Job Search Tips for Employees and Employers

Dave Pattle

It is said that divorce lawyers will often make a killing (more so) in the month of January.  Disgruntled and estranged spouses have decided over the holidays to draw the line in the sand; what better time than the start of the year to follow through?  Apparently.

It would appear that the year-end holidays do not only afford an opportunity for those who have lost marital bliss to ruminate about what could be, but also for employees who are looking for a change and want to start the new year with a new job.

The result is that the old CV is taken out, dusted off and updated…the trouble is that some job hopefuls go a little further than a spruce up but go so far as misrepresenting their qualifications and implicitly their competencies.  There is a massive difference between emphasising one’s positive attributes and inventing them.

In so far as misrepresenting one’s qualifications are concerned, there are several possible consequences.  If you are an employee and it is discovered after you were employed, that you lied about your qualifications, you are very likely to be charged with serious misconduct and if found guilty dismissed.  Out of interest there are instances where an entire decade may have passed before an employer has established that the employee lied, resulting in the employee being charged and dismissed!  (Fairly)

If one is a job applicant and the employer authenticates the claimed verifications as it must in terms of the amendments to the NQF Act, and it is established that the applicant misrepresented their qualifications, the employee will not only be guilty of an offence but may be liable to imprisonment as well.  At the risk of stating the obvious, you are unlikely to be asked to come back for an interview!

While one is on the topic of the amended NQF Act, given the use of social media today it is of interest to note that lying about your qualifications on any social media platform is an offence which may result in a fine or imprisonment.

In respect of any offences of misrepresentation pertaining to qualifications, the SAQA will maintain a register of misrepresented and fraudulent qualifications.  If your name is captured on the register it will be taken seriously.

The issue of disclosure doesn’t end there – there will be times where we are obliged to make certain disclosures that we would rather not – this will typically manifest in the interview itself.  We have all made mistakes, some mistakes are however bigger than others and will differ in significance depending on who you are aiming to work for and what position you are looking to fill.  The general rule of thumb is that you are not obliged to disclose your chequered past. Having said that there are going to be times when quite obviously one should make your previous record known to the employer given the nature of the work to be performed.  Failure to disclose a previous dismissal for fraud (whether you believe it to have been fair or not) when applying for a position such as chief financial controller is clearly going to result in you being charged later on for failing to disclose such an offence.

"The high premium placed on honesty in the workplace has led our courts repeatedly to find that the presence of dishonesty makes the restoration of trust, which is at the core of the employment relationship unlikely." – Judge Savage

No matter how any of these issues manifest we at Drake can assist you.  With our newly established Solutions Services division we can assist you in respect of the entire possible disciplinary matter from conducting the investigation which may include making use of a polygraph test, formulation of charges, initiating of the matter on behalf of the company as well as chairing the matter.

Much of the pain can be avoided in the first place by making use of our verification services either as a stand alone or as part of our world class recruitment services in making sure that you not only have the right candidates but they are the right fit – thanks to our P3 Behavioural assessments.  We conduct various levels of criminal record checks as well as qualification checks.

Don’t have the requisite skill yet?  Well we can assist you here too.  The Drake Training Academy offers learnerships, skills programmes and short courses which may very well provide you with the exact skills set that prospective employers are looking for.

Should you have any further questions relating to the above or to our other services please feel free to contact us at [email protected]
09 November 2022

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