Compliance, in all aspects of business, is arguably more important now than it has ever been. This is no less true for issues of employee verification than it is of any business process. The penalties for failing in this task recently became much stricter because of new regulations by the Departments of Justice, Labor and Homeland Security, with fines for certain I-9 violations increasing by as much as 96 percent.
In the interest of instituting better compliance practices, various businesses have turned to the efficiency and automation provided by E-Verify. Progress has been made, but the implementation has hardly been an exact science and it isn't yet being used by a majority of American companies.
"Various businesses have turned to the efficiency and automation provided by E-Verify."
The Society for Human Resource Management touched on this and a variety of other issues pertinent to I-9 compliance with the findings of its 2016 Employment Verification Survey, the third iteration of this research and the first version released since 2014. Business leaders looking to perfect their own verification procedures would do well to look closely at the study and its results. Read on to learn about some of the key findings:
Many in favor of mandatory electronic employee verification
The idea of working with a mandatory electronic verification system for all matters of hiring documentation united respondents to the SHRM survey more than any other topic. A vast plurality - 83 percent - of those queried stated that they agreed or agreed strongly with the necessity of mandatory E-Verify tools. These were in keeping with the results of the 2014 and 2006 surveys - after all, interest in E-Verify is hardly new.
Self-protection from compliance regulation stood out as a major motivator: 95 percent of respondents said assurances of this would cause them to support mandatory electronic verification. Additional factors that business leaders were looking for included avoiding accusations of discrimination, adding photo identification features, implementing additional authentication measures and resolving disputes stemming from questions of work authorization.
"60 percent of survey respondents using E-Verify did so to satisfy federal or state regulations."
Some still dubious of E-Verify
Resistance to change is almost as much of a constant in the business world as the actuality of change. CEOs, CFOs, heads of HR departments and countless other C-suite-level staff frequently become set in certain methods and practices and can be highly reluctant to alter them.
That principle holds true in this situation: As much as HR departments might be frustrated by some aspects of the I-9 verification process, many of them don't use E-Verify to make certain aspects of it easier. According to the SHRM survey, 60 percent of respondents who confirmed that they used E-Verify did so to comply with federal or state laws mandating that certain businesses use it. The remaining 40 percent did so of their own volition. Approximately 37 percent of those who don't use E-Verify stated that they weren't interested in it because it's not a full-scale replacement for the I-9 requirements - it just simplifies quite a few of them.
The purported redundancy factor also stood out to E-Verify users. A quarter of them claimed that this was the most significant problem with using E-Verify, followed shortly by those confused by the process for resolving non-confirmations. Meanwhile, the record-keeping necessary for documents that came with expiration dates was the biggest I-9 challenge, per 37 percent of survey respondents across the I-9 and E-Verify user groups.
Employers using web-based Form I-9 software also have the option of using the software's integration with E-Verify. The integration offers employers instant submission to E-Verify and immediate responses, with help and guidance so there is no guess work and the process is seamless, easy, and efficient.
If you would like to learn more about simplifying the entire employment eligibility and verification process, while ensuring complete compliance with federal regulations click here to schedule a live demonstration and talk to an I-9 Advantage expert.