Tag Archives: Employment Verification

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Publishes New E-Verify User Manuals

By Thomas Ahearn, ESR News Blog

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has released several newly revised E-Verify publications – including the popular E-Verify User Manual for Federal Contractors (M-574) and E-Verify User Manual for Employers (M-775) – that offer instructions for using E-Verify, an Internet-based system that assists employers with electronic employment eligibility verification of new hires and existing employees.  

Overseen by USCIS and the Social Security Administration (SSA), E-Verify is an online verification system that is used along with the Employment Elgibility Verification Form, or Form I-9, to allow employers to check if an employee is legally eligible to work in the United States. The new E-Verify manuals – while providing instructions on how to enroll in the E-Verify system, verify a work force, and steps to take after receiving a USCIS non-confirmation notification regarding an employee’s employment eligibility – also reflect recent changes to the E-Verify website and offer additional clarification:

  • Updates in the ‘M-775 E-Verify User Manual for Employers’ (September 2010) include guidance on determining an employee’s “Hire Date” for E-Verify – which determines the timing requirements for when employers are expected to complete Section 2 of the Form I-9 and E-Verify – and new Error Checking capabilities such as the unexpired document requirement.
  • Updates in the ‘M-574 E-Verify User Manual for Federal Contractors’ (September 2010) include guidance on the new E-Verify interface, FAQs, and instructions for federal contractors required to register for E-Verify due to the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) E-Verify clause in their contract.

To download the M-775 or the M-574 documents, visit the ‘E-Verify Publications: Manuals and Guides’ page on the USCIS website at http://www.uscis.gov/.

USCIS has also released a new ‘M-776 E-Verify User Manual for E-Verify Employer Agents’ since employers may choose to have a Designated E-Verify Employer Agent assist them in maintaining compliance in the E-Verify electronic employment eligibility process.

Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – a Designated E-Verify Employer Agent – can help employers virtually eliminate I-9 form errors, improve the accuracy of their reporting, protect jobs for authorized workers, and help maintain a legal workforce. For more information about the E-Verify Electronic Employment Eligibility Verification system, visit http://www.esrcheck.com/formi9.php.

For more information about background screening, visit Employment Screening Resources (ESR) at http://www.ESRcheck.com.

Source:
http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.eb1d4c2a3e5b9ac89243c6a7543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=e2410f4752f0a210VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD&vgnextchannel=e2410f4752f0a210VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD

Using Online Referencing Tools and Background Checks to Optimize Employee Selection – Part 2

Read Part 1

Part 2

By Lester Rosen, ESR President

At the end of Part 1 of this blog, the question arose from some hiring managers as to whether automated reference services like Checkster could replace the type of employment verifications performed by background firms.

The short answer is no. Although services from Checkster and similar firms can be extremely valuable, they are done earlier in the time line of the hiring process. Background checks are done near the end of the time line. Traditional background checks and Checkster type services can compliment each other, but they serve different purposes. They are different tools for different functions.

First, Checkster type services occur in the talent sourcing and selection stages. Background checks, by comparison, occur only AFTER a tentative decision has been reached. In other words, Checkster type services are used to decide who to focus on out of a pool of candidates, while a background check seeks to assist an employer in exercising due diligence by examining if there is any reason NOT to hire someone that an employer has potentially targeted for employment.

Although a Checkster type service will obviously also help to eliminate some candidates from consideration in the early stages based upon the results of the third-party reference and assessment provided to employers, there is a fundamental difference between an email-based reference service and the role of a background firm.

The whole idea behind due diligence as a legal defense is independent factual verification.

For example, background firms do not take the applicant’s word for whether the past employer even existed. A background firm will typically independently verify that the past employer existed as well as verify that the phone number is real, independent of what the applicant contends. Even if past references are contacted for evaluation purposes by email, the task of verifying the truthfulness and accuracy of the employment history still requires a screening firm to independently obtain information from past employers.

