Imagine that you’re looking to hire a new licensed professional for your business. You might be hiring a physician for your medical office or a contractor for a construction company. You receive many impressive resumes during your search, but how do you know who is best for the job?
You’ll run background checks on all candidates you’re interested in – but if you’re not verifying licenses, you’re missing a key step that could be costly to your business.
Why You Need to Verify Licenses
Anytime you hire a professional who needs a specialized license to do his or her job, you should take the time to verify their license during the screening process. Verifying licenses is beneficial for your customers or patients (depending on your industry); when you can guarantee that your staff are professionally trained and certified, you can provide better services to the people who use your business.
Additionally, license verification can protect your business from liability if anything goes wrong. Some individuals will lie about their licenses either to get or keep their job – and if you don’t complete your due diligence during the hiring process, you could be held responsible if an unlicensed worker harms someone.
Industries that May Require License Verification
Not every industry requires specialized licenses for its workers. Those are typically reserved for highly technical industries, where an untrained individual could do significant damage to people or property. Some of the most common industries that DO require license verification are the following:
The medical field is the most common industry where employees must hold current licenses to do their jobs. Therefore, it is absolutely critical that you verify the medical licenses of anyone who comes to work for you in a healthcare setting. This is true of everyone – physicians and nurses, medical assistants, even insurance specialists should have an active license to work anywhere in your facility.
If you’re working in the construction industry, you’re going to need a contractor to assist with the work. However, most U.S. states have strict requirements for their contractors – and that includes holding the appropriate certification. Additionally, any electricians, plumbers, and other construction professionals should have the correct license that your state (or even your city) requires to work in that area.
There are about 230 million licensed drivers in the United States, and about 3.6 million of those individuals drive long distances professionally. If you’re planning to hire an over-the-road truck driver for your business, you must be certain that their driver’s license is valid, current, and in good standing! In fact, this rule goes for any employee who has to drive during work hours, from long-distance truckers to pizza delivery employees.
The Process of License Verification
By now, you probably understand why license verification is so important… but do you understand HOW to go through the process? While the details will vary from one industry to the next, the basics of license verification are as follows:
- Step One: Review your accreditation requirements. The first thing you will want to do is brush up on all the licensing requirements for your industry and your city/state. A quick review can help ensure that you don’t miss an important step when verifying a candidate’s license.
- Step Two: Contact the primary source. It is very important that you contact the original accrediting body when verifying a license. They will be your most trusted source of information to confirm that a license is current and that the license holder hasn’t received any suspensions or other disciplinary action.
Admittedly, this process can be long and tedious – especially when you have multiple accrediting bodies to contact. This can also be difficult for hiring managers who are also going through candidate interviews AND doing their usual work. In fact, many businesses benefit from hiring a third-party vendor to conduct their background checks. The vendor employees dedicate themselves to doing thorough verification for you, so you can focus on other elements of your work and the hiring process.
Ongoing Credential Monitoring
Once you’ve confirmed that a candidate you like does in fact have the license you need, the verification process is over… right? Not exactly. The fact is that licensing statuses can change over time. A professional might let his or her license expire, or they may have it suspended due to inappropriate behavior on the job.
If these things happen, the employee will no longer be eligible to work with your business. However, there’s always a chance that they simply won’t disclose this change to their employer. This is why it’s important to routinely (at least quarterly) monitor your staff’s credentials by contacting the proper licensing groups and checking sanctions lists for your industry.
Once again, this process can be a lot of work for you and your staff — which is why a third-party service can be invaluable for your business. Contact ComplianceLine today to learn more about the benefits of third-party license verification.