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« Disadvantages of Manufacturing in China | Main | Corporate Philanthropy: What's Wrong with This Idea? »

June 17, 2007


Charles Utwater

I suggest the following standard:

Go over in close detail what the resume claims vs. what the person actually knows. This is more difficult than it sounds. It means that if the fellow says he was in Pittsburgh in 1997, you find out what was going on in that city at that time and ask him questions about it. If he says he worked in a particle physics lab, you learn what you can about hadrons and quarks, then quiz him on it.

This approach has an important result. One is less likely to hire a liar. Liars are the most destructive new hires one can have.

You clearly do understand the problems involved in metrics. Many managers do not and do not have the patience and independent thinking skills necessary to evaluate trial quantities.

Credit scores are a classic: all things being equal, they will be worse for younger people. Does one want to screen out people on that basis? They may be lower for women who have gone through a divorce. Does one want to screen for that? They will be lower for people who have had medical problems. Employers might want to screen those people out, but it's a mistake. An employee who has had cancer and been cured is often an exceptionally loyal and dedicated employee. Lower credit scores can hit veterans, who have been hauled off to Iraq. On and on, one can come up with reasons why this could be a very, very bad metric.

But screening against liars helps all legitimate businesses.

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