Hiring horror stories - Part 2

We continue our most common hiring horror stories.


The social media stretch

One company founder got more than she bargained for when she commissioned a full social media check on a candidate that she believed would be the perfect fit for her finance company. Having checked his social media profiles she discovered that he seemed to already be working within the family. “He had written on his profile that he was currently a director of my brother’s company. I had previously never heard of the guy and asked my brother about him, who was more than a little confused as to who he was. It turned out he had no experience whatsoever and the candidate had just plucked my brothers company off the internet, believing it gave him a good image on his profile. We didn’t hire him, and my brother got in touch over social media and asked him politely to remove his company name.”

The takeaway – social media can be a valuable way of getting to know your candidates more fully. As long as the applicant has agreed to a social media search, it can be a helpful aid in the pre-employment screening process.

The education exaggeration

One candidate for a high-level security position had a very successful interview and the hiring company was excited to have someone so well educated on board. After a couple of weeks into the position however, the manager had made some basic yet expensive mistakes and seemed overwhelmed by many aspects of the job. A thorough check was carried out at the insistence of head office, and it was discovered that far from being a graduate of one of the most prestigious university’s in the UK, he had actually attended a much less well-known college… and hadn’t even graduated.

The takeaway – carrying out extensive screening before allowing a candidate access to sensitive company data is critical, especially in financial or security based employment.

Replicated resumes

One hiring manager received over fifty applications for the same position and split the applications between the rest of the recruitment team to come up with the first shortlist. Having diligently read through all the CV’s they had ten candidates on the shortlist, which they all agreed to review. They very quickly discovered that three of the ten CV’s were exactly the same, with only the names changed.  Needless to say, none of those candidates got the job.

The takeaway – the internet can be a great way for applicants to learn ways to polish their CV writing skills, but sadly it can be misused.

Immigration Dilemma

A private health company found a wonderful doctor from Sri Lanka to add to their team. All his references and qualifications checked out and he quickly became a highly valuable staff member, coming up with some ground-breaking ideas for the treatment of patients. But sadly, after two months work, it was discovered that he had not filled out the correct paperwork and had no right to work here. He was deported, and the company fined £20,000 for hiring an illegal worker.

The takeaway – ensuring that all new members of staff are legally entitled to work in the UK can avoid costly fines. A thorough pre-employment search can prevent problems further down the line.

These are just a few of the situations that companies can find themselves in as a result of poor or non-existent pre-employment screening. Protecting your company begins with hiring the right staff from the outset, and outsourcing your pre-employment screening can help to ensure that all your team members are who they say they are, are fit for the job and legally entitled to work here.

Matthew Payne