The New I-9 Form and Other Screening Trends

Some news from various sources on employment eligibility, background checks, screening, and more:

New I-9 Form Released…

U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services just released its new version of the I-9 employment verification form, so make sure to update your records. (You can download it here; note that the new expiration date in the right-hand corner reflects 6/30/09.) You can move to an e-file for these forms, and perhaps you should: employeescreenIQ says its data shows that more than 85% of paper I-9 forms are filled out incorrectly. And electronically verifying this step is certainly a “greener” thing to do, and companies like Verified Person, Inc. agree. Its CEO, Jim Davis, says his Verified Person I-9 solution “affirms Verified Person’s belief in promoting an HR process that benefits the environment.”

From Resume Fluffing to Conviction Bluffing…

The folks at employeescreenIQ also say one of the hottest background-screening trends centers around the importance of thorough background checks in a shrinking job market. In fact, considering the state of the economy, “the job market is destined to become even more competitive, which in turn could lead some individuals to stretch the truth in order to secure employment,” according to the company’s new list of 10 background screening trends. Also, employeescreenIQ says conviction rates among job applicants are on the rise, and points to a 56% discrepancy rate between what is reported on a resume and what is found when conducting employment and education verifications.

TMI on MySpace?

Does the idea of lurking on someone’s MySpace page make you yell, “Too much information!” or do you view it as a (lurid) source of quality screening? What about reading someone’s biographical data on LinkedIn? Though stylistically very different (LinkedIn is more button-down; MySpace is more, er, unbuttoned?), these websites provide glimpses into the backgrounds of hopeful job candidates. Just remember two things if you decide to spend more time on these sites: failure-to-hire lawsuits can be a real headache, be it from MySpace, Google, or any other website, and avoid “friending” Natasha Kone on LinkedIn at all costs.

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Genie on a Job Board…

In the June 26 issue of WEDDLE’s Newsletter, by industry analyst Peter Weddle, he advises that the key to using the Web for employers and job seekers is to manage your expectations.

“What’s out of whack is our perception of what the Internet can and cannot do,” he says. Though, “this technology is probably the single most effective means of connecting” employees and employers, it takes time to work. He advises job-seekers, in particular, that “The Internet is not some genie,” nor is it “a magic carpet that can carry you off to employment bliss the minute you hop on. No, the Web for all of its reach and technological power is bound by the pace of the humans who use it at the other end–the employers and recruiters who turn to the Web to find new talent.”

Government Security Clearance…

Weddle also reports that ClearanceJobs.com‘s recently released snapshot of security clearance salaries finds that those who have a security clearance earn 25% more than those who do not. This is not without hurdles, because “you have to be able to pass the intensive screening that’s involved in applying for a clearance, plus be in a job where a clearance is required for job performance. Even then, it may take a long time to acquire this advantage, as the backlog of Federal background investigations is already huge and growing,” says Weddle.

Elaine Rigoli has nearly 15 years of experience managing content and community for various B2B and consumer websites. Elaine has written thousands of business and technology articles and has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal and eWeek, among other publications.

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