Thursday, June 05, 2008

Conducting pre-employment background checks

In this day and age of rampant resume fraud, savvy employers must carefully verify the background and credentials of all job applicants. Resume fraud is not a criminal offense, and resume fraud has become an epidemic, with professionals posting fake degrees, false experience.
In the computer industry, trust is the single most important issue, as it can be a disaster to give someone with honesty issues access to confidential corporate data.

See my notes on “Are you Trustworthy”, and how to get a security clearance.

However, this Businessweek article notes that background checks are not perfect, and that the hiring manager needs to re-verify any negative results.

The article also notes the top firms that conduct background checks.

- ChoicePoint – Georgia
- USIS – Virginia
- First Advantage – California
- Kroll Background Screening – Tennessee

“For $60 to $80 per applicant, ChoicePoint and its rivals assemble digital dossiers of educational degrees and credit histories as well as interviews with friends, past bosses, and colleagues.

Call-center workers wearing headsets inquire about work habits, personal character, and drug or alcohol problems. Just by dint of their heft and permanence, the proprietary data caches they compile can seem authoritative, even though the information sometimes contains errors, innuendos, or outright falsehoods.”

One of the best screening techniques is old-fashioned employment verification, and every prospective employer is allowed to as “Would you re-hire this person”. The answer to that question can be very revealing . . . .