The Yahoo Debacle: What Can We Learn from It?

The Yahoo Debacle: What Can We Learn from It?

You all must be aware that Yahoo’s ex-CEO was accused of padding his resume with false accreditations, supposedly achieved a long time ago. No one has answers as to how a man who has had such high-profile jobs managed to keep this under wraps for all these years.

This discovery did cost him his job, but what problems have the company faced because of this? Being such a popular public company, Yahoo has had to bear unrest with the shareholders, negative publicity for the brand, impact on employee morale, and various other legal issues. This incident indeed proves to be a learning lesson for all.

Every company, big or small, should take the pains to do a thorough verification of their potential employees’ educational credentials. This is true especially in a scenario where according to a survey conducted by 8% of Americans lie on their resumes*. This means that one out of every 13 applicants has fabricated their resume to some extent.

An HR team in a company can run the first level of education verification check, involving checking social websites like LinkedIn, conducting unstructured/conversational interviews, and reference checks. While these checks are recommended, they are clearly not extensive.

This is where we come in to fill in all the blanks that come up in background checks. For example, Private Eyes conducts detailed education verifications by contacting the school attended by an applicant to verify everything from dates/years attended, courses taken, GPA, and degree(s) awarded. Confirmation of an applicant’s highest level of education completed is highly recommended for the pre-employment screening process.

Most institutions, though, ask for a signed release from the applicant before releasing any information to us. We also use other sources such as the Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs, run by the U.S. Department of Education, which provides searches of schools by accreditation agencies. Our diligent process ensures that we help our clients pick the right candidates who will make impressive CEOs in the future.

Yahoo may have trusted EBay to have done the homework for them, but they should have known better. Employee selection is a time and resource consuming process, but it is definitely a step that should not be skipped.

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*The FindLaw survey was conducted using a demographically balanced group of 1,000 American adults and has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 3 percent.