Wed., May 9, 2012 2:00pm EDT (Reuters) — The furor over new Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson's inaccurate resume is shining a spotlight on inadequate employee vetting. Thompson, Yahoo’s third CEO in the past year, claimed to have a computer science degree — which he doesn't — along with his actual degree in accounting. If Yahoo, one of the world's largest technology companies, with $1.22 billion in revenue in the first quarter of 2012, can be misled, what's to stop your potential hires from lying on their resumes?
What's key is to slow down and think through your choice of applicants, according to John Challenger, CEO of outplacement consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. "Sometimes when you're in a hurry to make the decision, you're not thorough in your process," he says. Here are three tips from Challenger to help shore up a more secure recruitment process:
1. Conduct multiple interviews. Interview multiple people for a single position, and call promising candidates back for a second — or even third — interview, he suggests. Also, during interviews, try to have other managers in the room. It's important to get feedback from colleagues about potential hires. Another manager's gut instinct could save you from making a potentially costly mistake, Challenger notes.
2. Do a background check. Internet search tools and social networks are good resources for checking on applicants. After all, Thompson's resume offense was caught by a Google search. Challenger also recommends checking potential employees' criminal records and citizenship status. Looking into their credit history or asking them to submit to a drug test are further steps to take. Companies such as IntelliCorp provide employee-screening services for small and midsize businesses. IntelliCorp's packages range from $1,595 to $7,495, according to Kelly Ansboury, the company's director of business development and marketing.
3. Seek out employment and character references. Challenger advises interviewing candidates who have been recommended by people you trust. But even then, you should still conduct your own background check on the person. With a candidate who doesn't have a personal recommendation, you should search out personal references, even beyond those listed on his resume. Reach out to former co-workers or others who can verify the applicant's employment history and give you insight into the person's character.
Although it's necessary to take precautions when adding someone to your company, Challenger said, lying on resumes is uncommon, especially in our age of information transparency.
"With high unemployment, some people feel like their only way to find a job … is to take action they know is wrong," he said. "But most people — whether it's out of their sense of integrity or fear of being caught — don't take the risk."
© 2011 Thomson Reuters. Click for Restrictions.
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