Employment reference checking best practice and compliance guide

This how-to guide will help employers comply with background reference check rules in their hiring process.

Employment Reference Check cover image

It is critical to take a structured approach to checking references in order to yield useful information, increase good hires and enhance the legal defensibility of the process. This guide will help you plan and deal with the challenges in the process such as privacy, prohibited topics, misconceptions and more.


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Bullet point image Available in print + PDF
Bullet point image Updated November 2014*

Inside the guide

  • Types of reference screening practices
  • Why one practice should be selected over the others
  • Why using a third party could put you at greater risk for liability, if personal data is compromised
  • Which candidates are appropriate targets for background checks
  • What you must tell your candidates before and after the search
  • Types of information you can legally request from applicants and current employees
  • Best practices for conducting employment verifications, educational verifications, credit checks, criminal record checks and motor vehicle record checks
  • How to use social networking websites when conducting background screenings and how to use caution when doing so
  • The types of blanket policy statements concerning workers’ credit-worthiness to avoid

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Print ISSN: 1925-6248  Online ISSN: 1925-6256

*This guide is currently up to date. If a new edition or update of this guide is published within 60 days of your purchase, the PDF version of the up-to-date guide will automatically be emailed to you. Print copies are available at an additional charge.

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