There have been a number of stories about internet dating gone bad lately. One regularly hears stories about how people misrepresent themselves on dating websites; use old pictures, or even someone else’s pictures to lure unsuspecting love interests in.
These type of experiences are not limited to those seeking love…it also happens to those seeking a job, or those seeking an employee. Technology is a wonderful thing but should never be used in place of the good old face to face meeting that must happen in the recruiting process (and in the love match process) . I made a rookie mistake way back at the start of my career that reinforced this for me. I was working for a high tech company that shall remain nameless, as I was not the only idiotic one in this story and I must protect those who are not as forthcoming about their idiocy. We were looking for a developer, and the search was not going well. Finally, we came across a resume from an individual, and it looked quite impressive. As the individual lived in a different city, we set up a phone call for the interview. It went well enough for us to want to have a technical interview with the individual, so in the interests of saving time and money, we also set that up by phone. I am not sure I would have been able to tell there was anything amiss if I had been on that call, but in hindsight, I should have at least placed the call, or sat through a few minutes of it. The technical interview went very well. Then… we made our big error in judgement, we extended an offer without having laid eyes on the person, the offer included relocation costs.
Within 2 hours of the person starting, the hiring manager came to me in a panic. Apparently, she was quite certain that this was not the same person she had interviewed over the phone…this became blatantly obvious as time went on. We are still not entirely sure what happened but we suspect the candidate had someone else do the technical interview for him…and since it was over the phone, we had no way of knowing. Needless to say, the new employee did not stay an employee for very long and I learned a very valuable lesson.
This goes both ways…it is worth the trip to check out an employer face to face. I have no doubt that candidates have been wooed by companies that were far less than they appeared and had a face to face meeting at the company’s site been conducted, lots of relevant and valuable information would have been gathered. Do your due diligence in looking for a job, don’t accept what a recruiter says at face value, there are some wonderful jokes about recruiters and I will share one in my next blog.