HR best practice: How to verify previous employment
- On 24 January 2016
- Posted by Chantal Mariotti
Make sure that you do your “due diligence” before making a job offer. Avoid offering a job applicant a position within your company without doing some prior research. By taking the appropriate steps and verifying their past employment, you can evaluate the prospective employee’s work ethic and skills. Hiring an employee is a big investment so take some time to find out if they’re going to bring value to your company.
Verify prior employment prior to making a hiring decision. Try to reach the candidate’s former supervisor and ask questions about attendance, teamwork, quality and quantity of work; verify dates of employment, title and ask why the person left their employer. When hiring a new employee, it’s important to get in touch with their past employer(s) to learn how well they performed at their previous job. When contacting the employer, ask if they would rehire this particular person again. This way, you can know if they will be a sound asset to your company. Verifying at least three (3) prior employments is an HR best practice.
Drug tests and/or criminal background checks. Drug tests let employers know if their prospective employees are free from substance abuse. After all, the use of recreational drugs is likely to affect an employee’s ability to efficiently function at work. Depending on the industry, employers can choose what to test for and may conduct a background check to be confident that their prospective employees have no prior criminal history. There are many third party companies that perform these services; an investment well worth it.
For accounting related positions, some employers require a credit check. While most hiring managers don’t require credit checks, specific positions relating to finances and data security help employers see if a prospective employee is qualified to manage money or sensitive financial information. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, employers are required to obtain consent from a job applicant when checking their credit report.
Never offer a job or lead the candidate to believe you will be offering them a job until you’ve done your due diligence. Be upfront with your job applicants and let them know that you’ll get back to them once you have conducted a thorough background check or drug test. Avoid having to withdraw a job offer if you discover that your prospective employee is not a suitable fit for your company.