Another advantage to an employer utilizing traditional background checking techniques is that the employer has a powerful argument in front of a jury in the event of a lawsuit for negligent hiring that they excised due diligence. The background firm’s efforts to manually verify the existence of a past employer, and then to verify that the applicant in fact worked there, is one of the most important and powerful due diligence tools in the employment process. By knowing where a person had been, an employer is able to eliminate any unexplained gaps in employment, and to also know where to search for potential criminal records. It is a well-known fact among due diligence professionals that verifying where a person has worked is just as important, and in some cases more important, than checking for criminal records. A criminal record can occasionally slip through the cracks, but an unexplained gap in employment creates a red flag that may prompt an employer to do further research.

If an employer is sued for negligent hiring, it is also questionable whether an employer can demonstrate due diligence if they let job seekers pick and choose which references were contacted. There is also the possibility of a fake or set-up reference, or an applicant creating a fake identity, and having the bogus ones “verified.” Checkster certainly takes step to minimize the possibility of fraud. However, in the final analysis, there is no substitute for the hard work of manual checks. By manually verifying the existence of past employers, and verifying dates of employment in order to reveal gaps in employment, an employer is taking the final due diligence steps needed before making a hiring decision final.

Employment verifications by a background firm are typically conducted in a call center environment in high volume by callers who are used to verifying factual information about an applicant’s employment history. Given the highly sophisticated software and databases as well as expertise that screening firms bring to the process of manual verification, a substantial number of such checks are completed within three working days.

The bottom-line is risk management. Although these email assessment tools are an excellent means of providing an in-depth assessment about a candidate during the decision-making stage, the traditional background check complement them for the final candidates and provides the demonstrable due diligence that can be used as a legal defense if there is a negligent hire lawsuit.

Conclusion: In the never ending efforts by employers to identify candidates that are a good fit and qualified, a new internet tool has been developed to allow employers to utilize email to accelerate the process of obtaining references and assessments from past supervisors and others that know the applicant. Questions have arisen as to how such a tool is related to the background screening process that employers utilize in order to exercise due diligence. In fact, the two processes, although related in some ways, are entirely separate workflows that occur at different times in the hiring process and for different reasons.

Internet based references can be utilized by an employer to whittle down the field of candidates and to help an employer decide whom to hire. Background checks occur after an employer has made a tentative decision, and needs to determine whether there is any reason NOT to hire an applicant.

When past employment checks are done as part of the background check process, the purpose is to verify that the employer actually exists and to independently verify the core details of employment, such as job title and dates. In other words, there is a large difference between obtaining references, which are a qualitative measure of an applicant’s fit and abilities, and factual verification of an applicant’s employment history, which is a critical due diligence task. Both processes can be useful in the quest to select the best candidates to hire and to avoid bad choices.

For more information about background checks and employment verifications, visit Employment Screening Resources (ESR) at http://www.ESRcheck.com. 

Read Part 1

Source: http://www.recruitingtrends.com/optimizing-employee-selection-by-using-online-referencing-tools-and-background-checks

Using Online Referencing Tools and Background Checks to Optimize Employee Selection – Part 1

Part 1

By Lester Rosen, ESR President

Identifying applicants that are the right fit and have the right knowledge, skill, and abilities to do the job is a perennial challenge for employers. In pre-industrial society, the problem was generally solved by either hiring someone that the employer knew, basing the hiring decision upon a personal recommendation, or using an apprenticeship type program that gave an employer a great deal of insight into who they were hiring.

While these approaches are still in use today, it is no longer possible to match millions of applicants and jobs based upon the employer having a pre-existing relationship with applicants. Additional approaches such as using the internet to find good candidates have developed.  Since every time an employer hires a stranger, it is somewhat of a “leap of faith,” employers need tools to make good decisions. Employers are seeking ways to determine who the person really is and what the person has done in the past, as predictors of how they will perform. Although past is not always prolog, past performance says a great deal about how a person may be expected to perform in the future. Employers also want a means to “look under the hood” at applicants rather than just accepting them at face value.

