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Fake - A Cautionary Tale About Hiring Decisions

5.1.05

A cautionary tale about an association whose new chief financial officer wasn't who she said she was.

The association needs a chief financial officer - someone to handle assessment income, payroll, and other financial matters. It decides to retain a search firm to identify and screen candidates, and eventually the firm directs the association to someone with impeccable credentials.

The candidates resume says that she is a CPA with an MBA from an outstanding university, where she majored in accounting and finance, and that she has held various upper-level finance positions with various companies, including at least one national accounting firm. Among the positions listed are accountant, controller, and director of finance. At this point the association's only concern is that she may be over qualified. Because there is no reason to believe that the search firm that referred her isn't reputable, and because she was quite impressive in her interview, the association doesn't verify any of the information on her resume. No problem, right?

Wrong.  The association became the victim of its own lax hiring practices, hiring the first candidate it interviewed without conducting a background check.  This article reviews the lessons of this case and how they apply to any association that makes hiring decisions.

This article appeared in the May/June 2005 issue of Community Associations Institute's Magazine Common Ground.

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