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Fired on the first day: What went wrong?

8 July 2014

A recruitment mix-up hit the headlines recently, as a department store giant fired a high-level employee on his first day on the job.

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The candidate seemed like the ideal hire, with vast experience in international retail management. However, after the company released a statement regarding the hire on 19 June, it did not take long for the individual's resume lies to be uncovered.

A spokesperson from the Spanish fashion giant named as the candidate's past employer contacted the Australian retailer to confirm they had never heard of this particular individual. This was just the first in a list of discoveries coming to light regarding the candidate's muddy past.

The Australian company was quick to terminate the individual's employment, issuing a press release on 24 June explaining the decision to let the employee go.

However, questions still remain as to how this man managed to con one of the country's largest department stores, as well as the highly regarded recruitment agency they partnered with during the hiring process.

According to Fairfax Media, the candidate utilised his experience as a celebrated recruitment consultant. A 28 June article in The Australian explained that his past in the employment industry helped him develop an in depth knowledge of the inner workings of executive-level recruitment.

As well as relying heavily on charm and networking, it has been revealed that the candidate lied about a number of important details on his resume. This included exaggerating his experience with government and global companies and falsifying membership with the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

The recent recruitment headlines have focussed on one particular aspect of his dishonest recruitment attempt - fake references. He was able to pull the wool over the eyes of a major Australian department store chain due to giving them false details for international companies, and allowing two acquaintances to masquerade as executives for multinational organisations.

This discovery should serve as a warning for all Australian businesses conducting recruitment. With fake resumes and references being clearly easy to come by, ensuring your recruitment processes are thorough is key.

For more information or advice on improving your recruitment policies and procedures, get in touch with iHR Australia. iHR offers HR consulting and also provides an onsite HR partnering service, to find out more call 1300 884 687 or make an online enquiry.

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