We are currently recruiting for a new CEO. One of the applicants sounds like a perfect fit; they have the experience we want in senior roles, and qualifications over and above what we were looking for. We want to act fast and make them an offer before they find something else. Do we need to ask for evidence of qualifications and previous experience, or can we just take their word for it? We don’t want to look like we don’t trust them.

Wanting to secure your ideal candidate is understandable, especially at such a senior level in your business. However, before rushing into any decisions, it is worth taking some time to complete some basic checks, just to make sure everything is as you have been told.

In the case of R v Andrewes, actually a criminal prosecution, Andrewes was convicted for deception and fraud following multiple untrue claims made on his CV, including previous positions and organisations he had worked in, and under and post graduate qualifications he held – including a PHD. As a result, he managed to obtain a number of very senior positions, earning him far and above what he would have earned based on his actual experience and qualifications. Whilst this should not make you distrust all applicants, it is a reminder that it is worth taking things a little further when checking what they have said.

You can do this by contacting previous employers and asking to see evidence of qualifications. If these things are part of your essential criteria, you can explain why and that you are confirming they have the skills and experience needed for the role.

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