Employment Verification: A Crucial Check

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Confirming a job candidate’s past work experience is one of the most important background checks an employer can conduct.

It also represents one of the most common areas where an applicant may falsify information.

According to a HireRight report, in the United States there was a 27 percent discrepancy rate in employment histories based on more than 290,000 employment verifications it conducted in the last six months of 2014.

Looking into a candidate’s past work history can reveal insight into their job stability and loyalty to an employer.

Employers should compare what a candidate claims on their resume with the actual information reported by a background screening company.

Verifications can confirm:

  • Job start and end dates
  • Titles held
  • Salary
  • Job duties
  • The reason for termination (in some states) and rehire eligibility

Conducting a Verification
First, employers must obtain permission from a candidate before conducting an employment verification. Candidates can deny permission to contact a previous employer, but they can still be asked to provide documentation such as a paystub, W-2 or other tax document to prove their employment.

The same is true when an employer cannot be reached, such as those that are no longer in business. Background screening companies verify previous employment based on its clients guidelines.

Some clients prefer that five years of employment history is verified, while others prefer that the last two employers are verified. Your organization should determine what is reasonable for your industry.

resume-lies-discrepency

Source: HireRight 2015 HireRight Employment Screening Benchmarking Report

Why This Check is Important
Some candidates may have gaps in their employment history for a variety of reasons.

These reasons can include maternity leave, pursuit of their own small business, returning to school or incarceration.

Some candidates may want to cover these gaps by extending their previous job’s start and end dates.

Some candidates may also falsify higher titles to leverage higher pay.

The 2015 HireRight Benchmarking Report showed that 86 percent of respondents indicated that verifying employment revealed candidates who lied on their resumes or applications.

Conducting employment verification can provide valuable background about a potential employee’s work habits, attitude and integrity.

With the economy rapidly gaining steam, employers are finding an increasingly competitive job market.

Conducting employment verifications are an effective and accurate component in facilitating the integrity of your employee base.

Working with a leading background screening provider can help employers vet candidates that match the employer’s required work experience for the position.

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Sabrina Lu

Sabrina Lu is a professional writer based in the Orange County area with a degree in Writing from San Francisco State University. Although technical writing was the focus in her studies, Sabrina also enjoys creative writing and the various forms of expression. She values strong opinions and is always interested in learning about different perspectives. Her free time is usually filled with sandy beaches, fluffy animals, fusion foods, and the latest beauty trends.

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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.