Every hire represents a significant investment and – simultaneously– a significant risk. A bad hire can result in a legal and financial nightmare. Bad hires cost an employer a great deal in terms of time wasted recruiting, hiring and training, and searching for a replacement, not to mention the job not being done. A bad hiring decision can also lead to litigation for negligent hiring, if the new employee turns out to be unfit, dishonest, or dangerous, and someone is harmed. To add insult to injury, when the bad hire is eventually terminated, employers need to deal with the possibility of a wrongful termination lawsuit even if the firing is entirely justified.

In order to evaluate the various hiring tools, it is essential to understand that the hiring process occurs on a time line. Each step of the continuum carries its own set of legal implications. Matching your hiring tools to the proper stage of the time line is key to sorting out the best applicants AND to helping prevent a bad hire. The available tools of the hiring process can roughly be divided in seven stages as follows:

  • 1. Sourcing stage: This is the process of gathering potential applicants through a variety of means that can include inbound applications from job boards, websites, newspapers, or outbound efforts, such as recruiters seeking passive candidates;
  • 2. Preliminary screening stage: In order to narrow down the applicant pool, there is a preliminary screening primarily based upon the applicants’ self-stated qualifications, conveyed by the resumes or applications or newer tools such as video websites;
  • 3. Assessment stage: This stage can include the interviewing process to further narrow down the field of candidates, as well as numerous other assessment tools, ranging from objective testing to references from past employers or supervisors, or various other testing methods;
  • 4. Decision process stage: Here, the employer has narrowed the pool to one, two, or three finalists and is moving toward a conditional job offer based upon an internal decision-making process;
  • 5. Background checking stage: At this point, either a conditional job offer has been made or is contemplated, and the employer needs to exercise due diligence, typically through a background screening firm, to determine if there is any reason NOT to hire the candidate. The emphasis of a background screening firm at this point is a factual verification of details such as job title and dates;
  • 6. The post offer/pre-hire stage: This is where an employer is able for the first time, if they so choose, to address such areas as pre-employment physicals;
  • 7. The post hire/on boarding stage: This is where an employer, for example, can complete the form I-9 process.

These seven stages illustrate a clear demarcation between efforts pointed at deciding who to hire, and efforts directed at deciding who NOT to hire. This is where evaluation of the pros and cons of the hiring tools comes into play.

Background checks, for instance, are of little assistance in stages 1 through 5. That is because a traditional background check is only performed on finalists, where, by definition, an employer has already made a tentative decision to either hire or place that person in the group of finalists. Background checks are used to decide who NOT to hire.

Are there other tools available besides background checks for sorting through the pool of applicants? Yes. One of the most interesting new tools is for online automated reference checks and assessments.

An example is the offering of Checkster, a company founded by a veteran in the talent management sector. Job candidates select references, such as former supervisions and co-workers, who then get an assessment request emailed to them. It’s self-service. Eliminated are the time spent making phone calls and waiting for and tracking responses. The references simply fill out an email questionnaire. The questionnaire itself is a scientifically designed assessment instrument that gives a fresh look at the applicant and contains a number of state-of-the-art validation tools. The results are communicated back to a recruiter or hiring manager in a graphical and intuitive report. Although there are others competing in the same space, Checkster clearly has thought through and designed the process from both the assessment and talent management point of view.

The end result of using such a tool is that the reference can quickly respond to an email, and time is not wasted on playing phone tag or managing follow-ups. The employer obtains a candid assessment because the person giving the reference is advised that the actual scores are confidential. Through Checkster’s processes, the email evaluations provide a scientific assessment of what is “under the candidate’s hood” – thus increasing the employer’s odds of making a job offer to the best candidate.

