It’s relatively easy to find out why an employee left his or her last place of employment.
First, your job application should include a space that says “Reason for leaving.”
Next, you can either ask the candidate to supply the names of three or four people with whom he or she worked, including the name of the most recent supervisor, or you could ask for the names of three or four supervisors for whom the candidate has worked within the last five to seven years.
Then, ask the candidate for express permission to contact those references. When you’re talking to them, ask why the candidate left. If the answer is something like, “resignation,” or, “found a better job,” then ask “Could he or she have stayed on?” and “Would you hire him or her again?”
Or, you could call human resources and ask them why the candidate left and also if he or she would be eligible for rehire. If the answer to the eligibility question is ever “no,” then ask why not. If the candidate was laid-off, ask if the lay-off was on the basis of seniority or performance.
Finally, check the answers you get against what the candidate put on the resume or application. If you’re uncomfortable doing these background checks yourself, there are outside firms you can hire to do them for you.
Source: Paul W. Barada, Barada Assoc. Inc., www.baradainc.com.