Employee Verification Best Practices

9 minutes read

Your employees count on you to fulfill their creditors’ employment and income verification requests, which allow them to secure mortgages, car loans, credit cards and all the things they work hard to obtain.

However, performing employee verification services puts a heavy burden on your already-busy human resources department. Beyond time consuming, sharing sensitive employee information creates headaches for employers.

If HR shares the wrong information or provides it to an unauthorized party, it may come back to haunt you. That’s why it’s important to develop meticulous employee verification procedures and ensure they’re followed. It’s a delicate balance for employers.

To that end, we’ve compiled a list of employee verification best practices to help handle this common but delicate task accurately and efficiently—as well as highlighting an alternative option.

Make Sure Your Employee Verification Work Process Works for You

There are a number of factors to consider when developing a sound employee verification work process. For example, do you have good answers to all of these questions:

  • Where do your HR employees pull the information used to verify employment? Is your source accurate, dependable and up-to-date?
  • Do you respond to telephoned verification requests, or must verifiers submit their request in writing? How do you verify that these requests are legitimate?
  • Do you require a signed consent form from employees before releasing their information?
  • Do you have clear standards regarding what information you will and won’t release?

In addition, are all your HR staff members well-trained on your employee verification policies and procedures?

Know Who’s Requesting Employee Verification and Why

Not all employee verification requests are created equal. Generally, requests from federal and state government agencies must be complied with, while most other requests do not, according to the Society for Human Resource Management.

While employers aren’t required to respond to queries from lenders and mortgage companies, it’s certainly in their employees’ interest that they do so. On the other hand, employers might want to consult an attorney before responding to employee verification requests from entities such as collection agencies. That’s why it’s important to know who your verifiers are!

Set Turnaround Standards for Employee Verification Responses

When your employees are ready to purchase a house or car, for them, time is of the essence. It’s important that your HR team can respond quickly and confidentially…although your staff is undoubtedly juggling a hundred and one other matters, too.

Having a work process in place helps ensure employee verifications are answered swiftly and efficiently.

Another Option: Automated Employee Verification Services

Because employee verification can be a tricky, time-consuming business, many employers are now turning to automated employee verification services as a solution. Depending on the vendor you choose, outsourcing employee verification offers many benefits, including:

  • Reduces employer liability, since the employer is no longer handling requests directly.
  • Ensures greater security and uniformity when handling employee information.
  • Provides accelerated service as well as greater privacy to employees.
  • Lightens your HR staff’s workload by taking these tasks and transactions off their plate.

In short, an automated employee verification service can streamline the transfer of information between verifiers and employers, while limiting employer involvement, so Human Resources to focus on more important issues and activities.

How Automated Employee Verification Services Work

How do these automated services work? In some cases, the employer’s payroll data is uploaded to the employee verification service every payroll cycle, so the data is accessible to the service 24/7.

That way, when properly credentialed verifiers request employment and income information, the service can respond immediately, without contacting the employer. This is particularly convenient on evenings and weekends, when many corporate offices are closed but employees are engaged in personal business.  

A preferred employee verification service will use state-of-the-art technology that includes cutting-edge back-up systems and complete independent data security certifications.

Finally, it will operate in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), ensuring verifiers provide a permissible purpose to request information, that employees have access to their verification request history and that they also have a method of recourse in the event of a dispute.

In summary, following employee verification best practices will allow your company to meet this obligation to your workforce properly and efficiently, while limiting your firm’s risk. That being said, many companies find it advantageous to offload employee verification activities to third party vendor who specializes in background screenings and verifications.

Whether you elect to keep it in-house or outsource it, employee verification services is a routine-but-risky task that deserves to be handled with care. 

EPAY’s unified HCM solution includes employee verification services powered by The Work Number, an automated employment and income verification system that will reduce your workload and liability, while following the highest employee verification best practices. Learn more about our employee verification service here.

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