Lexicon of Inconspicuously Ambiguous Recommendations (LIAR)


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Elsewhere on this site, I have warned how letters of recommendations can get you into real trouble. Well, someone has come up with a "system" called LIAR which can help avoid serious legal trouble in a time when laws have eroded the confidentiality of letters of recommendation. In many states, job applicants have the right to read the letters of recommendations and can even file suit against the writer if the contents are negative. When the writer uses LIAR, however, whether perceived correctly or not by the candidate, the phrases are virtually litigation-proof. Some examples from HR LIAR:

You're called upon for an opinion of former employee who is extremely lazy. You don't want to lie - but you also don't want to risk litigation. = Try: "In my opinion, you will be very fortunate to get this person to work for you."

To describe a person who is totally inept: "I most enthusiastically recommend this candidate with no qualifications whatsoever."

To describe an ex-employee who had problems getting along with fellow workers: "I am pleased to say that this candidate is a former colleague of mine."

To describe a candidate who is so unproductive that the job would be better left unfilled: "I can assure you that no person would be better for the job."

To describe a job applicant who is not worth further consideration: "I would urge you to waste no time in making this candidate an offer of employment."

To describe a person with lackluster credentials: "All in all, I cannot say enough good things about this candidate or recommend him too highly."

If all of this sounds too familiar then you are beginning to spend too much time in management.


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