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What Questions Does a Background Check Company Ask Previous Employers?

Background check companies perform comprehensive detailed inquiries regarding the applicant's employment history. Employment history verifications are conducted by contacting previous employers to verify an applicant's job title, tenure, and salary claims. The background check company asks about the applicant's reason for leaving and eligibility for rehire. They also ask if there are problem areas a prospective employer should be made aware of.

Prior work history is a good predictor of future performance. An employment history check confirms whether the applicant has the work history and experience needed to succeed in the job. It also provides the opportunity for an employer to share its views of the applicant as an employee.

Former employers will generally not share information about the candidate's job performance. But if employers contact staff of former employers through informal channels, this type of information might be divulged off the record.

Employment history verifications are usually conducted through a company's human resources or payroll department. Sometimes office managers, owners, or former supervisors are contacted. A typical employment background check verifies employment for the last seven years. The period of time is based on how long the applicant worked for a company and the company's employment records.

There are no guarantees that a previous employer will respond to a request to verify prior employment or will respond in a timely manner. Employers who are willing to respond may not answer every question. Many organizations have policies on what may be disclosed, and some have policies to disclose nothing. Also, employer contact information provided by the applicant may be fraudulent, so background check companies frequently looks for information from sources independent of the applicant's information, so they are assured of receiving information from the actual employer.

Most employment verifications are completed by background check companies within one to three business days, although they may take longer, since some employers are difficult to locate and respond very slowly. Background check companies frequently make at least three attempts to contact the employer via phone calls, emails, and faxes.

Look online for background check companies that provide thorough inquiries of the applicant's employment history that verifies dates of employment, position, salary, job duties, work habits and eligibility for rehire. With as many as 36 percent of job applicants falsifying some part of this information, this search is a must. The best companies offer a variety of background checks, with all containing employment verification reports.

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