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    A candidate on the popular programme, The Apprentice, successfully progressed to the level of finalist, in spite of being proved to have lied on his CV and previously dismissed from employment for gross misconduct.

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    Digging up the past

    The show sees a number of potential candidates compete in a series of challenges to be in with the chance of winning an impressive quarter of a million pound investment and a chance to become Lord Alan Sugar’s business partner. The revelations came about as part of the hotly anticipated interviews week, in which the candidates are put through a gruelling interview process by Lord Sugar’s closest and most trusted advisors. The process is intended to unearth anything unsavoury in their past, and to give the candidates a chance to articulate themselves under pressure.

    Finalist James White, a recruiter from Birmingham, had previously displayed a logo on his website that claimed he was accredited by APSCo. This was discovered by Mike Souter to be a lie. When he was questioned about his previous employment, it was further discovered that he had been dismissed on account of gross misconduct after attempting to poach clients for his own new business.

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    Dishonesty on CVs and job applications

    Several studies have concluded that a worryingly high number of people lie on their CVs, with The Telegraph claiming it is up to a staggering one in five candidates. As a result, employers and HR professionals are having to take special care to verify crucial details, even relying on professional DBS check companies (formerly CRB) such as carecheck.co.uk to ensure peace of mind.

    Moving forwards

    HR Director for the ELAS Group, Pam Rogerson, commented that she would welcome the opportunity to discuss a difficult issue in a candidate’s past that they had been up front about. She conceded, however, that if a candidate was found to have lied, she would doubt their trustworthiness and consider dismissal or withdrawing the offer. “I consider trust and confidence to be key cornerstones in a employment relationship. On the basis of the dishonesty, I would personally be very wary of hiring Mr James White.”

    Honesty and transparency should always be encouraged as part of any application process. Mr White’s success in a well-known competition in spite of his dishonesty and misconduct has disappointed many HR and business professionals.

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