Does Your Company Have Employment and Salary Verifications Under Control?
Companies have differing policies regarding the amount of information they will disclose when responding to requests for verification/information about their present and former employees. Some only give out objective information such as the employee's position and the dates of employment; while others allow the release of more subjective information, including comments about the employee's behavior, professionalism or their eligibility for rehire.
With the increase in the use of background screening as well as the heightened scrutiny of loans and mortgages, obtaining employment and salary verifications has become more crucial than ever before. This increased demand for information, which is constant and always urgent, does take its toll on the company's Human Resources Department, which is already saddled with too many tasks.
Some Employment Verification Issues Facing Companies
- Time Consuming - Verifying employment and salary history for employees applying for other positions, loans, mortgages, or other transactions is a request that employers are always receiving. Managing daily requests from employees, past employees, lenders, government agencies, etc. is time consuming and burdens your Human Resources or Payroll Departments.
- Taking Occasional Shortcuts - Due to overload, things can fall through the cracks. HR or Payroll Departments receive numerous verification requests each day, and in an effort to get it all done, shortcuts may be taken that don't follow proper procedures. Impatient employees may also start looking for alternate ways to get their employment and salary verified in their rush to get their information to their lenders. Shortcuts may get the task done; however, it also leaves your company at risk of potential liability.
- Lack of Policy/Guidelines on What Information Can Be Released - Some companies have guidelines, some don't. How much sensitive information can you give out? While most companies have written policies to address requests for such verifications, it can be a challenge to ensure those providing verifications stay within the guidelines set forth by the company's policy.
Best Practices for Employment and Salary Verifications
Today's economy compels companies to work with a leaner workforce. With everyone having more responsibilities on their plate, work days often resemble juggling acts. Don't drop the ball on protecting your employees' information and your company's reputation.
Development of Policies/Guidelines
Take the time to reiterate to your workforce the company's policy on providing sensitive employee information. If you do not currently have a policy, now is a great time to develop one. As you review or create your policy, keep these tips in mind; and remember to consult with legal counsel on how best to protect your company when you provide employment and salary information to verifiers.
- It should list the items that you will allow to be verified: dates of employment, separation date, job title, etc.
- It should clearly illustrate the circumstances under which the information will be provided: whether you will only provide information if you obtained a signed release from the employee, or if you will allow verbal verifications.
- It should clearly outline which staff members are allowed to provide such information. Should verifications only come from the HR or Payroll Departments or would you allow direct supervisors to provide information.
No matter which road you take in terms of your verifications policy, it may also be beneficial to evaluate the use of third-party employment and salary verification services. While they are all created differently, there are services available that can effectively manage the way you fulfill your verification obligations in a manner that is in line with your policy and guidelines. If you are a PreCheck background screening client, you can benefit from our EmployCheck employment verification outsourcing service, a cost-effective solution available at no cost to your organization or employees.
Photo credit: Victor1558