.

If she has a third it may not be fair that she has been recruited when others with thirds have been rejected anyway.

Sam100 Sat 31-Aug-13 14:33:44

Tell her not to perpetuate the lie by amending certificates but to come clean. Call up the employer and explain - either as a typo or memory failure.

My husband recruited someone who lied about her professional qualifications - she claimed to be fully qualified when she had actually failed her finals and was resitting. He only found out when he asked for copies if her certificates for the hr files. The silly thing was he would still have recruited her as a part qualified had she disclosed that from the start - but because she was dishonest he lost all trust in her. The role was in finance and she lost all credibility. So she was let go during the probationary period.

Chottie Sat 31-Aug-13 19:59:05

We always ask to see the originals of all certificates when interviewing at work.

I would take in the certificates and hope they don't notice, if there is no reason to query it, she could get away with it. If they do notice, I would plead a typo and apologise.

janey68 Mon 02-Sep-13 07:54:55

Of course it's highly unlikely this would end in prosecution! BUT by perpetuating the lie, she is deceiving the employer and tbh if I were the employer it would make me wonder what else she might be lying/ exaggerating about.
I also think to go into work every day knowing that she has lied about something which actually could have been the deal breaker between her and other candidates, will be incredibly stressful.

It's tempting to Try to gloss over it and feel well the employer must have liked her etc, but think about it from the perspective of other applicants. This woman has cheated. Some employers bin applicants with lower than a certain class of degree so she may not have got an interview if she'd been honest.

I also don't think playing the surprised 'oh must be a typo' looks good because as an employer id think, bloody hell, someone who makes careless mistakes on something as important as a job application could be pretty careless and slapdash in the job. If you don't proofread a cv fgs then what level of care are you going to apply to other documents?

Tbh I know it's going to be terribly hard but I can't see any option but to come clean and hope that they liked enough about her to feel that they don't want to repeat the whole recruitment process

janey68 Mon 02-Sep-13 08:05:04

I also think its so transparent to try to claim that the only 'typo' on an otherwise perfect cv happens to be the class of degree the candidate got! Honestly I am really surprised anyone can think this is a sensible strategy to try.

southeastdweller Mon 02-Sep-13 10:31:22

I think her coming clean is best, with the wording from sister being excellent. Changing the certificate is bloody idiotic.

I’m amazed people are advising to blag it. Most of us think we’re brilliant actors, but we’re not – the manager will likely see through the ‘it was a typo’ line. And as for ‘forgetting’ what mark you got for your degree …yes that’s likely hmm.

Of course, they may not look at the classification when they look at the certificate but there’s a small chance they’d find out in the future. Is it really worth the stress?

I honestly wouldn’t take the chance, not in this job market that’s weighed heavily in favour of the employer, with there being so many graduates around.

happyyonisleepyyoni Thu 05-Sep-13 08:11:01

Personally I would withdraw the application and chalk this up to experience. As the employer is a college they will take an extremely dim view of lying about qualifications and I would not want to go and work there with my manager knowing that I had lied about something like that. How could he/she trust you?

At least she knows now that she is hireable and she should have the confidence in herself to tell the truth on her CV in future.

happyyonisleepyyoni Thu 05-Sep-13 08:11:56

Ps the idea that it could be explained away as a typo is laughable, sorry

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