In honor of Halloween, I’m rerunning a few horror stories from my blog. Today — horror stories from the employer’s perspective. Stay tuned for some job seeker horror stories, too!
This story from Chuck Smith:
On the verge of offering the candidate a job, our client checked one last reference. Unable to reach the named “previous manager,” our client called the candidate. In turn, the candidate produced the reference in minutes.
Only problem was that the caller ID for the manager was the SAME one the candidate had called from! You got it… the boyfriend impersonated the manager.
When our client asked about the name on the caller ID, the boyfriend stammered, stalled and hung up.
Needless to say, when our client called the candidate to offer some “good news,” the candidate never called back, ever.
Lesson: check references and be wary!
This from Orit:
We received many resumes, sorted through them and interviewed people.
One young woman seemed to be the perfect fit. She was very willing to learn (we knew we would have to train her) and could answer our questions well. She seemed to have the right attitude.
After 2 hours of working we realized that she did not know anything technical. She could not even use email or understood any of the terms we talked to her about in our training. Being that we also needed a part-time receptionist, we asked her if she was interested. It was clear to both us and her that there was no way she could perform any of the tasks of a tech support person.
She gladly agreed and told us how much she needed a job.
3 days later we fired her in total frustration. The woman could not answer the phone, could not file (she did not seem to know the ABC order.)
It was such a waste of time, money and energy. It may not sound like a bad story, but for a small company it was horrifying.
The lesson here seems clear – integrity is key in a job hunt. Impersonating a reference is not only wrong, it is, for lack of a better word, stupid. While there is even a company that will fake references FOR you, and certainly it is not the first time a candidate has tried to pull the wool over a hiring manager’s eyes, it is such a bad idea and likely to derail your chances for the job. After all, if you had been on the up-and-up all along and were at the point of having references checked, lying probably resulted in handing the job off on a silver platter.
As for the inept hire…It is incredible that someone so ill-suited would have been able to land that job. However, it does point out how important it is to apply for jobs that you are qualified to do! Sometimes, a smooth talker may be able to slide into a totally inappropriate position, but it is more likely for an overqualified person to take a job that does not suit him or her.
Even in a tough market, resist the urge to set your sights on something that is not appropriate just because you “really need a job.” In the long run, it probably won’t work out.