5 reviews
16:04 13 Mar 23
Highly recommended! Josh and Sarah have been fantastic at Astute. They've found and placed me in 2 jobs now between them, both really responsive and excellent at keeping you up to speed with things. Very knowledgable about the roles and happy to talk to companies with any queries you have.
C R.C R.
10:45 27 Jan 23
Great agency one of the best ones I've worked with! Liz has been a great help and support in helping me towards a new direction in my career life. She is very attentive and keeps me in the loop at all times! She makes the extra effort to work with my preferred requirements for work and even if it isn't completely attainable she meets me in the middle and does as much as she can to help! Also Liz is very funny might I add 😂 and I'm happy that I can now put a face to the name after all these years! Thank you again Liz for all your help and support! 😊
10:32 20 Dec 22
Josh and the Astute team was very swift to help me to find roles that matched my profile. They are really reliable and will help through every step of the recruitment process going out of their way to assist and follow up when needed. Could not find a better recruitment agency!
Helen PinegarHelen Pinegar
16:19 18 Dec 22
Fantastic recruitment agency.. Josh was extremely enthusiastic, encouraging and clearly knowledgeable about what was needed from both the employee and the employers point of view. Extremely supportive especially in regards to interview preparation and endeavoured to procure feedback promptly. Wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Astute in the future to both candidates and recruiting businesses particularly for the right fit for the role!!!
Lisa LeighLisa Leigh
11:56 30 Nov 22
I have worked as a candidate for Astute and they have been excellent. Super friendly service and professional agents keen to fit the right person to the right job. It has been a pleasure dealing with them and I would happily work for them again in the future. Highly recommend this agency.
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Suite 1, Ground Floor West,Cardinal Square,10 Nottingham Road,Derby. DE1 3QT
Stanford House,19 Castle Gate, Nottingham, NG1 7AQ

Employees caught lying about their qualifications or salaries on their CVs could be made to pay back their dishonestly-earned wages, following a landmark legal ruling.

Every HR professional will have encountered a job applicant who has stretched the truth on their CV. Perhaps they exaggerated their skillset, or told a white lie about a lengthy employment gap.

Then there is Jon Andrewes. In 2004, the former builder and probation officer landed the post of Chief Executive Officer of a hospice after claiming he had a PhD and an MBA. In reality, a Higher Education Certificate in Social Work was the highest qualification he actually held.

Now, following a major legal case over his wrongdoing, the Supreme Court has ruled that CV fraudsters like Andrewes can be subject to a confiscation order under the Proceeds of Crime Act. So if you pad out your CV, you could in theory be prosecuted for fraud and have to pay back a chunk of your salary.

Judges concluded that Andrewes had landed his chief exec role “by making a number of false or dishonestly inflated and misleading statements about his educational qualifications and experience in his application for that role. He remained employed in that role until 2015. According to the Supreme Court, during this time Andrewes was also appointed to two paid roles as a director and then Chair of the Torbay NHS Care Trust and as Chair of the Royal Cornwall NHS Hospital Trust. Despite his lies, the court heard that Andrewes “did a good job as CEO and was regularly appraised as either strong or outstanding”. But suspicions grew about his true qualifications, and his ruse was eventually foiled. He was prosecuted and pleaded guilty to three counts, including obtaining a pecuniary advantage by deception, contrary to the Theft Act 1968 and fraud by false representation under the Fraud Act 2006.

In 2017, Andrewes was exposed and convicted of fraud, jailed for two years and ordered to hand over all his remaining assets.

However, the confiscation order was overturned by the Court of Appeal two years ago when judges ruled he had given ‘full value’ for his salary in the jobs he did.

Now, half a decade after being rumbled, the Supreme Court has reimpose the financial penalty. As a result of the verdicts, Andrewes, who earned around £643,000 as a result of his CV fakery, must pay back £96,737.24.

The court wrote: “It was clear that he would not have been appointed had the truth about his education and job experience been known”.

What HR should know about the legal ruling

Alexandra Mizzi, Legal Director at Howard Kennedy, believes that the court’s decision opens the door for other employers to follow suit.

She said: “The Supreme Court has issued a stern reminder about the pitfalls of exaggerating your qualifications. An individual who dishonestly inflated his qualifications and experience in order to secure numerous roles, most notably as a CEO role at a hospice, has been prosecuted for fraud. Whilst prosecutions like this have previously been rare, with most employers opting for dismissal on the grounds of lying on a CV, this case could pave the way for employers taking greater action. The Supreme Court has issued a confiscation order, forcing the defendant to pay about £90,000 of the total £643,000 he earnt in the role, offsetting the pay that he would have received if he hadn’t lied about his qualifications.

“Some surveys suggest CV fraud has increased during the pandemic as people turned to online ‘diploma mills’ to boost their chances of a better job and then misrepresented the qualifications they had obtained. If this case is anything to go by you not only risk losing your job if found out, but also having to pay back some of your salary and the bigger the fib, the bigger the percentage the employer can claim.”

The bottom line of CV lies

Although the case of Jon Andrewes is an extreme one, research shows that he is not alone in embellishing his CV for career gain. A study from YouGov found that 10% of Brits admitted to having lied on their CV at some point in their careers.

The results show that, first and foremost, education and qualifications are the most likely parts of a CV to be embellished, with four in ten (40%) résumé embellishers having fibbed about this.

