Today, the professional landscape is continuously evolving and becoming more specialized. With this shift comes a growing need for accurate information about professional credentials. This is where license verification plays a crucial role. Accurate records of an individual’s license status are vital for employers to make informed decisions about whom they should trust to handle their business.
Overlooking professional license verification exposes organizations to unnecessary risk
If an employer fails to take reasonable precautions when making a hiring or retention decision, they may be held liable for any subsequent physical or mental harm to their employees or customers that results from the actions of that inadequate new hire, not to mention any resulting financial losses. Employers who understand the importance of thorough vetting and screening can reduce the risk of litigation and reputational damage to their brand generated by onboarding or retaining talent that doesn’t have the necessary professional license qualifications.
By automating the license verification process and offering solutions to streamline multi-state and multi-occupation credentialing for businesses of all sizes, the Credential Sentry team is working to protect all employers from a material source of operational and personnel risk.
The importance of thorough license verification
Employers must be responsible when hiring licensed professionals – they should be ensuring that this special category of employees and contractors that is subject to regulatory oversight (i.e. lawyers, doctors, or accountants, just to name a few) is qualified to carry out its work and in accordance with applicable professional standards.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure – not only do license checks guard against financial and goodwill risk, but they form a best practice in an era of litigiousness, ever-changing licensure requirements, remote work, and elevated levels of employee turnover. Consequently, businesses and HR teams are wise to put time and effort into making it standard practice to continuously monitor licensure status, to avoid accidents and fallout from occurring in the first place.
Consequences of failing to conduct license verification
A shocking example of irresponsible hiring has been found in British Columbia, with the Provincial Health Services Authority stating that an unlicensed fake nurse cared for 899 patients prior to her deception being uncovered. Cleroux was employed at BC Women’s Hospital between June 1, 2020, and June 23, 2021, the entire time without valid nursing credentials. The hospital failed to properly screen and verify the validity of her nursing license before making an employment decision.
Regrettably, negligent hiring is not uncommon, and according to research, more than 70% of businesses lose negligent hiring claims. The negligent hiring phenomenon is often caused by the lack of a standardized vetting process (which would necessarily encompass a verification of professional licenses where appropriate) before and throughout employment. The risk factor multiplies when such a structure does not exist in organizations that deal with a large number of licensed professionals across multiple states and jurisdictions. As the license verification process can be both time-consuming and expensive, some employers choose to forego it, which can have disastrous consequences for both the employer and the prospective employee alike. Simply put, not conducting a proper license verification as part of a personnel management framework puts everyone in danger.
Essential To-Do’s before hiring or engaging licensed professionals
An all-too-common problem for companies, negligent hiring can result in expensive legal action and reputational damage. It can occur when a company fails to conduct a license verification and background check on an employee or contractor who then proceeds to cause harm or injury on the job. Employers who take the necessary precautions can significantly reduce their risk of being sued for negligent hiring.
Verifying professional licenses
Verifying professional licenses prior to hiring an employee is one of the most effective ways to avoid a claim of negligent hiring. If there was no standard license verification process as a part of the risk mitigation strategy in place at the time of hiring, and if there is no attendant record or evidence of licensure as of that date, it can be difficult to prove that an employer satisfied its due diligence of determining whether the professional was qualified for the position at the time of onboarding. Hospitals, school districts, and daycares are examples of organizations that ought to obtain evidence of active professional status.
Performing background checks
A comprehensive background check should consist of verifying and examining academic credentials, professional licenses, criminal records, social media profiles, and employment history. When there is a significant employment gap, for instance, additional investigation may be required.
Checking references thoroughly
References are an essential part of any hiring process — but they can also be one of the biggest liabilities if not properly vetted.
Asking questions during the interview that reveal predispositions
Hiring managers can ask candidates about their reasons for leaving previous jobs, their preferred work environment, how they would handle difficult situations with coworkers or clients, and if they have ever been fired from a job. These types of questions will assist in determining whether the applicant is likely to be a responsible employee.
An organization that operates a nursing home, for instance, is obligated to ensure that its employees have the necessary credentials and should verify all nursing licenses and certifications that have been issued by the state before hiring individuals to work at the facility. This is where Credential Sentry comes in.
Credential Sentry brings license verification into the 21st Century
Verifying the authenticity of professional licenses becomes increasingly cumbersome and time-consuming as the number of employees and the geographical spread of a company’s footprint increase. Credential Sentry overcomes this problem with its proprietary technology, regardless of the number of records or jurisdictions involved, and ensures that employers and HR staff receive daily updates on the license status of every person in their database.
The platform verifies the status of licenses in real-time and sends automated notifications to HR managers regarding the license status of their employees, allowing them to rest assured knowing whether or not the licensed professionals that work for them are eligible to practice. By integrating Credential Sentry’s solution into their workflows via a dedicated API or a user-friendly dashboard, businesses can save time and resources while ensuring that hiring and retention decisions are based on accurate information.
In a time of increasing professionalization in all sectors of the economy, there is a growing need for accurate information about a person’s professional credentials. Credential Sentry’s mission is to simplify and streamline the license verification process that enterprise organizations use to manage their staff.