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A cautionary tale

What you see is not always what you get!

The importance of verifying employment candidate references  for any employment vacancies, let alone for the privileged position of domestic staff working in your homes, nannies, housekeepers, carers etc., was demonstrated recently when our checks revealed some blatant forgeries!

We recently interviewed two candidates for a housekeeper couple on behalf of a client.

The couple turned up with CVs, references and certificates all appearing in order.  As the client was due to depart on holiday, she asked for the process to be speeded up and for the couple to be interviewed straightaway, even though it was normal procedure for the agency to verify the references first.

We introduced the couple to our client who liked them very much and they were offered the positions subject to satisfactory references.  It was then that things started to unravel!

“We then commenced checking the references verbally and found that they were a tissue of lies – some of the references had been forged and although two of the parties we telephoned did know the candidates, they certainly did not recommend them,” says Diana Graham. principal of The Graham Agency.

What followed, however, was almost more worrying.

“On telephoning two other agencies (anonymously), we  were advised that the couple were on their books and as far as they were concerned all of the references were checked and excellent!  That really was a cause for concern”, says  Diana Graham.

This is not the first time this has happened.  Earlier our agency interviewed a seemingly very lovely lady for a position as a housekeeper and, upon checking her written references, we found that she too had forged them and had given her partner’s telephone number to us in order to check the references.

Another time we interviewed another lady for a position as a housekeeper and, upon checking her references, incidentally with a client of ours, it transpired that there were allegations of heavy drinking, slapping our client’s child, theft and fraud.

What you see is not always what you get!  Again, it demonstrates that the exhausting checks we carry out are necessary for everyone’s benefit.

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