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Titles and Dates

In September of 2022, I wrote a Blog titled Ethics From The ‘Other’ Side – Clients and Candidates (see Fast forward to today – ‘ethical situations’ keep occurring more and more frequently.  I want to focus this Blog on Titles and Dates. 

From the September, 2022 Blog:  Candidates – We Check You Out!

Titles, dates and degrees – such simple items yet this is often where questions and concerns arise.  Tell us the truth (a pretty basic request).  Do not ‘do’ the four F’s:

  • Fib
  • Falsify
  • Fudge
  • Fabricate

Dates: Chronological History

I very recently conducted a chronological history interview with a candidate.  There were multiple transitions (11 in 23 years to be exact) and I simply wanted to understand the resume flow.  (This was done at the request of a client that referred the candidate to us based on a referral to them.)  Before I contacted the candidate to conduct the interview, I called the current employer listed on the candidate’s resume to see if the candidate was there.  I simply had a feeling as to what would happen.  (I blocked my number, by the way.)  The candidate’s name was not in the automated ‘dial by name’ directory.  I hit ‘0’; the company receptionist stated the candidate was no longer there. 

The candidate’s resume stated ‘to present’.  When I asked the candidate, he said he was indeed still there.  I then told him what I had done – and he backtracked . . . . . stating that he was officially still there through the early part of 2024 but that his position had been eliminated as of last month.  (You can draw your own conclusion.) 

(Fictional) Titles

A trusted business colleague sent me an e-mail last month with the following scenario (company names/specifics removed to safeguard everyone):

  • Today I was talking to a prospective client who wants to proactively map out their next career move (is currently at [a Fortune 100 company]), and in our discussion about his roles, he revealed that most of the titles are not actually the titles [the company] gave him, but that he was told by more than one recruiter that he should “augment” his resume and titles to more senior levels and reflect the roles he wants (from Senior Global Marketing Manager to “General Manager”). I told him that was very bad advice and that all would be revealed in the verification stage or pre-verification. He was surprised by my response.

My first question . . . . . who are these recruiters???  I really want their names to be known.  I know I am personally curious – simply because I am appalled.  I hope that you are all coming to the same conclusion. 

Let me conclude with something from our September, 2022 Blog:

  • If we end up discovering information during our vetting process (an inflated title, a gap in employment not covered or a falsified degree), we consider this an ethical breach.  We won’t be talking again.  (We code you in our database as Off-Limits; we keep notes – for years.) 

Tell us the truth – a simple request.  Transitions happen – and can be out of our control.  And certain companies are known to ‘under-title’ (the opposite of what used to be over-titled – we used to say everyone at a bank was a Vice President). 

We are paid to assess candidates and can understand their work and its impact without any of the four F’s. 

This is our last Blog of 2023.  Let me wish you all a Happy and Healthy Holiday Season and a Fantastic 2024!