Other common CV lies included how long Brits had spent in a job (35%) and their level of experience (30%). People who worry about not sounding interesting enough in the “personal interests” section of their résumé should note that this too was a fairly common fabrication, with three in ten (29%) CV liars admitting to making up hobbies.

Career coach Matt Somers said: “Just don’t do it. Ever. Rather than wonder if you can get away with a small lie on this CV or that online application, just resolve never to lie. That way you’re never under pressure at an interview to remember what you lied about, interviews are stressful enough as it is!”

Unfortunately, making some false claims in the recruitment process may be a necessary evil for some.

HR Grapevine recently reported on the case of a UK worker who claimed he was rejected from more than 100 jobs before finally securing job interviews… after he began using a British-sounding name on his applications.

Thiago Carmo, a Brazilian man who lives in Scotland on a visa scheme, claimed he had unsuccessfully applied for more than 100 jobs, receiving nothing but automated rejection messages despite holding two degrees AND a Master’s. However, he reportedly received a wealth of interest from hiring firms once he started going by James Carr on his applications.

Carmo’s case highlights that the calls from the likes of Somers to ‘just don’t lie’ on your CV isn’t always practical – the current bog-standard hiring process means some jobseekers will instinctively feel the need to embellish or conceal parts of their CV in order to get noticed. But how can we change this?

We are delighted to announce that we have been shortlisted in the “Fast Growth Business” of the year category. The Business Masters Awards attract the most successful and inspirational companies, and independently judged, the Awards are a real celebration of business excellence.

Fast Growth Business category rewards outstanding growth by a business in the region over the past 12 months, as part of a sustainable strategy.

Fast Growth Business – Finalists
sponsored by Arc Business Interiors

Ask the Chameleon
Astute Recruitment
Brindle & Green
Panther Logistics
Talk Staff

We are looking forward to attending a pre-events drinks reception at The Alchemist, Nottingham on September 22nd, where we will get to meet the other finalists and the awards sponsors.

Then, as finalists, we can’t wait to attend the award ceremony on Thursday 13th October at the Crowne Plaza, Nottingham. The evening will include keynote speakers, drinks reception, three-course dinner, entertainment, as well as the all-important Business Masters awards ceremony.

Good luck to all the finalists!

This is a ticket-only event, so if you fancy networking with finalists and sponsors, you can buy tickets from The Business Desk Website. https://businessmasters.uk/#eastmidlands

We are delighted to announce that Sarah Stevenson, one of our MD’s, has been shortlisted for Entrepreneur of the Year at East Midlands Chamber Business Awards 2022!

More than 150 organisations from across Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire have been recognised in the 2022 edition of the annual awards, celebrating the region’s world-class businesses. Mazars are once again the principal sponsors.

The awards are split into three events for each county and feature 14 categories, ranging from Community Impact and Excellence in Collaboration to Excellence in Innovation and Commitment to People Development.

The Derbyshire award winners will be announced at the Gala Dinner on Friday 11th November at Reach at Riverside Court, Derby. The night is a great chance to network and get to know the other finalists and sponsors. It’s also a super opportunity for businesses to come together and celebrate everything they have achieved in the last year.

Awards night promises to be an evening to recognise the winners in each category, and applaud the wonderful local business communities that makes our East Midlands region so successful for entrepreneurs.

Finalists will now have a chance to state their case for winning at a virtual judging day in which they will be interviewed by a panel including sponsors, a Chamber board member and a representative from the Chamber’s senior leadership team.

We’re all keeping our fingers crossed for Sarah, but we wish the best of luck to all the finalists this year, who have all done amazingly well to be shortlisted!

Entrepreneur of the Year

This Award recognises the contribution of a dynamic, creative and visionary business leader. It seeks to define the qualities of successful entrepreneurship – from drive, ambition, vision and tenacity to inspirational leadership, creativity, inventiveness and confidence.

The finalists are:

  • Sarah Stevenson, Astute Recruitment
  • Vicky Critchley, Bam Boom Cloud
  • Natalie Bamford, Colleague Box
  • Jillian Thomas, Future Life Wealth Management
  • Andy Ball, Great2

We are delighted to announce a new partnership with Future Forest Company, which will see us plant one tree with them for every placement we make!

This means that as a business we’re reducing our carbon footprint, doing our bit for the planet & helping to reduce global warming.

Future Forest Company will plant trees on their own land, guaranteeing that the tree will never be removed. All trees are looked after & cared for for 5 years after being planted to ensure they mature. The sites also include water areas and other natural habitats to encourage natural fauna and flora to thrive.

Our Astute trees are being planted on the Glenaros Estate on the Isle of Mull in Scotland, which Future Forest Company acquired in 2020. The hill ground on the estate provides the potential for creating a beautiful, healthy forest with the 2000 acre estate having the capacity to plant up to 1 million trees!

Sarah Stevenson, Managing Director here at Astute added:

“We’re on a tree planting mission here at Astute! Since being founded in 2009, the business is expanding rapidly and with that comes a lot of responsibility. We’re dedicated to supporting the world around us to make it a better place and that starts with the environment.

We recognise the importance of protecting habitats as deforestation is one of the biggest threats to the planet. Woods and trees are home to more wildlife than any other landscape, providing homes for thousands of different species including some of our most loved animals”

Glenaros Estate on the Isle of Mull in Scotland