Training a new coworker always requires an adjustment period: meeting new colleagues, learning the ropes, and settling into a routine.
But when this online user’s husband began to suspect his new coworker was not all they appeared, she turned to a workplace advice blog for help. What can you do when the person who turns up at work is not the same person who was hired?
They Took Interviews For a Serious Role
“This is a situation currently unfolding at my husband’s office, so I’m a very amused bystander,” the online user wrote as a prelude. At the time, her spouse worked as part of management at a private, midsized company in the IT sector.
He was required to participate in the selection process for an open spot on his team. After three rounds of remote interviews, the panel offered the position to ‘George,’ who accepted and started working the week before the incident.
A New George?
“Except … it’s not the George my husband remembers,” revealed the online user in her letter.
According to her husband, multiple things seemed different about this new coworker. For one, he wore a different hairstyle and new glasses.
This new George also talked “extensively” about having a wife and three kids, despite referring to himself as a bachelor during his interview.
More seriously, the man was “aloof and timid”—unable to answer some fundamental questions related to his new position.
The System Might Be Flawed
“[My husband] is convinced this is not the person they hired,” the wife shared. “I agree that all those things taken together make this very odd, but each one could have a valid explanation.”
In an attempt to avoid jumping to conclusions, the user first suggested the mistake had originated with the hiring committee or human resources. What if one of the two departments had extended the job offer to the wrong George?
Considering that only one candidate advanced to the final round of interviews, while all others were sent rejection letters prior to that, the husband firmly rejected this possibility. “He’s confident they couldn’t have been mixed up,” the user wrote.
Others Became Suspicious
Fortunately for all interested parties, the mystery was soon resolved over the course of the day. At noon, the husband received a text on his personal cellphone from their boss, ‘Melissa,’ who shared her own suspicions about George. Together, they compared notes and decided something was definitely “very off.”
Since George at work was also claiming the credentials of the man they interviewed, both Melissa and the husband found it unlikely that there was a candidate mix-up. “They are on a call with Human Resources as I type this,” revealed the wife in her first update. “Unclear if they are working out an error by the hiring committee/HR or unraveling fraud. More to come.”
Do They Need to Confront George?
The phone call was between the husband, Melissa, an HR representative, and the recruiter who hired George. Not only did they confirm that the right person received the job offer, but more troubling details also came to light. For example, George had to be introduced to Melissa on his first day, despite her presence in two out of three of his interviews.
“It’s definitely been a crazy morning! They are waiting to hear back from legal—I think they are weighing whether they confront George and let him try to explain or let him go anyway,” the online user disclosed. “He either lied about his identity or lied about his experience since he’s unable to speak about the basics of the job.”
They Tried To Clear Up The Confusion
Once the legal team was briefed on the situation, subsequent events rapidly snowballed from there. To start, HR scheduled a call with George to address “concerns about performance.” Furthermore, security received the go-ahead to place George’s computer under surveillance in order to trace any external messages and downloads.
No sooner had HR issued their opening question than George abruptly announced, “I quit,” and hopped off the call. Clearly, George preferred to resign rather than face fraud allegations. Not long after, he also returned the expensive equipment he’d issued upon joining the company.
What Was All That About?
“Incredibly bizarre situation. Hoping it was a failed case of trying to get a job and not trying to steal company info, but who knows—they may never!” the wife wondered at the end of her letter.
However, the advice columnist was quick to enlighten her on that point. Yes, the IT industry is now with fake candidate scams, partly because of remote interviewing and work-from-home policies. “The idea is that one person interviews and another takes the job, or one person interviews while another person feeds them answers,” the columnist explained.
It’s hard to weed them out because “it’s easy to fall into thinking maybe the person is just still adjusting to the role, and then suddenly you’re two months in with someone who was never going to be able to do the job.”
This article was produced and syndicated by TPR Teaching.
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I'm an Irish tutor and founder of TPR Teaching. I started teaching in 2016 and have since taught in the UK, Spain, and online.
I love learning new things about the English language and how to teach it better. I'm always trying to improve my knowledge, so I can better meet the needs of others!
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