Focusing on the needs of those who are responsible for deciding about and carrying employee background checks, this post will look deeper into address checks (used interchangeably with ‘address verifications’).
Even in today’s highly connected, online, cyber-existence, the physical address of an employee still remains a very important credential. Let us look at various reasons which make address a very important credential for employers:
• For carrying out correspondence with the employees in pre-hiring and post-termination phases. This could cover sending out offer letters, application forms, or final settlement documents and dues.
• For ensuring that the employee is locally based. This is important for roles which require physical presence in office, instead of virtual working.
• As a first point for querying in case of absenteeism, disciplinary issues, or any violations.
• Sending out legal notices, if things have gone beyond control completely!
• Helping law enforcement authorities in case of any criminal acts by employees. A verified address supports the police in moving ahead with investigations.
Depending upon the specific requirements, you can opt for verifying either the current address or permanent address. In either case, you will require complete postal address, preferably along with identifying landmarks.
Address verification is conducted through a field officer’s visit to the mentioned address. The field officer will gather information like:
• Does the named person live there?
• If not, did the person ever live there? Has the person moved to another location? When?
• For how long has the person lived there?
• What’s the relationship of the respondent with the named person?
• Does the person rent/lease or own the dwelling?
• If the door is locked, can any neighbour, landlord or guard verify person’s residence?
The cost of such a check will typically depend upon the remoteness and accessibility of the location. In general, the address checks in cities and towns will be cheaper than rural and remote areas. The address checks may be infeasible in certain disturbed areas or may cost extremely high.
Our recommendation: See if any of the reasons mentioned above seem to be applicable to the specific employee or department or company in general. If yes, decide if you want to verify current address, permanent address or both.