I was told my interviewee had actually been turned down for a place on the training program but bugged the manager so much that he was finally given a chance to do some work experience and then casual paid work. While he wasn’t offered a permanent paid role – as there were none to offer – he had gained valuable experience and proved himself. What a shame he didn’t just tell me that. I did consider hiring him anyway but I was worried about his penchant for lying.Kathryn Westall, business manager for leading call centre recruiters Hallis, says her team of consultants do everything possible to verify a candidate’s credentials and work experience.

“We do check out the whole resume thoroughly,” says Kathryn. “With academic qualifications, we ask to view transcripts and all references supplied must be verbal with referees contactable on a landline. We do not accept written references.”

Savvy recruitment consultants and hiring managers prefer landline numbers instead of mobile phone numbers when contacting referees. This follows a case in Brisbane last year when a council found a candidate’s referee was not a CEO but a former cellmate in a maximum security prison. The council had contacted the “CEO” by mobile phone and eventually hired the candiate only to fire him later when he stole public money.

Kathryn says that recruitment consultants are not only interested in finding the right candidate to land a job but in keeping their clients happy but finding people who will last in the role.

“We are interested in helping our clients achieve the best staff retention rates so we want someone who is not only honest but who is passionate about taking on the role,” she says.

Kathryn advises candidates to be completely honest with their recruitment consultant so they can work with them to tackle problems such as work experience or training gaps.

“It is really important not to lie because it will come back to bite you,” she warns.

Story by Kate Southam, editor of CareerOne. Go to www.careerone.com.au for more career related articles. Job hunting and workplace questions can be directed to CareerOne by emailing: editor@careerone.com.au