When you are working in public relations, one of the best sales you can make is about yourself. If you can effectively brand yourself, and make you more marketable, you are then a walking testimony as to your skills with public relations. In one of the more recent news scandals, a public relations executive for an extremely successful and well-known retailer was caught lying about his qualifications on his resume.
This particular executive had been with the company for many years, so it was quite the shock to find out that this particular employee had been through several pre employment screenings, employee background checks, and interviews and the discrepancy had not been caught.
The particular exaggeration the executive created was about his educational history. He had never actually completed his college degree. While there are admittedly worse oversights a resume can have, lying about the completion of a degree has two very distinct negative affects on the prospective employee.
The first is, of course, honesty and integrity. If someone is lying to you to get a job, they will continue to lie throughout their career. For someone reaching as high as a company executive level, a lack of honesty and integrity can seriously mar a company’s reputation.
Additionally, what skills are this employee claiming to have, but doesn’t? What information did they miss out on by not completing their degree? Another candidate who did in fact complete the required course load may have a different competitive edge when placed in a position that a less educated candidate may not be able to provide.
Company funds may be squandered through unplanned training if the candidate needs longer than expected to get up to speed, or requires more supervision and training to get work related tasks accomplished, if they are not familiar with jobs that may have been explained during the unfinished portion of their schooling.
Most companies provide a pay range for each specific job position. Those ranges are often determined by establishing a base line for experience and education needed for those jobs. A candidate that is higher or lower in their experience or education would end up at a different end of the pay spectrum accordingly. When a candidate misrepresents their year’s worth of experience or their education, they are asking for more payment and compensation than they are actually deserving of, based upon those company evaluated pay scales. This is another cost to the company that should have been avoided through honest employee credentials.
The executive in this news report was able to secure his position for as long as he did because he had a natural talent for public relations. He was able to put a spin on himself to hide the fact that he did not complete his college degree, like he claimed to. The company has a black mark on their name as many, on the inside and the outside, are left questioning how did this egregious of an oversight happen? Many former colleagues are also questioning their involvement with this executive, and their dealings with this company.
To see a major player in the retail market be caught unawares only reiterates how easy, and how prevalent it is for potential employees to exaggerate or blatantly lie on their resume.
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