Employment verification sounds like a smart way to learn more about a potential employee. And it is! But what, specifically, can you learn about your employee using this type of service? And what is just off-limits? Naturally, you want to learn what all is possible from a service before you really dive into it. Let’s look at some examples.
What You Can Learn Via Employment Verification Services?
Amos is applying for work as a bookkeeper. This is a job that requires not only special skills but an ethical code based on honesty and attention to detail. Employment verification can verify if Amos does have the education and experience he says he has. It can also put the potential employer (that’s you) in contact with previous employers. Would they recommend Amos for your workforce? Why exactly he no longer works at his previous place of employment may be classified, depending on the state.
Barbara listed her previous employment title on her resume as “education center consultant in gastronomics”. Sounds fancy, but an employment verification might reveal that she was a lunch lady at an elementary school. You don’t want to spend big bucks on someone who looks good on paper but may not have what it takes to join your company. Barbara could argue she didn’t lie, but she didn’t quite tell the truth either.
Gertrude didn’t last very long at her last job and stretched the truth on her application about just how long she was employed in her last job. Employment verification will tell you just how long a person was employed at a former job.
Now let’s go into some gray area. David is applying for a job as a bartender and claims he will be twenty-two years old on his birthday. Which birthday? Eleanor believes it’s a lady’s prerogative not to reveal her age and how is that relevant to being a legal secretary anyway? Employment verification will reveal whether David is trying to skirt the law. You’ll know where Eleanor went to school, but not when, and how many years of work experience she has. You may be able to do the math from there, but you are discouraged from discriminating based on whether someone is over forty years of age.
Another gray area. Harold is applying for work as a truck driver. A background check reveals he has a couple of DUI’s on record. You sure you want to hire him? Irene is applying for work as a cashier. As a teenager, Irene fell in with a bad crowd and got charged with shoplifting. Her juvenile record is sealed and will not be revealed.
What Can You Not Learn Via Employment Verification Services?
Fletcher is HIV positive. Naturally, he wants to keep this to himself. It has nothing to do with his performance as a file clerk anyway. Employment verification services will not reveal a person’s medical history. Employees and potential hires are not required to volunteer their medical history either.
Jamala is worried that because of her race and gender an employer may try to shortchange her. Because of this, she fudges a tiny bit on how much she made at her last job. Now, this is something that varies from one state to another specifically over Jamala’s concerns. Check what’s legal in your state.
Keith has been laid off from his job. He’s been told he’s available for rehire, but he’s not holding his breath. Keith looks for something to pay the bills. Oh, he’ll drop it for his previous employment, but he needs a payday right now. Depending on what state Keith is living in, a potential employee may not be told if he’s available for a rehire.
There are things employment verification services can find out for you. And there are things they can’t. Some of these vary from one state to another, and you are encouraged to be fair in your hiring processes. Do your research.