However, the question has arisen from some hiring managers: “Can services like Checkster replace the type of employment verifications performed by background firms?”

Read more in Part 2.

For more information about background checks and employment verifications, visit Employment Screening Resources (ESR) at http://www.ESRcheck.com.

Source: http://www.recruitingtrends.com/optimizing-employee-selection-by-using-online-referencing-tools-and-background-checks

New FTC Rules on Employment Verifications Do Not Affect Users of Consumer Reports

By Lester Rosen, President of ESR

Some employers may have read about new rules that went into effect July 1, 2010, that potentially affect the accuracy of employment verifications.  For employers concerned about the new rules, the short answer is that it does not affect how and when an employer receives a background report.  It also does not impact a standard response to a request for a past employment check. At most, it may only affect certain limited employers in their role as a “furnisher of information to third parties as defined by the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

For example, it has been suggested that the new rules could potentially impact an employer that is utilizing a  third party services firm that routinely collects employment data such as payroll data or creates an employment database.

The new rules are at http://www.ftc.gov/os/2009/07/R611017factafrn.pdf. They stem from the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) of 2003, which among other things, provided consumers a means to obtain free yearly credit report from the credit bureaus. The new law also required federal agencies to implement new rules aimed at promoting the accuracy and “integrityof information that furnishers provide to consumer reporting agencies.  A furnisher is a party that provides information.  The main thrust of the new regulations is aimed at organizations such as banks, financial institutions and credit card firms that provide data to the credit bureaus that are used to create consumer credit reports.

Although ESR cannot provide legal advice and it is possible that future clarifications may come out from the Federal Trade Commission or other sources, it certainly appears that the regulations do not affect an employer that simply responds to a standard request for a past employment check, and does not impact employers at all that are users of background reports.

Please contact Employment Screening Resources (ESR) at www.ESRcheck.com if you have any questions.

Source:

http://www.ftc.gov/os/2009/07/R611017factafrn.pdf

County in Washington to Require E-Verify Use for Contractors

By Thomas Ahearn, ESR NEWS Staff Writer

According to a report on TDN.com, (The Daily News Online), officials in Lewis County, Washington have approved a resolution requiring all contractors hired by the county for $100,000 or above to verify the employment eligibility of their workers through the government’s E-Verify Electronic Employment Eligibility Verification system.

E-Verify — a free, Internet-based system used to determine if employees are legally eligible to work in the county — compares the names of workers with their Social Security numbers and verifies information on the Employment Eligibility Verification forms (I-9 forms) employees must fill out against Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Social Security Administration (SSA) databases.

TDN.com reports that Lewis County was already using E-Verify for contractors paid with federal funding, as mandated by a federal ruling, and also that the county auditor recently began using E-Verify to check the citizenship status of new county workers.

However, some critics felt the $100,000 threshold mandating E-Verify usage was too high, saying contractors using illegal workers would still be able to bid up to $99,999 on county projects without having to use the E-Verify Electronic Employment Eligibility Verification system, TDN.com reported.

With over 200,000 employers currently using E-Verify and many believing that E-Verify should be mandatory, E-Verify Designated Agents are helping businesses with in the employment eligibility verification process. Employment Screening Resources (ESR) — a leading national background check provider and authorized E-Verify Designated Agent — can help employers virtually eliminate errors, improve the accuracy of their reporting, protect jobs for authorized workers, and help maintain a legal workforce.

For more information about the E-Verify Electronic Employment Eligibility Verification system, visit http://www.esrcheck.com/formi9.php.

Source:

http://tdn.com/news/state-and-regional/article_5087aea2-7e4f-11df-ba97-001cc4c03286.html

E-Verify Website Redesign Coming June 13

By Thomas Ahearn, ESR News Staff Writer

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)  the government agency that oversees lawful immigration to the United States has announced that “big changes” are coming to E-Verify on June 13 that will enhance the electronic employment eligibility verification systems usability, security, accuracy, and efficiency.

