There was a “Seinfeld” episode in which George Costanza
asks Jerry to provide him with a fake reference in order
to get a job.
In real life, there are companies out there such as
careerexcuse.com that will provide a person with an
extensive employment reference from a totally fictitious
Fake references from any source are serious concerns for a
company that doesn’t have an effective recruiting and
reference checking process.
HR POINTER: Too many companies still use the 4A’s Rule for
recruiting new employees. The 4A’s refers to Articulate,
Aggressive, Attractive, and Amiable. Generally, if a
candidate displays at least 3 of these 4 “A” attributes,
he/she will be a serious contender for the position.
The 4A’s Rule points out the #1 flaw in recruiting, which
is over-reliance on the face-to-face interview to be a
true reflection of how the candidate will do on the job.
The problem with most managers is that they are too busy
to “waste time on recruiting.” As such, they use
superficial measures like the 4As, rather than a thorough
With regard to references, most employers say, “What’s the
use because companies only give dates of employment and
positions held?” However, there are some excellent
techniques for securing difficult to get references such
as having the candidate set up the reference call.
With regard to totally bogus references, these are
problematic if you are using the typical 4 or 5 question
reference tool. Our reference tool consists of 32
questions, which drill into the specifics that the
candidate noted during the interview.
With our verification procedure, we can often catch
candidate puffery as well as suspiciously positive or