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A respected management consultant
shared the story of a new employee who was quickly hired and placed in a
mission-critical position on a team that was historically one of the best in
the company.  New business drove
management to beef up the organization to ensure client service deliverables
were met.  There was just one
problem.  The new employee’s performance
was dismal. 

Deadlines were missed.  The quality of the team’s work product
slipped as morale plummeted.  The team
was confused and angry because senior management seemed to tolerate the new
employee’s unacceptable performance.  His
poor interpersonal communication skills, his inability to achieve basic
objectives and meet critical deadlines so frustrated this once smooth running group
that when that employee was escorted from the work area for termination,
everyone stood and applauded.

What had gone wrong was clear to
the other team members.  Management had
hired the wrong person.  That they did
not consult with the group before they decided to recruit and only peripherally
included them in the recruitment process made matters worse in the minds of the
team.  There was a sense of urgency by
management to make a hire but there was no authenticity in the process.  In the end, management’s reputation took a beating
and the team’s behavior in celebrating the new employee’s termination was
regrettable.

Authenticity, truthfulness that
is based on facts,is an essential element in
recruiting both for the companies seeking to achieve the coveted reputation of employer of choice in a market and for
candidates.

For the employer, authenticity is
the bedrock mission, vision, and values foundation of who they are as a
company, how they operate and, most importantly, how they treat candidates and
employees.  Authenticity is the
foundation upon which the recruiting brand is constructed.  One reason so many candidates leave in the
first year – up to 50 percent, according to some employment studies – is
because the job or the company was not as advertised by internal recruiters or
external search consultants.  For
companies seeking to be an employer of
choice,
this is not a track record or reputation that they want or can
afford.  CEOs must insist their talent
acquisition brand be above reproach.

Candidates must be measured by
the same standards of authenticity. 
Their representations – prior work history and performance
accomplishments – must be equally authentic. 
Candidates in transition who are battling financial fears or outright
desperation are more likely to enhance their career performance through resume
embellishment.  Companies that seek to be
best-of-the-best in a given industry or market not only must be authentic with
their own representations and behavior, they must utilize pre-employment
screening processes that will identify the top performers and eliminate those
who are not up to the challenge, for whatever reason. 

You cannot cut corners.  From the initial resume review and screening
interview, to the more in-depth face-to-face encounters, the recruiter and
interview team must be probing to determine the authenticity of the candidate
and his or her prior performance.  Past
performance remains the best predictor of future actions. 

Ensuring authenticity takes time
and discipline.  A company that is
willing to cut corners in its quest to hire the best talent based on time or
financial constraints is not going to be an employer of choice.