As human beings, when someone is recommended to us by someone we trust, a part of our radar can be dampened. Furthermore, when under time pressure and with an urgent need to deliver, some could be tempted to ‘just get the job done’. Thankfully, we don’t operate in this way, keeping in mind the long term consequences.

In this case, a company needed to appoint a new CEO with a particular profile. 

A well-regarded source recommended one of the potential candidates.

On paper, he seemed to have the right credentials, well equipped to tackle the challenge our client faced. He even had one of our client’s Senior Executives as a reference.

Our methodology has our in-depth profiling process at its core, so we set out to delve deeper. The candidate’s track record seemed to be ideal, with the right knowledge and experience for the role. But something wasn’t right. The answers to our questions were almost too perfect. It was very subtle but something was off.

It is hard to discard someone when there is no hard evidence, and for us, it was a puzzle to be solved. Were we being too harsh?

Transparent in all our dealings, we discussed the matter with our client. He did some of his own checking.

The examples the potential candidate had shared were real. But the work he was taking credit for was in fact carried out by someone else – a person already working with our client.  The client verified our analysis – this person was an imposter. The client is still baffled on how we picked up on this.

We mapped several such subtleties and scenarios to develop the red flag system in our protocol, a system this particular client has used many times to inform his investment decisions.