Establish process for verifying employment
You have probably handled at least one already this month: A lender’s request for proof of employment and income for someone on staff who is applying for a mortgage or car loan. Child support agencies are another source of verification of employment requests.
VOEs are not difficult to process, but you do need a formal system for responding to them.
Lenders can be aggressive, demanding that you drop everything to meet their needs. That’s not required. In this age of identity theft, you must ensure VOE inquiries are legitimate. Follow this process:
Confirm a VOE’s authenticity. Demand formal documentation, not a mere phone request. Is the request signed? Is it complete? Does it contain the employee’s Social Security number? Don’t honor suspect VOEs.
Check with the employee. Is he or she doing business with this lender? This simple step may delay your response, but employees will appreciate your dedication to protecting their personal and confidential information.
Limit your response. Even legitimate VOEs can go too far. It’s usually inappropriate to answer questions regarding future raises or continued employment prospects.
Retain a copy of the VOE and place it in the employee’s file.
Set up a processing schedule
If you handle VOEs infrequently, process them as they come in. You can prioritize VOEs for current employees over those seeking information about former employees. On the other hand, if you’re inundated with VOEs, the best solution may be to pick a day for processing them. Inform employees about your schedule.
In all likelihood, VOEs will be marked “urgent,” “needed by the end of the day,” or something similar. You can ignore those requests, if you choose. VOEs are processed according to your schedule, not a lender’s. Employees should inform their lenders when they can expect a response.
Final note: Remember, your job is running HR, not handling verification of employment requests.