If I could turn back time…or recreate history…

Conjures up images of Cher and that song– that charted at number 1 in Australia and Norway, number 3 in the United States and number 6 in the United Kingdom. And that music video set on the USS Missouri with Cher straddling a cannon, and wearing a fishnet body stocking….

But that’s not what I want to talk about…
I was representing a candidate to the market last week.  A candidate that I thought was very strong… You know the type: a walking placement, an A+.  I gained his permission to represent him to 3 of my clients, dutifully completed a thorough profile based on our in depth interview and his resume, and sent his details over…  Within 3 minutes the phone rang (picture me rubbing my hands with glee).

‘Hi Craig it’s John here over at ABC Recruitment,’ Pardon my lack of creativity in regards to the name and sorry if you own, or work for the real ABC Recruitment… ‘You just sent me over a profile for Jack Frost.’

‘Yes John that’s right.’ And you love him – don’t you? ‘I think he would be a great addition to your Forensics desk.’

‘Yes Craig…. You see the trouble is… ummm… someone here has worked with Jack in the past at XYZ Recruitment, and… ummm…. It doesn’t seem to be on his resume.  You might want to take it up with him directly.’

I didn’t hear the rest of the conversation over the sound of my tyres deflating.

Anyway, I called the candidate and his version was that he was only with the company for 3 weeks.  One of those poor career choices that he didn’t want held against him. After admonishing him for not being truthful with me I gave him the benefit of the doubt and organised a meeting for him with another client – which went well – very well.

Fast forward a couple of days and I received a phonecall…

‘Hi Craig this is Max X from LMN Consulting,’ Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think I’m getting much better at making up names of people and companies – just saying… ‘I understand that Jack Frost has registered with you as a candidate…’  Max went on to inform me that Jack had in fact been with his company for over 6 months, told them he was going overseas at short notice for a family emergency – and needed to take immediate leave, and then showed up a couple of days later working at a competitor only a couple of blocks away…

Aarrgghh!!!  I double checked with a couple of sources and confirmed Max’s version.  We were left with no alternative then to inform Jack we were unable to represent him to the market, and share what we knew with the client looking to progress with Jack.

What’s the lesson?  I don’t know…. maybe treat every candidate with a level of cynicism?….maybe take references up front?…

It is a very dangerous practice to recreate history.  We all leave a pretty visible footprint of our past via Linked In, not to mention the colleagues we meet, and let’s face it – the recruitment industry employs a lot of people, but it’s a small family.  Sooner, or later you will get found out…

If you have legitimate reasons for hiccups in your work history share them with your recruiter – trying to hide them, or worse – change them into something else – is a disaster waiting to happen.

Speaking of disasters waiting to happen I invite you search you tube for other Cher videos – try ‘Half breed’, or that top tapping classic of a duet with Meatloaf ‘Dead Ringer for Love’. I’m tipping that’s one she left off her Linked In profile and resume…

Craig Watson

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