Mini-story: A great number of people have not looked for employment in many years. Many years in today’s world can mean 2, 4 or 25 years. We all know lots has changed. This is one of the reason’s we created You may be an expert at what you do but ask us for help if it has been a while, it will save you a great deal of aggravation and frustration. This story is quite typical. Hopefully, by reading this blog you will not be guilty of “not knowing” and you will take action to be informed.

An employer I know decided to try hiring on their own. They selected a candidate and invited the individual in for an interview. They met, had a terrific discussion and the candidate was invited to meet two other colleagues. All went well and I got a call. Can you do some references for us, we want to hire someone? Of course, I said certainly and awaited the candidate’s resume and reference details.

The first thing I noticed was spelling errors on the email trail. Red flag #1. Then I opened the resume and noticed where my client mentioned the dates of employment, they were not correct.  Red flag #2. I then opened the reference document and proceeded to call the three references given. Reference number 1 was a past boss; the telephone number was no longer in service.  I called reference number 2 and that telephone number went into a fast busy signal and also was no longer assigned. Red flag 3 and 4.

That was enough for me I stopped and called the candidate. I asked if prior to sending references over to the employer, did he check that all contact information was up to date? The candidate paused and said no he did not check. It was a year and a half ago that the candidate last worked for this employer. I asked the candidate to go back and find correct contact information and send back a completed update in a word attachment. Twenty minutes later the candidate called me back and told me that he can’t find this particular ex-boss. He called a past colleague and they didn’t know where to find her, he looked in LinkedIn, sent an in-mail and no response. Of course, I asked if he called into the main switchboard of the company and asked to be connected. Nope, the candidate didn’t think of that. I suggested that would be a good plan. The candidate called in and was told that the ex-boss passed away suddenly, over a year ago. Needless to say, this shocked the candidate as it never occurred to him to keep in touch. We then looked to find a past Manager and after 2 incorrect contact numbers, I left a message.