Avoid the Yahoo CEO Mess! Why Background Checks are Important

By Adam Robinson,
May 15, 2012

So you’re sitting on a panel about to hire the next CEO for a Fortune 500 company and before you know it the announcement has been made and you are shaking his hand and welcoming him to the company. All the sudden a small voice in the back of your head says “this guy’s qualified right?”. But you know that if he wasn’t, someone would have said something, right? Wrong: because it happened last week to billion dollar corporation Yahoo!, and if it happened to them it could happen to any company.

When the news broke that Yahoo! CEO Scott Thompson “padded” his resume and included a degree in computer science that he in fact did not earn, many HR professionals are scratching their heads and asking the million dollar question: ‘why didn’t Yahoo! do a background check?’ The answer may go down with Thompson as he resigned over the weekend but we can investigate how to stop this mess from happening in your company. So let’s look into the importance of needing to verify education and employment for every candidate, regardless of title.

This weekend’s article by CNN contributor Melinda Blackman titled What Yahoo CEO’s False Bio Tell Us About Resume Fraud points out that some people see their lies as 80% truth and don’t have an issue padding their resume. With today’s unstable job market and fierce competition, the possibility of candidates fudging their resume could be scary high! So what’s a company to do? A TLNT article by John Zappe called Yahoo Resume Case Raises the Obvious: How Could it Happen? explains that every company needs to take nothing for granted, no matter how high a profile person. 

Zappe’s spoke with a large background checking company who said about 9 percent of the screens turn up academic padding or falsification. The company also says that it is more common for candidates to pad their employment listings because those are harder to verify.  That means 1 out of 10 of your candidates could be bluffing on their background and hiring them could turn into a very expensive mistake.

The simplest way to avoid a mess as colossal as Yahoo’s? Always always do background checks! This will help you avoid problems down the road and eliminate the possibility of losing your own job from lack of diligence. Most background checks are completed instantly and the most one will take is a few days. The time is worth it as the results will allow you to confidently hire the most qualified candidate and sleep peacefully knowing you haven’t hired an axe murderer.

Hireology has always been able to do background checks for their customers. However this week we are rolling out an integrated addition to our application where customers can add a background check to their cart and an email automatically is sent to the job candidate for approval and when the check is finished a complete report on the details is uploaded to the candidate’s record in Hireology. Now that’s a reason to say yahoo!

Think you may have a hiring problem? We have the solutions. 

About the Author

Adam co-founded Hireology with the mission to help growing companies make better hiring decisions through data and better technology. Adam is passionate about entrepreneurship, donating time to a number of organizations that support the entrepreneurial cause. Adam completed his undergraduate study at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and received his MBA from DePaul University in Chicago, IL.

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