A Couple Stories from BackTrack
With about 700 client companies across the country and 200 background checks run on employee prospects each day, staff members at Mentor-based BackTrack Inc. feel like they have seen it all.
Co-owner Bob Gandee says the firm only “states the facts” when reporting back to clients, and that workers at BackTrack don’t even know whether the potential hires they screen actually get the jobs they apply for. If that’s the case, what do they do with all of the ridiculous and sometimes sad stories they discover?
I can’t answer that question as it relates to a daily basis, but on Thursday they shared a few with me. In a word, it was awesome.
Their whole point was that job applicants are more likely to be dishonest in desperate times. In this article, Criminal Records Manager Scott Doran told the story about the guy who tried to outsmart an airline by concealing a murder conviction in his past. That was asinine in its own right, but here are a couple other stories told by the folks at Backtrack:
-- Lying about educational background
“(BackTrack) had its genesis with a situation with a guy we recruited for one of our clients for Director of Engineering. I mean, the guy spent six years at (a large Cleveland company),” Gandee said. “This guy ran the engineering department for six years. They fired him, but then he created his résumé, sent it to us, and it indicated to us that he had a mechanical engineering undergraduate degree and an MBA, and he was managing their department. We verified that he was managing their department, but we uncovered that he did not attend either of those universities. He did not have his degree either. He talked his way into that job, and held it for six years. You would think a big company like (his previous employer) would have checked into this guy’s credentials.”
-- Living a lie
“(An area auto dealership) sent an application over to us, and we did a background check on a guy that indicated that he lived and worked here in Northern Ohio his entire life. We did a credit report on him, and it showed that he lived in Harris County, Houston, Texas for a period of time,” Gandee said. “So, we called them and said we should really do a criminal record check in Harris County to make sure. It’s really suspicious that he didn’t point out that he lived there for some time. So they said, ‘go ahead, since it’s only going to cost another $12.’
“The clerk of courts said, ‘oh! You’re wanting to do a record check on THIS guy, huh? We’ve got a warrant out for his arrest for bank robbery. Where is he?’ I said, ‘he’s up here in Mentor and he’s applying for a job.’ They got in touch with the Lake County Sheriff’s Department, and of course we called (the dealership), and they said ‘oh my God, what are we going to do?’ We said for them to call the Sheriff’s Department, and they’ll tell you what to do. So, they called him in for a second interview, and the Sheriff’s Department came and arrested him.”
I could have listened to Bob and the crew talk about these lies all day. It was that entertaining.
-- Brandon C. Baker
Photo by: Maribeth Joeright