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Save It For A Book?

All Sides Of The Hiring/Employment Equation

I have worked in corporate HR (Farm Credit Services, Honeywell and The Pillsbury Company), always gravitating to the Staffing function . . . . . we didn’t call it Talent Acquisition at the time.  I have also worked in the Career Transition field (Outplacement and related services at Career Dynamics) and now work in Retained Search (Abeln, Magy, Underberg & Associates).  The theme has been consistent . . . . . Matching People and Jobs.

People Assume That I Must Have Run Into All Sorts Of Odd Candidate Situations

And they are correct.  Candidates have cut their nails during interviews, presented LONG resumes (up to 23 pages – and no, this was not an academic’s C.V.), told me about their past felony convictions that caused them to change fields (the person was not able to work with youth any longer . . . . . don’t ask!) and admitted to resume lies while in an interview with me.  There are great (or horrifying) stories backing up each instance and this is just the tip of the iceberg. 

Tell Us The Truth!

This is a common theme from past Blogs.  And this should not be that tough of a request.  But why, as of May 2024, do I write about this again? 

A Vice President of Human Resources candidate, who is currently in a Vice President of Human Resources role, lied about his MBA.  Shockingly, this is not necessarily an abnormal or uncommon story.  People tend to fabricate degrees all the time.  But this lie was blatant and direct to me.  It wasn’t just on paper. 

The candidate’s resume and LinkedIn profile proudly list his MBA.  We wanted to interview him for a Vice President search we were conducting.  We have all candidates sign a legal release form prior to interviews.  It gives us permission to verify education.  The form was signed and returned.  He did not list the MBA on his form.  However, he did list a Bachelor’s degree from the same University.  Because it was the same University, all degrees would be listed on the verification certificate we get as part of our process. 


There was no MBA on the degree verification we received from the online service we use (National Student Clearinghouse).  There were also no dates of attendance (past his Bachelor’s degree) that coincided with the MBA completion date mentioned on his resume and LinkedIn profile.  I called the candidate who said he was surprised but would (1) immediately send me a copy of his MBA diploma and (2) contact the school directly.

And he’s gone!

That was the last I heard from the candidate.  He did not respond to repeated calls, e-mails or texts.  And he no-showed for an interview. 

His current (and likely some future) employer will never know

We have found that most small/medium-size organizations do not routinely verify education, especially with experienced candidates, even if this is a requirement listed on the job description.  The assumption is two-fold – it must have been verified in the past and the candidate had great experience doing the job.  There can’t be a lie! 

We promise candidates that we do not call their current employers.  Calling the current employer can cause nothing but trouble for the candidate who is currently (and gainfully) employed.  This candidate’s secret (lie) is sadly safe with us. 

He will be in the book and marked as OFF LIMITS for any future opportunities through us!