Verify identity, work history before hiring

posted in: HR Advice | 1

You place a help wanted ad to find the perfect candidate, and your dreams come true: A resume comes in that’s filled with accolades, experience and top-notch skills.

Is it too good to be true? It could be, experts warn, which is why employers should take steps to verify a candidate’s identity and experience.

First, verify the employee’s right to work and identity. Federal law requires all employers to only hire workers who are eligible to work in the United States. These include U.S. citizens, noncitizen nationals, lawful permanent residents and aliens who are authorized to work, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Employees have three days from their start date to provide the information or a receipt for the documentation if they do not currently possess the document. If they do not, the employer has the right to fire them. The form does
not need to be filled out for independent contractors or those who are employed by a contractor that is providing labor to the employer.

Employers must verify the identity and employment authorization of each person they hire to perform labor or services in return for wages or other remuneration and fill out the required I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification form ( This applies only to individuals who were hired after Nov. 6, 1986.

Verification can come in the form of a U.S. passport or passport card, a driver’s license, a Social Security card, a permanent resident or alien registration receipt card, or a foreign passport that contains a temporary I-51 stamp. The prospective employee must show his or her employer the document or documents that prove both identity
and employment authorization. A full list of accepted forms and combinations is available on the Citizenship and Immigration Services website.

Employers also will want to verify the employee is everything he or she claims to be, according to, a company that provides background screening to businesses, nonprofits and
volunteer organizations.

This might include a background search of criminal records, as well as verification of past employment to ensure the individual did the work they claimed to have done. Business owners should check with former employers to verify previous work experience.

A business owner also may want to confirm a candidate’s education and degrees, the date of graduation and the courses of study. If a candidate lists professional licenses, verify the credentials received along with the date of issuance and expiration. This will show whether the individual has received sanctions or if his or her license is still valid.

Employees who will drive should have a driver’s license and motor vehicle search completed. An employer will want to make sure any employee who will drive a company vehicle has a valid driver’s license and may want to see a driver’s history of moving violations and learn whether or not he or she has any driving restrictions. ♦

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