As the summer comes to a close and hiring season traditionally picks up again (or, let’s hope so, anyway, given the economy and all), I thought it might be nice to ease back into the swing of things with a light-hearted anecdote or two about checking references. My HR career didn’t exactly start off on an auspicious note in this regard; I learned the value of checking references right away. We “live and learn,” as they say . . . and gaining a story or two along the way is never a bad thing, right?!?
Ignoring All The Evidence (Really, She Can’t Cook At All?)
My first “HR” assignment came in my senior year of college. I was the catering manager at our fraternity house that year, responsible for getting 50 guys fed three meals a day, five days a week. Unfortunately, our stalwart cook (a carbon copy of the Marlboro Man, but that’s a story for another day) had retired, so we were scrambling to find a full-time cook that summer. The economy was strong at the time, and despite weeks of advertising, we were only able to come up with two real candidates: a 40-year old man who had to ask his mother for permission to come to the interview, and Hilda.