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Editor's Blog and Industry Comments

US business leaders call for mandatory employee vetting.

27 February, 2008
The American Society of Human Resource Management wants compulsory employee back ground checking to be carried out on American soil as a means of combating illegal immigration and identity theft.
Amongst the proposals is the introduction of optional biometric identification to help overcome the problems of social security numbers being used fraudulantly. Illegal immigration continues to be a significant problem in the USA and often employers are being unfairly held to blame for employing illegal residents without having done sufficient checks to ensure they have entitlement to work.

Having a robust, centralised system is one way of dealing with this but the US has some significant hurdles to overcome before it can implement anything sufficiently comprehensive to be workable. The main problem lies in the largely parochial nature of US Government with criminal records and driving license databases being held at a state level rather than centrally. Background checks can therefore be lengthy and protracted processes often involving the interrogation of a number of distinct databases that may hold dissimilar information or be in different formats.

The recommendation of the Society of Human Resource Management is to create a more centralised data base system specifically catering for the needs of employee background checking. Despite the hurdles they face in implementing such a challenge, the Society takes the attitude that the time has come to stop talking about what should be done and start doing something â€" a bullet that the Society has admirably bitten.
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