Employers are becoming increasingly cautious and often hire employment verification companies to supplement their own application process. Federal and state requirements call for employment verification and background checks if the job involves dealing with the elderly or children, while employers hiring for sensitive and highly skilled positions must be certain that the applicant has what it takes. The best way to do that is to verify previous employment and relevant skills.
Job applications represent a primary source of information from which employment verification companies develop a profile of a potential employee's work history. Applicants must generally list the names of their former employers, supervisors and managers, together with physical and email addresses, phone numbers and dates of employment. Applications sometimes also ask questions of a more personal type, such as if the potential employee quit or was fired and the reasons associated with those decisions.
Companies hiring new employees pay employment verification companies to do the legwork, and they nearly always contact former employers with specific questions. This contact can be made in person, by phone or through email. Previous employers can share any truthful information about job histories and skill sets, although many maintain standard guidelines that permit them to confirm just the essentials, such as employment dates, salary and general job description.
Many employers conduct credit checks to verify responsible financial behavior, but even those that do not require this information will nonetheless typically ask employment verification companies to do so. Information maintained by the major credit reporting agencies includes details of previous employment, such as company names and dates worked, so these reports represent another independent avenue of verification.
Personal references are the age-old method of verification that began before the advent of electronic files and widespread information availability. They remain useful to this day. Employment verification companies generally ask the references provided by the applicant to confirm their personal knowledge of the job seeker's employment history and any related information.
Robert Rimm graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and founded 88keys.com to provide education, writing and communications services for clients within the nonprofit, arts and education communities in the United States, Europe and Russia. His key interests include art and culture, social entrepreneurship, education, the environment and human rights. He is fluent in French and Russian, and is a widely published author.