July 23, 2018

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It seemed like such a little lie.

Iíve been recruiting for 22 years, and this week, for the first time in 22 years, Iíve lost a placement because the candidate lied about their education credentials. Iíve probably been lied to before, but with modern technology, I think itís just that itís getting harder to get away with the lies than it used to be.

Integrity. Itís one of the most important things in all relationships, and if you donít have it in one area, then who knows where else you are lacking it. This was a seasoned manager with an excellent track record, strong resume, and great references, who knew how to get the job done and would have been an excellent asset to my client. What did his lie cost?

It cost him:

  • The job.

  • His reputation with a lot of people, including, I think, himself.

  • The relationship with me and my firm, and my network.

Beyond what it cost him, I donít think he fully appreciates just how many people put how much effort into getting him this offer, or how many people put their good names behind him to move this forward, and how many people are now going into meetings today with egg on their face, their own judgment being questioned. So, beyond what it cost him, who else is paying a price for his little lie?

  • Me and my firm, of course. Iíve got a lot of egg on my face right now, and Iíve wasted over 100 hours on this candidate.

  • The VP of Revenue Cycle, who really liked him, and also went to bat for him, hard, pushing on the inside. Sheís not real happy right now.

  • The hospital system CFO, who also went to bat for him, adding her weight to the push on HR to get him processed quickly, and who personally checked one of his references. Sheís not real happy this morning either.

  • And that reference she checked, a friend of hers and a CFO at a sister hospital where he previously worked, who was a Great reference for him last week, well, her name just went on the line too.

  • I suspect sheíll learn of this, and he will lose her as a Great reference.

  • And the other references that he gave me, 3 different people that he had reported to, who all thought he was fantastic, a real go getter, a guy who would get the job done. Heís lost them too.

  • The internal recruiters, the department and staff that now have to wait even longer to get their much needed competent manager.

It seemed like such a little lie to him, Iím sure. He Ďalmostí had the degree. It was over 20 years ago when he took the classes, so such a distant little white lie. He had gotten away with the lie several times before. And besides, if he got caught, he was really only hurting himself, and only with just this one hospital, right? So, such a small lie. But look at how much it cost, and how many have to pay the price.

If you didnít complete the program, you donít have the degree. To represent other than that is a lie, and can cost a lot more than just the job you hope to get, or even the one you already have. Please, for the sake of those around you who will be paying the price, donít do it.

Thom Brown is an Executive Recruiter with over 20 yearsí experience in Hospital Management positions nationwide. His focus is on Finance, Revenue Cycle, and Health Information Management. He can be reached at, or view his company's website at