More on Resume Fraud


By Maureen Aylward

The CEO of Yahoo lied on his resume and was forced out. Several other high profile CEOs have done the same in industry and academia. We asked our Zintro experts to offer tools and ideas that boards of directors or company executives can use to research and combat resume fraud.
Don Richard, a healthcare services director and recruiter, says that people are waking up to the reality that the competition for top talent is here to stay. “Unfortunately, few have woken up to the reality that it is not as simple as once thought to trust the resumes of the individuals being considered for top posts in organizations,” he says. “As a recruiter, I have spent the last 12 years finding the best talent for clients, and I am still shocked when I hear stories like the dismissal of the Yahoo CEO for an oversight that seems so easily avoidable.”

Richard says that it may seem counterintuitive to think that paying a top recruiter can save a company money, but consider the cost of hiring the wrong employee. “An experienced recruiter brings years of expertise in evaluating human capital to the job and takes the time to research the historical background of each candidate,” says Richard. “The internet has made it easier to verify facts if you know where to look and take the time to conduct the research. That is where a trained nationally certified recruiter would be a great benefit.”

Warren Olson, a former high profile private investigator in Southeast Asia, says as a rule of thumb, he advises company directors/HR executives to take little notice of academic credentials until such time as you have made a shortlist of candidates. “At that stage, without exception, employers must validate all documentation by contacting the alleged issuing body directly and asking for confirmation,” he says. “In this day and age, fraudulent certification can be produced in moments. In South East Asia, fake copies often originating from Malaysia are identical to the real thing.”

Olson says that as a basic reference, ask the candidate to name his or her mentors. “You spend a number of years completing degrees and work closely with course mentors, so any legitimate graduate will know immediately who taught or coached them,” he says.

What do you think?

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How to tackle resume fraud


By Maureen Aylward

The CEO of Yahoo lied on his resume and was forced out. Several other high profile CEOs have done the same in industry and academia. We asked our Zintro experts to offer tools and ideas that boards of directors or company executives can use to research and combat resume fraud.

Martin Dirks, an expert in investment management, says that any organization as large as Yahoo could easily contract with a vendor that focuses on background checks. “This would be the most efficient approach for them. Smaller companies can simply use the time-proven approach of calling the most important organizations on an individual’s resume to verify education or work experience,” he says. “People’s behavior is usually consistent. Past behavior is most predictive of future behavior; an individual that commits resume fraud has a higher probability of committing other employment fraud. It is foolish to assume that resume fraud could not happen. The modest expense to investigate resumes should be viewed as a cost of doing business.”

Jeffery Klink, an expert on fraud issues, says that resume fraud is all too common. “The average employer is likely to be defrauded again and again, unless safeguards are instituted that assure that what is claimed by the job applicant is true. I advise employers to assume that nothing is true on a resume, unless verified,” says Klink.  “There are many types of verification tools, but they need to include checking educational credentials either directly with a school or using third-party clearinghouses that sell data regarding degrees earned.”

Klink suggests that when checking employment experience, don’t rely on the reference provided by the applicant, but rather go straight to HR or another source inside a company, where possible. “When hiring for an important position, consider researching media records, bankruptcies, or other job-related data sources. I found that a CEO had falsified his job experience by finding a press release that had been issued from a prior employer. In all circumstances, play by the rules, don’t utilize social media sites, which are often wildly inaccurate, and don’t do searches that violate EEOC or other legal requirements,” he says.

What do you think?

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Dewey and LeBoeuf Meltdown


 By Maureen Aylward

 

Dewey and LeBoeuf, a storied New York law firm, seems ready to enter bankruptcy and wind down operations. It has suffered from partner exists and a heavy debt load. We asked our Zintro experts to comment on this recent event and the effect on clients, lawyers, and the legal system.
Jerry Kowalski, a law firm management consultant, says that the demise of Dewey and LeBoeuf has shaken the profession to the core. “The implosion of this legal titan, the 13th largest law firm in the world, has disrupted hundreds of lives, destroyed thousands of pensions, and sidetracked, probably permanently, scores of professional careers,” he says. “In this tragic saga of alleged misfeasance and nonfeasance, another victim is the legal profession as the many stakeholders have had their confidence in the profession permanently displaced.’

Kowalski highlights the impact on workers. “Dozens of dedicated support workers who have given of themselves selflessly for decades find themselves on the streets. Young lawyers, just beginning their life’s journeys, are unemployable. Clients, long looking to their lawyers for guidance on critical business matters, now look quizzically at these long time counselors, questioning their business judgment and wondering how they can be trusted when they lacked the sense to manage their own affairs. Reputations, taking decades to build, take only nanoseconds to sully. Each player in the Dewey Debacle has suffered irreparable reputational damage and tremendous financial pain. There are no winners here, only victims,” he says.

Mark Larsn, a general counsel for a strategic advisory firm, says that when a law firm like Dewey and LeBoeuf implodes, it mainly affects the partners of the law firm who are typically personally liable for the debts of the law firm. ”The clients will typically move with the partner that works with the client, which further strains the old law firm’s revenues. Clients are reluctant or slow to pay the old firm. The client wants to make sure files are properly handled and the bill is valid. This can be difficult when the billing attorneys have all left the firm,” he says.

And even in the event of a large law firm meltdown, Larsn says the legal system will continue to survive. “The real issue is whether the legal industry will wake up and realize that the old business model is dead or dying, and it needs to operate differently in order to survive. Bigger is not always better. Companies are not willing to pay the kind of rates that big law firm’s demand without more value for those fees,” he says.

What do you think?

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