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Lesson 3. References > The Conspiracy of Silence - Pg. 13

References 13 Decreasing Hiring Mistakes Caution Regardless of how impressive a candidate may seem, always verify academic credentials and check the references provided. No exceptions. Hiring mistakes are expensive. They take a major toll on an organization's finances and employee morale. A few years ago, a Minnesota firm hired a chief financial officer whose resumé stated that he had graduated with honors from a prestigious Ivy League university with an advanced degree in ac- counting. The candidate had interviewed well and had impressed management with his prestigious background. Management was so convinced he was the right man for the job that they immediately offered him an excellent salary and benefit package, and included some truly exceptional perks such as a liberal stock option arrangement. But in their rush to fill the position, no one bothered to verify the individ- ual's educational credentials. Almost two years later, a federally mandated audit revealed that the company's financial records were in a state of absolute disarray. That's when the board of directors decided to take another look at the resumé of their CFO. When they contacted the Ivy League university listed on it, they learned that the closest this individual ever got to the prestigious campus was, in all likelihood, driving down the freeway that passed nearby. The result: embarrassed managers, an irate board of directors, a demoralized staff, the loss of a federal contract worth more than a million dollars, and an expense of $185,000 for an outside ac- counting firm to repair the company's financial records. And all of it could have been prevented with a five-minute phone call to the Ivy League university to verify a degree.