The key to effective personal reference checks is using trained investigators.
According to “Reference Checking in Federal Hiring: MAKING THE CALL” a report to the President and the Congress of the United States:
Although reference providers are generally willing to disclose factual information about an applicant’s employment history, they may need to be persuaded through skillful questioning to discuss sensitive topics or make evaluative judgments.
Many reference providers have misconceptions about potential liability associated with providing information about former employees. However, providing reference information need not be avoided—it can be done within the bounds of legality.
A verification of the applicant’s personal references conducted by Background Check Professionals includes:
- Verification of references on the applicants resume or employment application
- Comprehensive survey conducted by skilled operators covering topics including Psychological Problems, Family, Domestic Relations, Trustworthiness, Reliability, Use of Illegal Substances and Abuse of Alcohol.
Increasingly management, including supervisors, is being held liable for the acts of their employees. These negligent hire/retention cases are on the increase. Employers need Background Check Professionals to protect themselves. Consider these examples:
- In April of 2005 a Cape Cod, MA trash hauler was charged with murder in the 2002 stabbing death of a fashion writer. Although the employee had a lengthy criminal history in Florida, no background check or reference check was performed. The employer was sued for a claim of negligent hiring
- In another situation, the chairman of Smith & Wesson, the nation’s second largest gun manufacturer, resigned after it was discovered he had been imprisoned for armed robbery and an attempted prison escape.
- Under the negligent hire theory, an employer can be liable for acts that occur outside the scope of an individual’s employment.
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