Verifying a potential employee’s reference is vital when conducting a background check on job applicants, especially applicants with high level responsibility and duties. When verifying previous employment for an applicant, you are confirming that the position held, start date, and end date all match what the applicant has stated on their resume or job application. What if your organization would like to know if your potential new hire has any job related weaknesses or areas of opportunity to improve on? What about your potential new hire’s top strengths and if they work well by themselves or in a “team” environment? Questions like these are prohibited to be answered by most human resource professionals when verifying employment; however, when conducting an employment reference verification, those and many more questions may be answered without violating company policy.
We will contact colleagues and co-workers listed on the applicants’ resume or job application to obtain an assessment of the applicants’ capabilities, ethics, and work record. We provide an extensive list of questions that clients may choose from to ask their candidates’ references, or they may customize their own questions to correlate with a specific position they are seeking.
Human resource professionals agree and recommend that a minimum of three references should be contacted when requesting this service. Results from reference verification will also give insight into the applicant’s trustworthiness, reliability, competency, professional qualifications, attendance, and integrity. If a reference verification is the only search required by an employer, a signed release and disclosure form must be completed by the applicant pursuant to Section 603(o) of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which constitutes reference verification as an investigative consumer report subject to additional FCRA requirements.
Additionally, an applicant is entitled to a copy of what his or her references said about them whether or not state law dictates if they are permitted to receive a copy of their background report.