Hiring Horror Story Part III: Bad Employment Check

[Phone rings]

Ann: “I GOT A ROCK.”

Customer [takes a beat]: “Is that from the Peanuts Halloween Special?”

Ann: “Yup. Poor old Charlie Brown.”

Customer: “Yeah, of course, Linus was in the pumpkin patch all night waiting for the Great Pumpkin.”

Ann [turns on the fairy lights on her battery-powered Halloween sweater]: “You got time for a scary story?”

Customer: “Why else would be I be calling you at 8:00am?”

Ann [checks her calendar]: “Just call me ‘Hitchcock.’”


Employment verifications. Scary or no?

The general perception is that all you’re going to get is dates of employment and position held.

But about half the time we get more than “dates and position.” Sometimes an employer raves about a previous employee—he got a better than be a delivery driver here, I wish him the best. He was great. Or. . ..

Tale from the Employment Verification Crypt 1

I called an employer a couple months back, it was a convenience store. I figure I would ask the manager to give me a number for the corporate office and be on my way.

I explained to the manager I was doing an employment verification on Susie Smith. “Man,” the manager said. “We’re glad she’s gone. She was embezzling, taking money out of the till. We got it on camera.”

“Wow,” I said. “Are you pressing charges?” “Nah, too much money and time. We’re just glad she’s gone.”


Tale from the Employment Verification Crypt 2

This is just the day-to-day mundane info you need to know about employment verifications and why they are worth doing:

      1. Dates of employment are often exaggerated
      2. Titles/Positions are often exaggerated
      3. Reason for leaving—NOBODY admits they were fired or that they abandoned their job. But it happens. A lot. And we ask. EVERY TIME.


If you’re going to stay up all night, watch the Peanuts’ Halloween Special. Watch Hitchcock. Read Stephen King. But don’t keep yourself up wondering if your pre-employment background checks are adequate. NOT performing adequate employment verifications can be terrifying. Let your background screener handle it for you, if you’re not up to the task. Check back here for more Tales from the Background Check Crypt.