According to ‘E-Verify Redesign web page at www.uscis.gov/e-verify_redesign, the newly redesigned E-Verify will feature a clean and modern design, easy and intuitive navigation, and clear and simple language. Some new features of E-Verify – a free, Internet-based system that verifies information on an I-9 form against government databases to see if the employee is legally eligible to work in the U.S. will include:

  • Home Page: E-Verify’s new look home page welcomes users by name and displays user IDs and last login dates and times to enhance security. The new E-Verify home page also features an E-Verify User Manual link, a new case alerts feature  to alert users when they are required to take action or when there is an update in the status of a case and an improved E-Verify news section.
  • Easy as 1-2-3: Most verifications of an employee’s employment eligibility with the redesigned E-Verify require only three steps. The process of entering the employee’s Form I-9 information has been streamlined to make it easier and reduce typos and other mistakes that often cause tentative nonconfirmations.
  • Case Results: The redesigned E-Verify features can’t-miss results displayed prominently on screen. Only the last four digits of Social Security numbers are displayed on screen for added privacy and security.
  • Close Case: The redesigned E-Verify features easy-to-follow steps to closing a case as the last step in the verification process – with clear instructions to guide users.

With over 200,000 employers currently using E-Verify and many believing that E-Verify should be mandatory, E-Verify Designated Agents are helping in the employment eligibility verification process. Employment Screening Resources (ESR) ,  a national background screening provider and authorized E-Verify Designated Agent – can help employers virtually eliminate errors, improve the accuracy of their reporting, protect jobs for authorized workers, and help maintain a legal workforce.

For more information about the E-Verify electronic employment eligibility verification system, visit http://www.esrcheck.com/formi9.php.

Sources:

www.uscis.gov/e-verify_redesign

http://www.esrcheck.com/wordpress/1739/former-ins-ice-heads-agree-e-verify-should-be-mandatory-for-employers

Former INS, ICE Heads Agree E-Verify Should Be Mandatory for Employers

By Thomas Ahearn, ESR News Staff Writer

Two former heads of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) appearing together on a National Public Radio (NPR) program agreed that the E-Verify electronic employment eligibility verification system should be mandatory for U.S. employers, according to a transcript of the radio show available on NPR’s website

Appearing on NPR’s Talk Of The Nation radio program with host Neal Conan, Doris Meissner, former INS Commissioner under President Clinton, and Julie Myers Wood, former Assistant Secretary of ICE under President Bush, were discussing the topic of immigration enforcement when the subject of E-Verify — a free, Internet-based system operated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Social Security Administration (SSA) that allows employers to check information provided by employees on their I-9 Form electronically against records in DHS and SSA databases — came up.

Responding to a caller saying that employers have been able to identify Social Security numbers of workers for some years, Wood said E-Verify — which was initially called Basic Pilot in Commissioner Meissner’s time — has made substantial progress over the past couple of years and has evolved into a program that over 200,000 employers are using to check whether a name and Social Security number match and also, in the case of foreign nationals, to check the picture that’s used on a particular identification card.

“One of the things that many think would help is to make E-Verify mandatory,” Wood added. “And I think the Obama administration should be commended for pushing forward with a Bush administration rule that requires federal contractors to be on E-Verify, and that is greatly expanding the number of employers that do get on E-Verify.”

When Conan asked former INS commissioner Meissner whether E-Verify should be mandatory, Meissner responded: “A system like E-Verify should be mandatory. Until it is, we won’t have the kind of ability to enforce the law against employers that we need.” Meissner later added: “Congress has to act. It’s got to be legislated to make it mandatory.”

In terms of encouraging employers to join E-Verify, Wood observed that very large companies are mandating for their subcontractors to join E-Verify. “In the case of a very large grocery store, for example, you have tens of thousands of subcontractors that have joined E-Verify just so they don’t lose their big contracts.”

