Tuesday, June 24, 2014

How Employers Evaluate Job Applicants: 3. The Verification Process

Many job applicants are taken aback when they are suddenly introduced to an employer’s verification procedure, which for most companies is a requirement for all employees. What used to be handled by way of “word of mouth”, in many cases is now a multistage process that must be completed satisfactorily before a job applicant can be hired.

Sources of information that verify basic employee requirements as well as the accuracy of the information presented by the applicant are all verified. This can include drug tests and skill based tests that are required, disclosures about citizenship and residency, non-compete issues that could exist from past employment, etc.

© 2014 Don Arday.

Biographical Verification

Most applicants are unaware that prospective employers investigate the biographical information they supply or that is available through record keeping agencies. This usually includes an identity check, former employment history, as well as a history of an applicant’s residency.

Criminal Background Check

In the past, a criminal background check was an expensive proposition for an employer, but now CBC companies offer the service for a nominal fee. Background check services are plentiful and  are offered online through a subscription fee for investigating employers.

Drug Testing

No longer conducted for safety reasons, drug testing has now become a prerequisite to a final sign off on a job offer by an employer. These drug tests usually require an applicant to report to an outside third party service for a blood test and a urinalysis.

Vaccination Verification

In this age of COVID-19 many employers require proof of vaccination as a prerequisite to a final sign off on a job offer by the employer. Vaccination for many employers, especially government institutions, is now a mandatory condition for employment.


Degree Certification

Educational degrees are a form of certification and most jobs require some form of educational certification even if it is only a high school diploma. Higher wage employers usually require some form of bachelor degree, BA, BS, BFA, etc., or even a masters or PhD degree. The degree status of an applicant will be verified to determine employability.

Special Certification

Some jobs require an applicant to have additional certification(s), i.e., non-degree related certification. For example, an art education job that calls for a MST (Master of Science for Teaching) degree, may also require applicants to have state certification, and other certifications such as certification to teach English.

Health Testing

Physical Testing

Health testing is a very special category of testing required by some employers. Controversial, but sometimes necessary, heath testing verifies an applicant's ability to perform a physically difficult task or work in an extreme environment. For instance, a deep sea salvages diving job or the job of an astronaut. A true example of a physical ineligibility was when an applicant was being considered for the job of a commercial color-proofing specialist and was tested to have deuteranomaly or green colorblindness.

Health/Life Insurance Testing

Many employer's insurance companies require a new employee to declare any preexisting health conditions, and/or have a physical examination to establish his or her state of health for the purpose of determining the terms and conditions of insurability.

Talent Assessment Testing

Many employers looking to fill a job that requires a very specific skill set will test an applicant's requisite knowledge in a specialized area. These tests sometimes take the form of a written examination, or in the case of illustrators and designers they may involve the completion of a mock assignment.

Personality Testing

Behavioral Trait Testing

Employers use tests to determine the personality of prospective employees and to predict behavioral tendencies. These tests attempt to indicate an applicant’s dependability, integrity, receptiveness, safety, etc.

Interpersonal Trait Testing

Interpersonal testing is used to indicate how an applicant will interact and work with others; how he or she is likely to communicate with individuals and within a group situation, both with fellow employees and customers.

Language Proficiency Testing

In the US, knowledge of the English language is tested pertaining to verbal and written communication. Proficiency with grammar, spelling, and vocabulary are tested as well.

Testing Oversight

The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

The EEOC provides governance over all employment hiring practices in the US. With regard to pre-employment testing, the EEOC has no objection to an employer using testing to determine qualified job applicants as long as the testing does not violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Briefly stated, the Act prohibits testing or any other applicant screening process that is performed for the purpose of intentional discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

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