This week, I went on a quest for the perfect holiday. As a bit of a traditionalist, I walked into the travel agent and explained what I wanted. We bartered around the specs such as dates, airport, packages, and one hour (and groaning credit card) later, I walked out with my solution. Job done.

The process brought exclamations of horror from my pre-teen sons. No sooner had I said the hotel name, their phones were out and they were scouring the web on a Sherlock-style fact-finding mission. Trip Advisor, comparison websites, reviews: within minutes, I had the opinions of every previous guest from here to Mumbai and was cursing my over-the-odds price. I had all the facts, whether I liked it or not.

Few people take an individual hire at ‘face value’. However, for those lacking a sizeable HR department or the luxury of time, there’s a growing trend towards slacking on the fact-finding process. And while the age-old reference prevails, recruiters will admit it now has limited value. We’re not collecting all the evidence: ironic really, in this generation of information.

How many graduates who walked into your office with a “2:1 from a redbrick” have you asked for their degree certificate? And when a candidate claims their greatest achievement to be a published article, successful blog or being awarded title of World’s Most Incredible Employee, are you asking for the evidence?

Far be it from me to accuse candidates of stretching the truth, but in a competitive market, reports of occurrences come in thick and fast. So I’m a shameless stickler for scrutiny. Candidates may not come with a 3* rating and landing page filled with previous experiences: but all worthy claims can be verified. I’ll make use of that ‘references available on request’ line. I’ll also be asking for certificates and examples of work, and I’ll scour social media profiles.

But I’ll also stand by my belief that the only true way to test the truth, is to test it: whether though competency-based assessments, cognitive ability tests or active, probing interview tasks: they are the means of applying a ‘safety net’ otherwise unobtainable through paper trail facts alone, in a quest for our own version of events. After all, isn’t it true that one person’s holiday nightmare is often another’s paradise?