Ann: “HOCUS POCUS.”
Customer [takes a beat]: “That’s a modern-day Halloween classic!”
Ann: “Yup. Good background checks aren’t magic. But they might seem like it.”
Customer [groans]: “Oh man that was cheesy.”
Ann [hangs stuffed bat and broom on outside the office door, puts candy on table]: “I feel like a bubbling caldron of background check bits and pieces stories. Education and driving records.”
Customer [sigh]: “Of course you. Let’s do this.”
Ann [grabs her Zombie Frappucino]: “Eye of newt, wing of bat. . .’”
There are more horror stories than time to tell, but here are a couple that I want to leave with, before October’s over.
Tales from the Education Verification Crypt
- Diploma Mills. It’s easy to buy a high school diploma, Bachelors, Masters or PhD. Under $500. We had an applicant once that got his Master’s through a diploma mill. My assistant went to the same institution and got a $50 Bachelor’s degree for her dog.
- Sometimes, people lie. People you would NOT think lie about these things. High-ranking C-level officials for Yahoo, Bausch and Lomb, etc., lied about their degrees. The inexcusable part is that the companies didn’t spend the time or money (5 minutes, under $50) to verify their claims.
- Don’t accept a degree that the applicant hands you. Adobe is great for document manipulation (quickly making someone a graduate), or even good old cut-and-paste.
Tale from the MVR (Driving Record) Verification Crypt
- If you have an applicant that might drive and pick up lunch for the office, run to the bank or post office, drop papers off at an attorneys or accountants, grab paper at the office store—they are driving for work. And if they have an accident and there is property damage or worse, you WILL be the deep pocket. If they are driving for work, be sure that their license is in full force and effect and they have a right to be on the road.
- A couple years ago a client was hiring an attorney. He had a DUI, which he admitted. He claimed his driver’s license was valid, which it was not. A week later he said he cleared it up, we checked, and no. It was still suspended. We went back and forth on this same point with him for over a month until my client finally told him to go away.
Don’t get scared about the people you hire. It’s like checking for monsters in the closet, it’s easier with people you trust. Keep the light on, and check with Cutting Edge Background Investigations. It takes a professional to take care of the boogeymen.