Well, it has happened again. This time it’s Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson whose resume was found to be padded. Thompson, who was hired by the internet giant in January, has two degrees listed on his resume: A bachelor’s degree in accounting from Stonehill College, and a degree in computer science, which would make sense given his history in the workforce – Thompson previously was an executive with Paypal. Unfortunately, he doesn’t hold a computer science degree.
This lapse in employment screening seems particularly stunning given that it was such an upper-level position (the very top!) with such a public company. But skipping such a critical step in the pre-employment screening process – namely, that of education verification – is something that is commonly done, particularly with someone of Thompson’s stature and distinguished career. Collectively, people in human resources and others involved in the hiring process think ‘Why would he make up anything at this point? Surely someone else would have caught a lie by now.’ It can seem almost ridiculous to spend time and money verifying someone’s education credentials at that level.
But Thompson’s story is exactly why it’s critical to conduct a thorough employment screening every single time. Yahoo is now dealing with a public relations nightmare, not to mention upheaval within its ranks and among its biggest investors. Those are headaches no business wants. So do yourself a favor, learn by others’ mistakes, and be thorough and unbiased in your own screening protocols.