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Verify Work History

Make sure you know the law about work history, job history and employment history checks.

Maintaining a full staff in a workplace is no easy task. There was a time when loyal and longstanding employees were the norm in a workplace. Today, the task of hiring and maintaining employees has become an all important factor in the workplace. The change in times and expectations of the company, customers, insurance agents, governmental agencies as well as the potential employees themselves have dictated a whole new set of standards in the hiring practices. Therein lays the multitude of responsibilities involved in the hiring practices discussed herein.

Employers Should Always Verify and Document Work History

The overall importance of the work history can be primarily based on the company itself. Depending on the position, the relevance of past importance may be scaled on a different level of importance. An entry level position will have fewer standards on the importance than those of senior positions. However, the most import aspects of the work history in any position is the validity of the places, positions held, reasons for leaving and in some cases the salary. The need to verify the truth in responses given in many cases will be the primary reason in the work history verification process.

Work history discrepancies

Any discrepancies or gross misrepresentations would immediately raise red flags in the hiring process. In all fairness, dates are typically off by a month or a few weeks here and there in entry level positions but for senior positions to have any discrepancies in these areas would cause concern as to their level of organization, ability to properly record information as well as their level of commitment. Major discrepancies in employment history should always be documented. They are an organization's proof on why someone was not hired and may be the only proof should a claim be lodged concerning unfair hiring practices. An applicant's past employment history may be a fair indicator of their future performance within your organization.

Free work history verification

The use of any free online work history verification services would be highly subjective to true and correct information. Many of these services take information from sources that gather self-reported information that routinely reports incorrect data. Some of these sources may include credit companies, store promotional offers and more. Positions that require high levels of security, private and confidential informational, financial information or any similar employments could potentially fall victim to individuals seeking to commitment crimes against others. Many of these cases have been reported to be planned months if not years in advance. Unless it is absolutely necessary to take the free route, it is rarely the appropriate course of action in reliable work history verification.

Professional work history verification

Professional companies shift the burden of not only verifying the validity of the information provided but also the legality in the obtaining of the information. There are laws in some states as to the information that may or may not be collected during the employment history verification process. If a line is crossed and a professional agency is utilized, the responsibility lays within their organization for collecting the information. This is not to say that an organization should not know the rules of engagement for employment information. If the information is illegal to obtain, it should be stricken from the record and not used in the determination process or used for any purpose. The verification process can be lengthy and tedious with the amount of calls and repeat correspondence to obtain the appropriate information. The use of a professional service could drastically shorten this time and speed up the overall hiring process. In the end, the cost can clearly represent the work involved on a positive note.

Trying to determine whether or not one made the right decision in hiring an individual for a position can be overwhelming and stressful. If at any time during the process there were uncertainty, the process should have come to a standstill immediately. Whenever a red flag is waved, it is time for a round table meeting with the appropriate company officials. If others have already been involved in the process or reviewed any of the information, they should be kept apprised of the progress and or misinformation. The absolute answer to the right decision may not always be transparent. Most of the bad apples can be weeded out during the application process and most certainly during the probation period. While the latter is not preferred due to the overall cost of hiring and training an employee, it is better to know sooner than to find out after a costly expense to the organization. Some areas to delve deeper into before making a final decision should be reviewed prior to offering employment can include questions and answers during the open interview process.

Avoid Leading Questions about Employment Confirmation where the Answer is likely Canned

By utilizing open ended questions, the applicant is more likely to offer information that an employer may not ask themselves. One such area is family obligations. While family matters are understandable and acceptable, there is a fine line when they repeatedly interfere with the day to day job functions. Another area that almost always comes out during casual conversation during the interview is viewpoints about past employment and coworkers. This information is extremely valuable to an organization especially if it is repeated over multiple jobs and or departments.

Areas of Importance for Hiring, Verification Can be Important

Field of Education As unlikely as it sounds; many individuals go to the extreme in over reporting their education. Still yet, a number of applicants will report education that never occurred or that was never completed. The completion of education is typically left open ended as if to imply they may have finished. These missing areas need further questioning and completion. Verification of education can be just as if not more important than past employment. If the organization is hiring or requiring a degree or a certain level of education, this is a must complete aspect. Easily over looked and often discounted it is typically a highly exaggerated item. Most universities are more than happy to verify graduation dates as well fields of study. Employers may also request official copies of transcripts if the education level is that important to the field of work or if they want to pursue the grades. The grades of an individual may let an employer see the extent of dedication involved. This is especially important of applicants who are fresh out of school.

Quality of Experience-The type of experience that an applicant may have in an area may be a significant part of their position in an organization. Where they received this experience is even more important. Not every organization is as trusted or valued in their field of expertise. This is not to say that the individual is not valuable or knowledgeable but it is one area that may need further exploration and validation through alternate sources of employment and/or internships.

References-Any applicant who provides their best friends or high school buddies as references should be asked to provide individuals of a professional nature for references. These individuals could include their teachers, guidance counselors or other officials if they are that young. Applicants who are vying for administration/management positions should provide references that support those positions. In laymen's terms, an applicant's references knowledge should equal if not exceed the position to which the applicant is applying for.

Multiple Interview Process-The best practice in hiring the best possible candidate for a position is to enact the multiple interview practice within an organization. In this process, an applicant goes through approximately three interviews before a final decision is made. At any time during these interviews, a determination could be made that they do not fit what the organization is looking for at this time. This process gives way for a fair and consistent interview process. An applicant has a greater chance of being hired if more than one person is reviewing their application and an organization is likelier to make a better hiring decision with multiple eyes on an applicant.

There is no sure fire way to guarantee success in any hiring practices or verification of work history. Both of these factors will go hand in hand as the information will flow together as the process unfolds. What works for one organization may not work for another. Once an organization finds the niche that works, they will still need to fine tune it and revamp it over the years to keep it fresh.

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