While most employers agree knowing the work history of the employees they hire is an essential part of their decision making process, conducting past employment verification and reference checking can often be a very frustrating task since many employers, on advice of legal counsel, have a “no comment” policy that allows only verification of the most basic information such as job titles and the start and end dates and job titles of former employees, according to a ‘Special Report: Obtaining Employment References©.’

These limited employment reference checks can leave everyone involved in a frustrating situation. On one hand, future employers need the past employment information. On the other hand, former employers are concerned there can be legal complications if give such information. While good prospects are unable to get recommendations they deserve, job applicants with a negative history can go to a new employer with their past unknown.

Despite these problems, human resources professionals are unanimous in that every effort must still be made at reference checking. In the ‘Special Report: Obtaining Employment References©,’ Attorney Lester Rosen, CEO of background check company Employment Screening Resources (ESR), discusses why past employment verification and reference checking should be conducted even if no information is given, when it makes sense to outsource the process, and how background check firms like ESR engage in screening.

While past employment verification and reference checking are critical, Rosen says that first it should be clear to employers that ‘verification’ and ‘reference checking’ are two different terms. “Verification usually refers to verifying factual matters such as start date, stop date, and job title,” says Rosen, the author of ‘The Safe Hiring Manual,’ the first comprehensive guide to background checks. “Reference Checking means questions about qualitative matters such as job performance, strong and weak points, and similar matters.”

In the special report, Rosen touches on the following subjects:

  • Advantages and difficulties of reference checking.
  • Why are Verification and Reference Checking so Important?
  • Policy and legal considerations in giving and obtaining reference checks.
  • Various options for giving references.
  • Various options for obtaining references.
  • Why it is important to try to obtain references, even if a former employer will only give basic information?
  • When does it make sense to outsource employment reference checking?
  • How do background check companies such as ESR obtain employment references?
  • In person interviews for highly sensitive positions.

A frequent speaker on safe hiring issues, Rosen will present an educational session at the 2011 Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Annual Conference and Exposition titled ‘Legal and Effective Reference Checking and Education Verification.’ The session will take place on Wednesday, June 29, 2011 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The 2011 SHRM Annual Conference and Exposition will be held from June 26 to 29, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. For more information, visit http://annual.shrm.org/.

To read ‘Special Report: Obtaining Employment References©’ by Lester Rosen, visit: http://www.esrcheck.com/articles/Special-Report-Obtaining-Employment-References.php.

About Employment Screening Resources (ESR): Founded in 1997 in the San Francisco area with a mission to help employers and employees maintain safe workplaces, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) is accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) and provides industry leading technology, legal compliance, service, turnaround, and accuracy. ESR also wrote the book on background checks with ‘The Safe Hiring Manual’ by founder and President Lester Rosen. For more information about ESR, visit http://www.ESRcheck.com.