Just as people embellished fishing stories applicants embellish their work history. Various surveys have gauged this embellishment to be present on 52 percent to 89 percent of all applications.
Regardless of the actual percentage, one thing is certain: reference checks will not reveal where the exaggeration has taken place. This is primarily due to a fear held by employers and human resource professionals concerning bad recommendations. Two reasons a former employer won't “rat”
Their fear is well-founded. There are two primary reasons former employers will not “rat” out a lying applicant to the new company.
A bad recommendation can end up in the courts regardless of whether or not the recommendation was merited. This becomes a long and expensive legal battle that distracts the former employer’s human resources department, legal counsel, and the employee's former supervisor from focusing on core competencies.
Even without a legal battle the bad recommendation could delay the employee from landing a new job; which in many states will result in higher unemployment payments for the former employer.
Some feel integrity will trump these two reasons as human resource professionals have a strong network. However the requirements of, and loyalty to, their current employer overrides any networking bonds.
When you fill your next opening will you be caught by a fishing story? Make sure you're using a scale that is reliable and accurate. Peter Drucker has said, “Chances are good up to 66 percent of their companies hiring decisions will prove to be mistakes within the first 12 months”. Can you afford that in today's economy?
© Max Impact, used with permission.
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