Believe what you want to believe

You may have read or heard recently about the city barrister who has been barred from practising for faking his qualifications. You might have thought that this was a young buck trying to get on, but it was a middle aged Irishman, and he was only caught out because he applied for another job and they queried his academic record. The stupidest thing about this is that he was actually a very good barrister whose educational fabrications had been invented years back to enable him to get his foot on the first rung of the ladder. This was the first time they had ever been checked.

This isn’t the first time this has happened either; Gillian McKeith famously invented all her qualifications, and there are a handful of examples of senior executives of Fortune 500 companies who have either airbrushed in, or airbrushed out, certain aspects of their past lives.

For those of us not in the rarified corporate atmosphere, it may seem a little silly and not relevant. However, a CV is one of the easiest documents to fabricate (seriously, who is going to check all the companies an applicant claims to have previously worked at, particularly if some or all have closed or are no longer trading?) and this causes huge issues for anybody looking to bring fresh blood into their business.

Recruitment consultants have long been categorised as “lazy” or “parasitic” and there is no doubt in many instances that this is true. It has actually been made far worse over recent years with a large number of firms adopting word recognition software as a way of filtering CVs. So few recruitment consultants now actually read CVs and fewer still interview candidates face to face; “headhunters” are worse still – they just hear what they want to hear and don’t question anything that might have an unpleasant ring of truth to it.

So, how do you ensure that the money you are spending on recruitment is spent wisely and that the person you want to employ a) is who they say they are and b) can do what they say they can do. Simple – you use a specialist, a company with a long track record in the industry of recruiting across a range of disciplines at differing degrees of seniority, a firm that can offer genuine testimonials (and will put you in touch those ex-clients, not direct you to glib phrases on their website), a firm that offers competitive fees structured in such a way that it is based on the success of the candidate in the job, not the success of the recruitment agency in finding a body to fill a seat.

Given the myriad of recruitment consultancies out there, you might think it impossible to find one that can offer you all of the above. But trust me, it’s not. Just look for the website that offers honesty rather than glib sales phrases, and doesn’t shout about how brilliant they are, but wants to develop long term relationships with clients and candidates.

Go Google; you’ll be amazed how easy it is to find them.

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