XML for Human
Resources and Employment Screening Includes Open Credit Report Standard
long used credit reports to assist pre-employment screening, based on the theory that a person's
personal financial responsibility predicts responsibility and honesty with the company's money. Today,
security and liability concerns demand even wider use of credit data
for employment. New tools and open standards for XML in human resources are
Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion are the main U.S. credit bureaus providing
credit reports for employment. Background checking companies and large employers
find credit reports most useful in an electronic form. Credit report tools (http://creditengine.net)
can be used to retrieve the raw credit bureau data for local analysis and
database storage, and convert it to meet the HR-XML specification (http://hr-xml.org).
HR-XML is the promising new standard by which human resource systems can
integrate credit history data.
An employment credit report is much like a credit report for lending purposes.
It shows a person's credit history, with late payments, write-offs, and
repossessions. It includes bankruptcies, liens, judgments and other public
records. Former addresses, employers, and aliases are listed, sometimes
revealing important omissions on the job application. The same information tells
which jurisdictions and names should be checked in a criminal background
Credit bureaus learn of employers and aliases from previous disclosures the
individual made when filling-out credit applications, so not all may be listed. The former address
information is more reliable, because the credit bureaus learn of changes
through existing creditors and the Postal Service.
Credit reports provide alerts for invalid Social Security numbers, and warnings
if the number was used previously with a different name. A fraud alert is
triggered if the true SSN owner has reported identity theft. Credit bureaus even
provide optional USA PATRIOTS Act checking against lists of banned foreign
nationals and suspected terrorists, but a "match" always requires further
Good credit implies responsibility and willingness to "play by the rules."
Perhaps that's why insurance companies realize lower claims costs for customers
with good credit scores. In this era of employers held responsible for
employees' actions, and security concerns transcending all job classifications,
it makes economic and practical sense to integrate credit report tools for
employment into the overall HR system.
MERit Credit Systems