Despite Inefficiencies, Employers Report High Levels of Confidence in Employment Eligibility Processes

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Form I-9

The employment eligibility programs at many organizations are areas ripe for improvement and greater efficiencies, as found by HireRight’s 2013 Employment Screening Benchmarking Report.

According to the report, many employers are utilizing outdated processes for managing the completion, review, and storage of their I-9 forms. Yet, in spite of this opportunity for improvement, the majority of organizations report high levels of confidence in their existing programs and processes.

Electronic Form I-9 Efficiency Gains go Unrealized
A transition to digital storage of employee I-9 forms would assist many employers in better document management: reducing paperwork, assisting with search capabilities, and potentially alleviating stress in case of a government audit.

Nevertheless, the majority of employers (56%) report that they rely solely on paper storage. Another 31 percent of respondents to the HireRight survey indicated that they use a combination of paper and digital storage, while only 13 percent employ a digital-only storage system.

Enhance Employment Eligibility Programs with E-Verify
The use of the E-Verify program represents another area in which U.S. employers could enhance their employment eligibility program. An online system used to compare an employee’s electronic I-9 form against data from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Social Security Administration, E-Verify helps confirm the U.S. employment eligibility of a newly hired worker.

According to the Report, 47 percent of organizations are not using this valuable service as part of their employment eligibility process. For smaller employers (fewer than 100 employees), that rate is even higher, with 60 percent of them reporting no use of E-Verify.

Form I-9 Audit NOI

Source: HireRight 2013 Employment Screening Benchmarking Report

Employers Confident with Current I-9 Programs
Though the Report reveals room for greater efficiencies in many organizations’ employment eligibility processes, employers’ confidence in these programs remains high.

Nearly three-quarters (73%) of respondents indicate a satisfaction rating of eight (8) of greater (out of scale of 10) with their current programs.

Moreover, 64 percent feel “very prepared” or “completely prepared” for a Form I-9 audit by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency, although ICE only offers a three-day notification of an audit.

This high rate of confidence could perhaps be attributed to the relatively low rates of experience most employers have with audits of this nature: 61 percent have never undergone such an audit, and of those that have, 21 percent were an internal audit only. It is possible that these employers could underestimate the complexity of ICE audits.

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HireRight is a leading provider of on-demand employment background checks, drug and health screening, and electronic Form I-9 and E-Verify solutions that help employers automate, manage and control background screening and related programs.

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The HireRight Blog is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be comprehensive, and is not a substitute for and should not be construed as legal advice. HireRight does not warrant any statements in the HireRight Blog. Any statutes or laws cited herein should be read in their entirety. You should direct to your own experienced legal counsel questions involving your organization’s compliance with or interpretation or application of laws or regulations and any additional legal requirements that may apply.