Reality or Fiction?


Reality or Fiction?

by Doug Seville, DSML Search

Remember Frank Abagnale, (Book and Movie: Catch Me if You Can)?  Abagnale forged a Harvard University law transcript, passed the Louisiana bar exam, and got a job at the Louisiana State Attorney General’s office.  He was there for eight months before someone, who was a real Harvard grad, convinced his boss to launch a background check.

Resume falsification is a reality.  Drawing from our years of experience at DSML Search, just when one thinks they’ve seen it all, a different type of mistruth and/or embellishment will pop up.

The good thing, for us and our clients, is that with current technology, reliable background service providers, and our years of experience, falsifications are easier to catch.  However, embellishments are a little trickier.  How do we know that the candidate really “increased revenue by 42%, decreased costs by 27%, improved EBITDA, launched new product lines, leapt over tall buildings, etc.?

There have been many instances where our DSML Search team has encountered situations where candidates have lied about employment dates, about degrees they’ve never attained, job titles, inflation of responsibilities as well as accomplishment, and even fake references.

We are committed to finding the best candidate and it requires us to go the extra mile when conducting a background search on a candidate.

Here is what we do for our clients in order to uncover discrepancies, mistruths and embellishments:

  • Firstly, we pay attention to inconsistencies and look for padding, exaggerations, and untruths. We perform Internet searches and double check against a candidate’s online profile. And, most importantly, we double-up on resume review by having more than one person look at the resume.  Our experience tells us that if something doesn’t feel right then it usually isn’t
  • We ask candidates to confirm the dates of employment. A resume showing 2014 – 2015 could represent 24 months but it could also be only 2 months
  • We explore those detailed resume accomplishment statements by asking “example” based questions that hone-in on the “problem, action taken, and results achieved”
  • We request that candidates confirm graduation dates. The word “attended” doesn’t mean that the individual completed a degree
  • We thoroughly call references and confirm details from the resume, as well as candidate skill sets, role responsibilities, and any employment gaps. Confirming reporting structures is also key.  Red flags are raised if the reference turns out to be more of a colleague than a manager or supervisor
  • Finalist candidates undergo a thorough background screening, including criminal record, sexual offender database, credit report (where the role is applicable) and education and employment verification

In 2012 it was discovered, through the actions of a shareholder, that the CEO of Yahoo had padded his resume with an embellished college degree.  Incredibly, he was placed in this role by one of the Big Five search firms who evidently did not do a background check.

DSML’s passion is to find and place the right candidate for your executive to director-level position. That is why we go beyond most recruiting firms with an in-depth, team-based and exhaustive background check on the top candidates. Everyone needs the truth and we’re committed to it.

If you’d like to discuss your current or future hiring needs, please feel free to call, chat or write to us today.