March 3, 2021, Comment off

Legally, Can Employers Ask About Unemployment History?

The ongoing recession that began during the coronavirus onset continues to affect employee layoffs. This includes a significant number of HR professionals. As a result, many are collecting unemployment while looking for a job. As an employer, this may cause concern as you search for an HR professional to add to your team. You must understand the types of questions you can and cannot ask regarding unemployment. Although you need as much information as possible to make an informed hiring decision, you also need to stay within the legal limits for inquiries.

Find out what information you can and cannot ask about a candidate’s employment gaps.

Employers Cannot Check for Unemployment Claims

You cannot look into a candidate’s unemployment record. If a candidate filed for unemployment benefits, their current employer, last employer, and potentially other former employers could access the information. These employers need to verify employment and earnings dates to determine whether the candidate qualifies for benefits. However, you can learn about employment gaps through other methods.

Employers Can Verify Employment  

You can check a candidate’s employment history by contacting the employers listed on their resume. For instance, you can verify whether the dates of employment, job titles and job description match what the candidate listed. If you find missing dates in the employment timeline or that the resume’s information doesn’t match the employer’s information be concerned about the candidate’s truthfulness.  

Employers Should Discuss Employment Gaps

If any candidates you interview have employment gaps, be sure to ask about them. For instance, find out what circumstances led to the unemployment. Perhaps the company had layoffs due to the economic downturn related to the pandemic. Or, the candidate may have experienced a change in personal circumstances that led them to leave the workforce. If an issue related to the candidate’s behavior or personality caused them to be fired, be aware that the same issue may present itself if you decide to hire them. Also, ask what the candidate has been doing during their time away from work. Perhaps they’ve been volunteering, learning new skills, or handling other responsibilities. You want a candidate who’s been actively gaining skills and experience that can benefit their HR career.

Hire Vetted HR Professionals

As an employer, you can ask candidates about their unemployment history. Whether a candidate is upfront on their resume about employment gaps or you uncover them during an employment check, find out more about the circumstances. Knowing whether a candidate was laid off because of the coronavirus pandemic or fired because of a performance issue has a significant impact on whether you offer them a job.

When you need to hire vetted HR candidates, talk with the experts at Arlington Resources. Because our dedicated staff is experienced in developing relationships, obtaining referrals, and sourcing candidates, we can locate top talent that you may not be able to find on your own. Learn more about how we can help you today.