Reference Check

Throughout my career I have had the pleasure of interviewing and hiring dozens of people. Sometimes, resumes and cover letters come with references, sometimes they don’t, but once a candidate is chosen, I am a firm believer in checking references – at least three.

If you are a cynic, it is easy to think reference checking might be a waste of time. I mean after all, what candidate would ever list someone as a reference who would say anything less than glowing things? You’d be shocked.

One time I called the very first reference on a candidate’s resume and once I introduced myself, the individual on the other end of the phone said, “He listed ME as a reference? Wow, that really surprises me. He was a terrible employee and I told him as much, several times, before I fired him.”

We all make decisions and declarations based on references of all kinds – in this case by references, I am referring to things we know to be true. But think about this – what happens when we don’t fully understand the references on which we are basing these decisions?

Today I bring you three stories that illustrate the point: […]

Information Permanence

There is a concept in early childhood development called object permanence. Basically up to the age of two, little kids can’t get their heads around the idea that if something isn’t visible that it still exists.

This of course is why peek-a-boo is such a fun game to play with a thirteen-month-old. They are more able to believe that you keep appearing and disappearing, than they are that you continue to exist behind the hands that cover your face. Ah, the innocence of early youth.

Along those lines there is something I like to call Information Permanence. This is where a single mention of something sticks with you for a very long time, even though you were only exposed to it once. You know those songs that you can’t get out of your head? They call that an “ear worm.” Information Permanence is like a “brain worm,” but unlike the song that eventually leaves you alone, the “brain worm” can live in your noggin forever. This is a good thing – I will explain. […]