Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

Background Company Called my Current Firm to verify Employment, Grr!

While I appreciate them taking the time to check me out, why lawyer206/14/17
That most likely means you're getting the job offer, so it w fettywap06/14/17
That's always been my biggest fear. Could it have even been mrtor06/14/17
Most often they say "checking employment status," that is it vohod06/14/17
This. Same thing happened when I applied for a new apartment interveningrights06/14/17
Among my many other duties in-house, I oversee HR and theref onehell06/15/17
What are you saying, that employers will go searching for th superttthero06/15/17
I've been in-house in several companies now and they all hav inho2solo06/15/17
You're right that a lot of 'em outsource provision of verifi onehell06/16/17
Did you provide them with the information? triplesix06/14/17
Well it turned out to be part of a mandatory background chec lawyer206/15/17
It seems really inefficient to do the background checks at t flharfh06/15/17
That's ridiculous. How often are people truly lying about th mrtor06/15/17
Vandelay Industries! BTW: Some places are just weird. I r onehell06/16/17
How did the awkward conversation go? Maybe your current emp persius06/15/17
lawyer2 (Jun 14, 2017 - 5:05 pm)

While I appreciate them taking the time to check me out, why on earth would they call a current employer! Now that I think about it, I don't recall even seeing an option instructing them not to.
Nonetheless, it made for an awkward conversation with the firm manager.

Reply Like (0)
fettywap (Jun 14, 2017 - 5:08 pm)

That most likely means you're getting the job offer, so it won't matter soon.

Reply Like (0)
mrtor (Jun 14, 2017 - 5:16 pm)

That's always been my biggest fear. Could it have even been intentional? By outing applicants, the prospective employer places itself in a far stronger position to negotiate. They know you now have a target on your back and need to leave your current employer as soon as possible.

Hopefully it was a horrible mistake, but you should definitely bring it to the attention of the prospective employer. Regardless of whether they extend an offer, it's unprofessional to breach that confidentiality at any time.

What did they say to your employer? What did your employer say to you?

Reply Like (0)
vohod (Jun 14, 2017 - 6:07 pm)

Most often they say "checking employment status," that is it. Tell your Boss you are looking into a mortgage or HELOC if he asks. Don't sweat this.

Reply Like (0)
interveningrights (Jun 14, 2017 - 9:25 pm)

This. Same thing happened when I applied for a new apartment.

Reply Like (0)
onehell (Jun 15, 2017 - 12:55 pm)

Among my many other duties in-house, I oversee HR and therefore get a lot of these calls. The problem with this tactic is that the inquirer usually says why they are asking (e.g. "so and so has a applied for job/mortgage/etc and we need to verify employment.") If the inquiry is for a mortgage, it will usually be on a HUD form.

So my point is that usually, if you tell the employer it was for a HELOC or something when in reality it was for a job, they will know you're lying.

Reply Like (0)
superttthero (Jun 15, 2017 - 2:32 pm)

What are you saying, that employers will go searching for the mortgage documents?

Reply Like (0)
inho2solo (Jun 15, 2017 - 5:56 pm)

I've been in-house in several companies now and they all have/had self-help portals at a service provider's website.

The employee only need give the background checker their full name and employee ID and it can be confirmed there, confidentially.

What happened to the OP is just lousy.

Reply Like (0)
onehell (Jun 16, 2017 - 12:55 pm)

You're right that a lot of 'em outsource provision of verification, indeed we have a subsidiary that does that. But a lot of them don't; it's just a matter of picking up the phone and asking to talk to HR. And when you're talking about small businesses, that's always what it is.

Unless OP is at a huge law firm, I suspect a human talked to a human. And like I said, every time I've gotten a call from a background check company, they always say "John Smith has applied for a job at company X and we need to verify his employment dates and titles with you."

Besides, lying to one's boss is generally a bad idea anyway. It's fine to try and keep a job search on the DL but if they straight-up ask you if you're looking, don't lie.

Reply Like (0)
triplesix (Jun 14, 2017 - 6:26 pm)

Did you provide them with the information?

Reply Like (0)
lawyer2 (Jun 15, 2017 - 1:13 pm)

Well it turned out to be part of a mandatory background check for ALL applicants to fulfill a vacant Justice of Peace seat I recently applied for. I didn't know it at the time and disclosed to the manager that I'd applied for a GC position as well as the JoP position and explained how both were long-shots. Nonetheless, she just asked If I could give at least 3 weeks notice if I decided to move on.
Interestingly, it was the County HR department that facilitates these background checks for applicants so I can't imagine the circumstances being different even if it were for a regular job. There should be some option to "NOT" call your current employer.

Reply Like (0)
flharfh (Jun 15, 2017 - 2:21 pm)

It seems really inefficient to do the background checks at the beginning, rather than at the end, of the hiring process. Wouldn't doing a lot of them be a non-trivial expense as well?

Reply Like (0)
mrtor (Jun 15, 2017 - 3:20 pm)

That's ridiculous. How often are people truly lying about their current employer? I am sure there have been some very rare cases, but what a ridiculous thing to attempt to verify upfront.

I could maybe understand extending an offer contingent upon a final background check. However, outing every single prospective applicant is absurd. If you do not get the position, you should explain the serious issues with their interview process in the hope that the overpaid, underworked, bumbling bureaucrat in charge of it all takes note and implements changes.

Reply Like (0)
onehell (Jun 16, 2017 - 12:58 pm)

Vandelay Industries!

BTW: Some places are just weird. I recently got a call to be a reference for a former colleague. They hadn't even decided whether to interview her yet and were checking references. Unwritten norms are not rules, so you can't always expect people to follow 'em.

Reply Like (0)
persius (Jun 15, 2017 - 2:19 pm)

How did the awkward conversation go? Maybe your current employer will treat you better.

Reply Like (0)
Post a message in this thread