When it comes to a solid background screen you need more than just an applicant’s criminal history. The Screening News Network sat down with Craig Caddell of ClearStar, Inc. to talk about why Employment Verifications and Education Verifications are important pieces of the puzzle.
Quick -- what’s the most important background check to conduct when you are hiring someone new? Criminal record checks and drug tests probably popped into your head first, but you might not have thought of employment verifications. Checking to see if your applicant actually worked where they say they did might not sound quite as interesting as making sure they are not a felon, a registered sex offender or a drug abuser… but it could tell you much more.
Craig Caddell of ClearStar & NAPBS Board Member says, “you are going to check somebody’s ID to make sure that they are who they say they are, well then you need to check their resume- you need to make sure they’ve done what they say they’ve done.”
Employment verifications can confirm things like title, salary, start and end dates, job duties, why they left and if they would be eligible for rehire. These details can tell you a lot. Was your candidate honest about their salary, or did they pad it hoping for a better offer? Did they stretch their dates of employment to cover-up gaps in their resume? Jazz up their title to sound a little more important?
According to a CareerBuilder survey, 56% of hiring managers have caught their candidates lying. Some of the fibs were just stretching the truth, but a quarter of the managers say they have discovered people claiming to be employed by a company they never worked for. It’s not always easy to get to the truth.
Craig Caddell: Employers are always concerned about I’ve got to get this person in this seat and I can’t wait 3,4,5 days and employment and education are always the sticky points, they are always the thing that takes the longest. Only 20 percent of employment verifications are available through a database. So 80% of all the employers in the United States have to be reached manually. It just takes time. You can imagine the phone back and forth, you leave a message they leave a message, you fax, send emails, you do everything you can to get it as quickly as possible.
But Caddell says the effort is worth it… even more so when you start talking about other kinds of verifications like licenses.
Caddell: Particularly when it comes to professional licenses, of course, checking an RN to make sure that she is really a registered nurse and that it is valid and that she hasn’t lost her license or anything like that.
Verifying an applicant’s education claims is also incredibly important. Up until recently, verifying education has been relatively easy, but it is getting complicated as more and more educational options become available. Students are moving around a lot more… and many rely on technical certificates instead of full degrees. How do you give applicants credit for learning that doesn’t necessarily come with a diploma? The National Student Clearinghouse is tackling these issues. The National Student Clearinghouse is working on ways to handle the changing workforce- we’ll keep you up to date on their efforts.
Home-schoolers also pose several challenges for screening companies.
Caddell: We are just dipping our toe in the water in this area right now- it’s a big unknown.
With growing complaints about common core and families trying to avoid vaccinations, home-schooling is only expected to rise. It’s an area that screeners and employers will be looking at closely, because it is an important piece of the verification puzzle.
Education verifications do not add a huge cost to your background screening program, but hiring the wrong person can definitely damage your bottom line.