The industry is fraught with little white lies, red flags, and green-eyed monsters. It’s hard sometimes to differentiate the story from the truth, but the truth is; everyone lies. Everyone from the Prime minister to the President, well especially the Prime minister and the President but sometimes lies are necessary. Do you like my haircut? LOVE IT! Is Santa Real? YUP! Did you enjoy that tv show I’ve loved since Ep 1? YOU BETCHA! Some lies serve a purpose and when that purpose is to not hurt, scar or traumatize we collectively agree that then ends justifies the means. However, one lie can quickly slow ball into another and a little deception can land you in a whole heap of trouble and by trouble, I mean substantial prison time!
In what is a charming story of faking it till you make it Australian woman Veronica Hilda Theriault found herself in a bit of bother this week. After securing a high-level position in South Australia’s Department of Premier and Cabinet, which yielded an annual salary of NZD 280,000 Theriault was sacked after just a month. Why? Fictional references, forged payslips, a fake doctor’s letter! Even her LinkedIn profile picture was a lie, a pretty funny one admittedly. As if to almost flaunt her dishonesty in the face of compliance and protocol she opted for a picture of American supermodel Kate Upton.
I’ve got a bit of time for an outlandish lie, almost as if in a crisis of confidence, the liar gives us a prompt to check the legitimacy of what they’re saying or presenting. A great example of this is when a senior Trump official presented a picture of themselves on the cover of Time magazine. At the time Mina Chang was working for a small, not for profit and was being interviewed on a public affairs show. It was during the interview that she claimed that the cover photo was about her work regarding “drone technology in disaster response” Absolute tosh! It was a photoshopped image with similar passability to a ‘world’s best lover’ coffee mug. Ala Joey Tribbiani in the cult show Friends prior to flicking the CV you should have a good hard look at it. Can you speak French? Can you ride a horse? Can you drink a gallon of Milk?
I did a bit of scouring online to try and obtain if there was some patsy of a consultant caught up in the web of lies in either story, it seems that both acted independently, thankfully. In research for this blog I searched ‘recruiters lying’ and a real smorgasbord of cynicism presented itself. From Redditt forums to supposed whistleblowers bravely stepping forward now that they have escaped the dark reaches of recruitment. To be honest, a lot of them have come from America; which appears to be the land of oversensitive candidates (“he wanted to know my annual salary!? 😫”) and consultants who have Gordan Gekko Esq ambitions. However, in an article from Blighty’s own Monster, they brazenly list the Top Five Recruiter Lies.
So, it seems that we have an industry that has accepted that there is a tendency to distort the truth. Recruitment is essentially sales, sales is the transfer of enthusiasm with the ability to tell a story and as my slightly crooked dad would say ‘never let the truth get in the way of a good story’. Now, before I kamikaze my own personal brand leaving my integrity in tatters there is a massive difference between a little white lie to save a client/candidates’ feelings and a well-choreographed production of porky pies resulting in incarceration. As the highly influential movie, at least on my life, Liar Liar depicts being truthful 100% of the time is a tough road to travel, comedic but challenging. We’ve seen from this week’s news candidates lie, the internet is screaming recruitment consultants aren’t to be trusted and many a consultant has a war story or two about clients not telling the whole truth. It’s difficult to navigate the seas of deception, you want to trust what you’re being told but as a rule of thumb, I tend to ask the same question numerous times, lying is easy but keeping to a story is way harder.