|HR professionals in HR sites and forums often raise this question. The answer will be very clear once you go through the following examples.
Have a look at these eminent personalities:
|Scott Thompson – The brand new CEO of Yahoo has to go through a major ordeal of late. Though Yahoo had hired Mr. Thompson to bring forth some profitable change to the fortunes of the company, a small misrepresentation (a false computer science degree) in the credentials of the CEO’s resume has caused a lot of misery to the company. The integrity of the company and the CEO is put to scrutiny because of this small error. Many including me might argue that Mr. Thomson has a very successful track record and is a highly qualified executive – What is the big deal? The big deal is that a lot of others, who are equally qualified or better, have valid degrees and are good too, are left behind and lose a chance of their lifetime. Secondly, this could have been avoided if proper checks such as education verifications had been carried out at the earlier stages.|
|General VK Singh - This gentleman has a picture perfect track record right from the start of his career. The honorable Chief of the Army staff has been a recipient of many awards like the Param Vishist Seva Medal and others. Yet almost in the dead end of his glorious career, he is being demeaned because his date or birth had been misrepresented in his NDA enrollment form. A small error years ago has come to haunt him and the entire nation as well, as this topic has become the media’s favorite for months now. Succession rows, bribery and other scandals follow, but the root of the story was a small error. A 1950 instead of 1951 in an application form! Scary!|
|Pal Schmitt – Even Presidents are under the magnifying glass. Pal Schmitt, the former President of Hungary, was stripped of his role and his doctorate degree because a thesis that he had submitted in 1992 was proven to have a lot of copied content!|
|Corporate bigwigs, high ranking government officials, even Presidents are being dethroned. The more successful or higher in the corporate ladder a person is, the more danger lurks around the corner. It is the crab mentality. There are many who want to scalp the leaders. Therefore, it is better and safe for both the individual and the organization to maintain clean and clear credentials.
When we look at such cases, two thoughts come to my mind.
|So be it lower, higher, senior management, employee background verification is necessary to allow an environment of equal opportunities for all, and to have a corruption free, honest workforce. There might be exceptions wherein someone moves ahead using inappropriate methods. The reality however seems to be – If I am not caught now, I will be later!|