The full transcript of the program is available at: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=127562577

Employment Screening Resources (ESR) — a national background screening provider and authorized E-Verify Designated Agent — can help employers virtually eliminate errors, improve the accuracy of their reporting, protect jobs for authorized workers, and help maintain a legal workforce. For more information about the E-Verify electronic employment eligibility verification system, visit http://www.esrcheck.com/formi9.php.

Source: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=127562577

American Meat Industry CEO Addresses Importance of Employment Verification with E-Verify

By Thomas Ahearn, ESR Staff

Noting that polling shows Americans think immigration laws need reform but Congress has yet to translate national sentiment into action, the leading voice of the American Meat Industry (AMI) – the nation’s oldest and largest meat and poultry trade association – believes the reauthorization and improvement of the online employment verification system E-Verify could be a big step forward for comprehensive immigration reform.

In a guest editorial in the Austin (TX) American-Statesman – “The Importance of Employment Verification” – AMI President and CEO J. Patrick Boyle notes “E-Verify is the only electronic data-based system available to ensure that employers hire only those authorized to work in the United States” and that “like a merchant can swipe a credit card when a purchase is made – and that purchase is either authorized or not – E-Verify allows employers to verify the social security numbers of new employees after they are hired.”

Among the key points that Boyle makes in the commentary concerning the importance of employment verification and E-Verify – an Internet-based system run by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) using government databases – are:

  • E-Verify can be the cornerstone of border control since the system helps prevent undocumented workers from obtaining U.S. jobs, thus lowering the enticement for those workers to sneak into the county or overstay their expired visas.
  • E-Verify can curb possible discrimination against workers by putting the onus on the federal government to either grant or withhold permission for new employees to work after employers send data to E-Verify for employment verification.
  • E-Verify can prevent the “Catch-22” situation U.S. employers face daily under current law – they can be fined if they hire an undocumented worker but also can be subjected to civil rights charges if they investigate an employee too much without cause – by taking the guesswork out of the hiring and offering employers a “safe harbor” from such prosecutions when E-Verify becomes mandatory.
  • E-Verify can help the tens of millions of unemployed Americans and legal residents by ensuring their jobs are not taken by undocumented workers or that certain employers don’t undercut their wages by hiring undocumented workers.

According to Boyle, the AMI recently asked Congress to mandate E-Verify use after urging industry-wide use for a decade. However, E-Verify needs changes including enhancing its capacity to eliminate border fraud, addressing a growing number of state and local laws, and phasing in any mandatory E-Verify system use over several years to allow smaller companies time to adapt.

Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – a national background screening provider and authorized E-Verify Designated Agent – can help employers virtually eliminate errors, improve the accuracy of their reporting, protect jobs for authorized workers, and help maintain a legal workforce. For more information about the E-Verify employment verification system, visit http://www.esrcheck.com/formi9.php.

Source:

http://www.statesman.com/opinion/boyle-the-importance-of-employment-verification-703919.html

Background Check Bashing -Either Too Much or Too Little Depending upon the Most Recent Headline

By Les Rosen, Employment Screening Resources

The recent headlines dealing with background checks demonstrate that to some extent, Americans are conflicted about the whole topic of background checks.

On one hand, as reported in past blogs by Employment Screening Resources (ESR), discrimination and privacy advocates feel that background checks are too intrusive and unfair. The EEOC has filed a test case alleging that a large national employer used credit report and criminal records to unfairly discriminate against members of protected groups. The state of Oregon and others are considering limitations on credit reports. Scientists from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Southern California have succeeded in taking their complaints all the way to the United States Supreme Court that government mandated security checks revolving around background checks and entry into facilities are overly intrusive and an invasion of privacy. A recent study conducted at a major university suggested that after a relatively short period of time, criminal records are not a predictor of future misconduct.

Conversely, the recent tragic shootings at University of Alabama-Huntsville and Ohio State University have lead to many to question if background checks should be even more in-depth. Those shootings had horrific impacts on the victim’s families and the communities involved and questions have been raised if even more background checks should have been done.

