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How to Verify Employment
How To Verify Employment
A large restaurant chain in New Mexico failed to verify previous employment of one of their potential new hires for Drive Thru leader. Since they were desperate for Drive Thru help, they decided that they would do it after the lunch rush was over. The unit manager of this company placed a woman he had just met to work as the Cashier/crew chief of the Drive Thru for two hours. The woman was not asked to complete any paper work whatsoever, so she clocked in and out on a time card that had a fake name on it and was never heard from again. In two hours, she stole over $500 and handed it out in a sandwich bag through the Drive Thru window to her accomplice. This two-person team hit all the large fast food chains in the area in this way, during a time when there was a severe shortage of workers. In addition, they were never caught.
Employment Verification is, therefore, vital.
UPDATE 2012: Legislation is pending in several US States to allow former employers to provide accurate and honest employment references, including the negatives, without fear of legal retaliation from past employees. While this may be helpful in effective employment practices, no one wants to see this possible new allowance to be abused.
First, know that many companies will verify only dates of employment and the amount of wages.
Second, know that some companies will not verify anything unless you FAX a request to them. They want to verify that YOU are a real company, too, before releasing information.
1) Call all of the references and don't skip any.
Ask for at least three different references from three different jobs and call all of the references on the sheet of references a job applicant turns in to you.
Before you call the references, look all the companies up on the Internet and verify to yourself that they are REAL companies and that the phone numbers look like they actually came from that company. They should have the same Area Code and Exchange (first three numbers of the 7-digit phone number) If you were given home numbers or cell phone numbers, be suspicious.
If you run multiple "work" phone numbers through Google Search and come up with the same non-commercial address, something is wrong, Use Google Maps (satellite) to check if the address is a house or a business. Reverse telephone lookup will tell you if the phone is a landline or a cell, usually.
If the references no longer work for the companies, call those companies and ask if THOSE people actually worked for them in the past. While you're at it, you can ask if your job applicant really worked there.
If a company is out of business, check with the state Secretary of State. They should have a website where you can search to see if such a business really existed, and through what dates and who is the contact person.
2) Have a set list of questions.
Have a set list of questions to ask each former employer of you job applicant. Be specific. Ask about these features of the job applicant's past employment:
- Exact dates of employment
- Amount of wages or salary
- How well did they perform their duties?
- Were they on time?
- How was their attendance?
- How did they get along with others?
3) Do more than check job references.
Give background check forms to your job applicants to complete and sign, then do the background checks for those you want to hire. This provides a report about job applicants' criminal records and credit history.
Copy a new hire's Social Security Card to verify US citizenship. If the card looks doctored or odd, report it to your local Social Security office. I had three sisters apply for jobs once and all three had the same Social Security Number.
Also require a Driver's License or a State Non-Driver's ID Card and copy both sides of that. Have an I-9 form completed by new hires with this information supplied by them and nay documentation required of Documented International Workers (people with a visa or a green card).
Check Academic and Vocational Training Documents as well. Require high school, college, or vocational school/apprenticeship transcripts to determine eligibility to work in technical or professional positions. A college or university transcript should have a clear watermark; otherwise, it could be phony.
Also check any licenses that need to be maintained by demanding that they be shown to you. Make photocopies of both sides of them.
Employment In the USA Requires Documentation
- Forms | USCIS
Download the latest versions of our forms from uscis.gov or order them by mail by calling 1-800-870-3676. Don't pay anyone for copies of our forms. US Immigration Service - verify online. Employment elegiblity explained. E-Verify instructions.
- Form I-9 Employment Verification | Form I-9 Services from Form I-9 Compliance
Form I-9 employment verification and form i-9 eligibility services from Form I-9 Compliance, LLC
Important Additional Information
- Background Credit Checks Eliminated From Employment Requirements
Financial discrimination is a real potential in requiring job candidates to undergo credit checks for employment in some cases. In addition, another tactic is to state "The unemployed need not apply", meaning minorities and people with poorer credit
- What is the Purpose of Pre-Employment Credit Checks?
Several of the US States have passed legislation to outlaw pre-employment credit checks for jobs that do not require cash handling. Is your state one of them?
© 2007 Patty Inglish