Corporate strategy execution - bulb illustration

Scott Thompson was Yahoo’s CEO for only four months last year before he was fired for listing a bachelor’s degree in computer science that he didn’t have on his resume.

A sorority officer in Maryland was just fired for unleashing a profanity-laden rant via email to her sorority sisters – a rant that has now gone viral across the web. (Google “Rebecca Martinson” if you’re curious.)

Technology has changed the game and created new rules of accountability – for everyone.

We’ve recently seen two similar situations play out firsthand at Root. We’ve been trying to fill a specific, senior-level business development role for over a year – and have spent countless hours and thousands of dollars finding, vetting, interviewing, and ultimately rejecting numerous candidates. While we have gotten close to filling the role (twice), our search continues due to some inconsistencies we discovered in the final due diligence process for both candidates. These inconsistencies surfaced among the candidates’ resumes, LinkedIn profiles, and reference checks – and included accuracy issues around work history, education, and even previous (very recent) compensation. And though inconsistencies happen, and often can be explained, what we experienced was a struggle to get a crisp story on the issues we found – so it ended up feeling like the candidates were making excuses or covering up, instead of being transparent on the mistake(s). So while our process to that point had us very excited that these folks had the job capabilities we needed, all of a sudden our trust was shaken and we were faced with questions about their character. And based on our culture at Root – and the mutual accountability we expect in ourselves and our colleagues – we just couldn’t get over the trust hurdle. Game over; time to resume the search – again, twice.

While it’s amazing to me that we’re still having this conversation around the “new rules,” perhaps a few helpful reminders are in order. The internet is forever, and so is your “trail” on it. Accessing and gathering information on your trail are quicker and easier than ever.

Technology has changed the game and created new rules of accountability – for everyone.

May 20, 2013


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