Pre-Employment: Work History & References

PRE-EMPLOYMENT TESTING: Work History & References

Pre-Employment background checks, in one form or another, are a part of almost every organization. While the focus varies by company, industry, position, etc. it is of the utmost importance to have some form of screening in place for your potential employees. Many of your applicants will make false statements on resumes and applications. While putting an exact number or percentage of those applicants is difficult and the statement itself is a very blanket statement, facts are facts.

By no means are we suggesting spending time, money or other valuable resources doing background checks on every candidate. Typically, you should perform these checks on applicants in the final stage of pre-employment prior to offering a position to the particular candidate.

We’ve compiled a short list comprised of items of note, including any specific pros and cons and some helpful tips for checking your candidates work history and professional references.

How to Begin:
Call the organization listed by the candidate on the resume. If no specific contact is listed by name you should request human resources.
Introduce yourself and the purpose of the call and make sure to note the individuals’name and title.
Provide your candidates’ name and the job for which the candidate has applied.

What to Verify:

Dates of Employment:
Are the dates provided by your candidate the accurate start and end dates? Have they listed an end date that is in fact months after their actual end date in an attempt to hide gaps in employment? Did this candidate actually work for this company? Again, questions that can be verified with a simple phone call.

Position & Salary:
One of the more overlooked parts of the background check is verifying a candidates’ previous position and salary. Unfortunately, not ALL candidates are totally honest on their resumes. We’ll pause for a moment to let you recover from shock and catch your breath. Ok, moving on. Make sure your candidate has not over-stated a previous role to make themselves more attractive on paper. By simply replacing the word Assistant with Director an entry-level position can quickly begin to look like middle to upper management.

Re-Hire or No?:
A key question to ask is if your candidate is available for re-hire by this organization. Typically the answer will lead to valuable information to help you with any questions you may have prior to offering the candidate a position with your company. A Yes is typically followed by what a great job the person did or how greatly they impacted the company. Conversely, a NO is more often than not followed by the reason for termination or information regarding a candidate leaving a position with no notification or other similar situation.