Most of your applicants know that a bad reference from a landlord or employer could easily disqualify them. What, then, stops your applicant from using a service such as careerexcuse.com or paladindeception.com, whose main objective is to provide fake references to potential landlords or employers? CareerExcuse boasts references for both “blue collar” and “white collar” jobs, with live phone operators and convincing company e-mails, phone lines, and “professionally located company” addresses and websites which can be used to deceive you, the landlord or employer checking into the references. Paladin Deception Services can even prepare a “fictitious reference, white lie or alibi” within 24 hours.
Using a consumer reporting agency such as AAA Credit Screening Services for your tenant or employment screening needs gives you several legs up against these fake reference companies and the applicants who use them. Firstly, you can get a more detailed dossier on your applicant through a credit report, criminal report, Sex Offender Registry search; or one of the many other reports offered by AAA Credit Screening. This way, you do not have to rely solely on references to have an understanding of who your applicant is, and whether they meet your rental or employment standards.
Secondly, AAA Credit Screening Services offers a more intense research of references through our employment, landlord, and education verification services. Our team comes prepared – we spend an average of 4.6 hours on just one verification – this time is divided up between researching the reference/company, determining the proper route for verification, and completing the actual verification. The time AAA Credit Screening Services spending on each application far exceeds the amount of time that an individual landlord, property manager, HR manager, or small business owner could hope to spend on their screening process – especially if they have multiple applicants.
In the case of an employment verification, for example, if an applicant gives a company name, the name of a supervisor, and the supervisor’s direct phone number for an employment reference; we research beyond what is found in the application. Confirming the legitimacy of the company is our first step in the verification process, from there we go through the company’s channels to locate a contact within the HR or Payroll department – for a smaller company we will at times be put in touch with an office manager or the business owner – at which point we can obtain the verification through phone, fax, or e-mail.
In the information age, verifying the identity and legitimacy of a reference is just as important as the reference itself. Verifications, in addition to a thorough employment or tenant screening package, should always be a part of your hiring or rental process. It’s a scary world out there, and trusting your applicant on good faith alone is not only unwise – it can also be unsafe.