Over the last few weeks we been made aware of a scandal involving one of Australia’s largest retailing groups and a fraudulent reference check. The candidate was screened by the recruitment agency and by senior executives of the firm on at least three separate occasions and reportedly came across as very knowledgeable, despite having none of the qualifications or experience that was reported in their resume or by their referees. They performed well in the interview but once on the job it was a different story.

Reference checking allows you to find out information about individual candidates and how the candidate performed on the job. However, you can’t take a candidate’s resume at face value – even if you know them personally or have worked with them. Over the internet, for as little as US$150, you can purchase the services of businesses who will invent an elaborate fake job for you, including fake company web page, landline phone number and a phony supervisor to provide you with a glowing verbal reference.

As a business owner, how do you navigate your way around this?

This is where a specialist recruitment agency comes into their own. Imagine a business partner who not only knows your business but also knows the candidate market and your competitor’s business as well. Although they don’t come with any guarantees that the above won’t happen, the simple fact that they know the market you operate within will close up some of the cracks that your business may fall into.

Developing a strategic partnership with your recruitment agency will help in delivering more successful recruitment outcomes for your business than having a mere transactional relationship with them. Be candid and allow your recruiter to become more involved with your business. They can make you aware of the availability of certain candidates in the market and provide you with feedback with regards to what might be going on within your own business.