How An Unqualified Man Landed A Pilot Job​

February 05, 2019
A UK man was employed as a pilot based on his resume. When it was further reviewed, the airline realized he should not have been hired.
Backgrounds Online | February 05, 2019


A UK man was employed as a pilot based on his resume. When it was further reviewed, the airline realized he should not have been hired.

The Full Story

Nigel Francis-McGann applied for a job at West Atlantic in the UK. His resume said he was currently working as a pilot and included contact information for a professional reference. Based on this, McGann was offered the position. He accepted.

After he was hired, an item on McGann’s resume raised a red flag. The reference he provided was for Desilijic Tiur. It is unknown whether or not anyone attempted to contact this reference, but if so they would not have had any luck. It was eventually revealed that Desilijic Tiur is actually the name of a character from Star Wars … better known as Jabba The Hut.

McGann was offered and accepted an opportunity to resign. Afterwards, he sued the airline for back pay.

Incomplete Background Screening Practices

When the airline was considering McGann as a candidate, he did not go through a proper screening process. A comprehensive background check can include position focused searches that help an employer determine if a candidate is properly qualified. If a thorough screening was conducted, the airline would have been able to find out if McGann had the proper license or actually worked as a pilot for another airline.

A reference check could have been included during the background investigation. Even if the person who handled the verification remained unaware that the name they were given belonged to a fictional character, the fact that they were unable to make contact would have been explained to the employer.

How Verifications Help

Verifications can do more than confirm whether or not a reference is legitimate. They can also be used to:

· Acquire professional opinions about a person’s character, work ethic and related details from people who know and likely worked with the candidate.
· Confirm whether or not an applicant has a required license or credential.
· Review the individual’s employment history.
· Validate a person’s educational achievements including what school they attended, when/if they graduated, degrees earned and other relevant facts.

Protecting Your Business And Customers

It’s been proven again and again: people are not always honest on their resumes. Some embellish a little. Others completely misrepresent themselves - such as wrongfully claiming to have held a position. This is often done to help a person get a job for which they are not qualified or eligible.

Running background checks on job seekers helps employers learn what is and is not accurate on a resume. Businesses can also use these reports to help protect themselves, their staff and customers. A criminal background check informs the recipient if a candidate has a violent or otherwise serious conviction.

If your business or organization needs background checks to verify someone is qualified for a position, find out if someone has a reportable conviction and get the facts your need to make informed business decisions, please contact us. Our experienced team is here Monday – Friday, 5am to 6pm to answer questions and assist you with your background screening process.