In  the case of the Ohio State University workplace violence, a top notch and highly respected background screening firm performed what appeared to be a standard entry level criminal record search and found what any screening firm would likely have found, which was no record. However, critics note that a 30 year old conviction for receiving stolen property should have been unearthed, even though old records have been destroyed, and there was some confusion about the date of birth that should have been used.

Of course, to find a thirty year old prison record under those circumstances would normally require an employer to retain private investigators at the cost of many hundreds of dollars for each and every potential new hire, as opposed to public record background screenings. And ironically, even if the screening firm had located the 30 year old criminal record for a non-violent offense and was able to establish the record belonged to the shooter, any use of it would have been soundly criticized as unfair and discriminatory. It seems that employers cannot win either way.

As it turns out, in the Ohio State University case a past employment verifications may have raised the red flags that would have alerted the employer to take a closer look at the hiring decision. It underscores that employers need to use a number of overlapping tools to evaluate a potential hire, and that no one tool, such as a criminal background check, can be used to make hiring decisions. In addition, background checks are just one component of an overall workplace violence prevention strategy.

The bottom-line is that background screening occurs at the intersection of competing and compelling societal interests. On one hand, no one wants to see workplace violence, or to have unqualified people get jobs with fake credentials. Safety, security and honesty are core values. On the other hand, society is also rightly concerned with fairness and privacy and as well as efforts to combat discrimination. The issue is reaching the right balance.

It is interesting that nearly every time there is an objection because there is too much screening, there is often a call for even more screening after it is revealed that some crime or offenses occurred or where an inappropriate applicant was hired without a sufficient background check. With all due respects to the JPL scientists, one would assume their position may be different if it ever turned out that a failure to perform background checks resulted in a terrorist hurting the U.S., someone with fake credentials getting hired and obtaining access, or workplace violence occurring that could have been prevented.

For more information about background checks, visit Employment Screening Resources (ESR) at http://www.ESRcheck.com.

Increased need for employer due diligence

By Les Rosen, Employment Screening Resources

2010 Trends in Screening Trend Nine: Increased need for employer due diligence

Another impact of the recession is the likelihood of applicant fraud.  Fraudulent educational claims, or worthless diplomas from degree mills, are already familiar problem for employers, recruiters and HR professionals.  However, resume fraud took on an added urgency in 2009 with the advent of services that would actually create fake employment references from fake companies.  The service apparently even included a phone number that an employer could call in order to reach a service that in fact would verify the fake employment.  Although statistic are not yet available, anecdotally it appears that some job applicants have been willing to resort to these extreme and dishonest measures to gain an advantage in the job market. 

In the long run, worthless diplomas bought over the internet or scams to create manufactured past employment will probably be unsuccessful for the most part, provided that employers exercise some due diligence.  For fake education, a competent background firm will typically verify first if a school is legitimate.  If the school does not appear on accepted lists of accredited institution, then a screening firm can review lists of known diploma mills and scams.  Screening firms will also verify if the accreditation agency is for real, since fake schools have resorted to creating fake accreditation agencies.

In addition, pulling of a fake job reference is getting much more difficult.  A good background firm will not simply call the name and number provided by the applicant.  Professional screeners will typically independently establish if the past employer even existed, and locate a phone number independently of whatever number an applicant puts on their resume.  Employment Screening Resources, for example, goes through an extensive procedure to verify that each past employer is legitimate and does not accept the applicant provided phone number.

The bottom-line for employers in 2010 is taking extra caution to ensure you are hiring bona fide employees.

(Employment Screening Resources (ESR), a leading national online employment screening background firm, is releasing the ESR Third Annual Top Ten Trends in the Pre-Employment Background Screening Industry  for 2010. This is the Ninth of the ten trends ESR will be tracking in 2010.)