The Complete Guide to Employment Verification [2021]

employment verification guide

One of the risks employers face is hiring a dishonest employee who does not have the work history they claimed to on their application. 

Conducting employment verifications as part of the overall employment background check is one step you can take to ensure the applicant is qualified for the desired position within your organization.

In this guide, we’ll talk about:

  • What is employment verification?
  • Importance of employment verification
  • How to verify a candidate’s work history
  • How much time does it take?

Let’s get started:

What is employment verification?

What Is Employment Verification?

Employment verification is the process to confirm a person’s past or current job status. It ensures the candidate has the relevant experience to perform the intended job well. Employment verification can also reveal false claims, gaps in employment, or fabrication of job titles. 

The company connects with previous employers to confirm a candidate’s information: job titles, tenure, and reasons for leaving / termination (if applicable).

It’s an important part of the pre-employment screening process because it reveals if your candidates are trustworthy and a good fit for the job. 

easy background check

The Importance of employment verification

The Importance of Employment Verification

There are many ways that candidates can commit resume fraud when applying for jobs: lying about their experience, licenses, or education, exaggerating duties or management experience, or even omitting details such as their reason for leaving a previous job. The only surefire way to protect your business from fraud is to verify the candidate’s education and employment history. 

Wondering if you need to implement pre-employment screening at your organization? Here are some factors:

You hire people who are put in positions of trust 

Employees with access to money, financial records, or secure databases can cause huge problems if they don’t turn out to be trustworthy. It’s not just the direct consequences of any negative employee actions (such as theft, or putting the organization at risk of legal action) that an organization may suffer from, but also the long-term ripples that come from a disrupted work environment, expensive lawsuits, loss of workforce and, ultimately, the effect on profits.

Bad hires have cost you in the past 

We all make mistakes and most employers will, at some point, make a hire that they regret. In fact, according to CareerBuilder, 75% of employers said they have hired the wrong person for a position. These kinds of mistakes are avoidable, and shouldn’t be repeated. Pre-employment screening companies have the experience and expertise to reduce mistakes and improve the effectiveness of your hiring process.

Your employee turnover is high

Effective employment screening can go a long way toward reducing employee turnover. The process has been shown to reduce employee terminations due to theft, violence, and illicit drug use, and ensure better alignment between the values of new employees coming in and those of the organization. 

If you find employees coming in and leaving on too regular a basis, consider bringing in an expert company to help you make the right decision the first time.

You have trouble finding accurate information on applicants 

This is the hardest part. The truth is, there are no singular databases to search. Any background database is an aggregate of many different databases and none of them are all-inclusive. These databases also become quickly outdated or inaccurate as activities go unreported.

Confirming the events and locations listed on a resume can be time-consuming for busy employers, so it’s best to leave this process to a background screening company.

Employment verification statistics that you need to know

Employee verification statistics that you need to know

Good employment verification has one goal: making an organization more successful. Here are some eye-opening statistics:

The #1 reason for conducting background checks is to avoid job fraud. (Source)

84% of employers continue to derive significant benefits from employment verifications. (Source)

53% of applications or resumes submitted by candidates to hiring managers contain at least one inaccuracy or lie. (Source)

 An organization can lose $17,000 on average, says CareerBuilder, for a wrong hire or hiring someone with a false degree. (Source)

An AuthBridge report revealed that one in every six candidates lie on their resumes. (Source)

72% of employers use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process.

In a survey conducted by HR.com, 96% of employers surveyed conduct some type of background screening.

How to verify a candidate’s previous employment?

How to verify a candidate’s previous employment?

There are many ways that candidates can commit resume fraud when applying for jobs: lying about their experience, licenses, or education, exaggerating duties or management experience, or even omitting details such as their reason for leaving a previous job.

So the question is: how can you verify a candidate’s previous employment?

An employment background check typically includes the candidate’s work history, educational qualifications, driving record, medical history, and criminal record

  • The candidate has to be notified in writing about the background check. This document is separate from the employment application. 
  • The applicant must provide written consent for the background check. 
  • If the pre-employment check is compulsory for hiring, the business must state it clearly in their written policies. 
  • The employee has the right to be notified about checks being conducted about their reputation, lifestyle, history, or character.

Reference check is also a tried and true technique for screening job candidates. What better way to determine if the candidate is a good fit than to speak with a former colleague or manager? 

It enables employers to speak with former supervisors to reveal candidates’ strengths, weaknesses, and overall performance.

What information can previous employers share about a candidate?

As an employer, you only request information that you are legally authorized to use during the hiring process based on your country’s specific laws.

Information from the past employer is crucial for employment verification by a potential employer. While there are no existing central rules or laws that govern the kind of information shared by a past employer, several states have their particular set of guidelines. These must be looked up before releasing any information about the candidate. 

Mentioned below are some of the standard examples of what past employers can share for employment verification:

  • Performance of the candidate
  • Reason for leaving the previous organization
  • The job description, daily responsibilities, and skills of their last role
  • Duration of employment tenure
  • Details of wages and remuneration package
  • Any actions against the employee
  • The overall code of conduct in the organization
  • Any other work-related information that may aid the hiring decision

If you’re an employer, make sure to abide by the rules for sharing candidate’s Information as specified by your state. On the other hand, if you’re a potential employer, request legally authorized Information only, which might aid in the hiring process. 

An intelligent way to stop overstepping the law regarding candidate’s Information is to tie up with hiring legal counsel. The expert agency is familiar with the details and can help you secure vital information for better decision-making without crossing the lines.

How long does employment verification take?

How long does employment verification take?

There are two ways to conduct employment verification of a candidate. You can either hand over the task to the internal team in your organization. This could be your human resource department. However, the time required to complete this task might be more significant in this case and depend upon the following factors-

  • The number of applicants shortlisted for background check
  • Number of HR members working on the task
  • The number of roles for which verification has to take place
  • The ease of obtaining information from the previous job
  • Past employer’s response and willingness to provide the Information

Another way to verify a candidate’s employment history is to hire a background check company. They are professional organizations that help you complete the employment verifications of candidates in the minimum amount of time. While it might take weeks to complete the background check on your own, it also delays the job hiring process and causes unwanted issues. 

Moreover, the candidates might find another opportunity due to the slow and tiresome hiring process at your end. On the other hand, a background check company enables you to hire the best talent within 2-3 days, making the task hassle-free.

Does background verification help get the right candidate?

There have been innumerable incidents where organizations faced financial and reputational loss because its employees. Employers don’t follow the process of getting to know their employees well has been the problem in many such cases. 

In a utopian world, it might be normal to take the word of a job aspirant based on the resume alone. But the real world works differently, doesn’t it?

Organizations need to be open with their candidates about the background verification exercise that is being done. Taking consent from the candidate for the verification can avert a lot of risks, both financially and reputation-wise, for the organization.

If a company takes the consent of the employee and handles the data with responsibility, then employment will reap you a long-term return as well as for averting any immediate ‘faux pas.’ 

A wrong hire will not treat your customers the way they are supposed to be treated. This kind of behavior from an employee will reflect poorly on your business. It could also completely lower the morale of the other employees who will take a share of the blame as well. 

In short, candidate verification is one of the most effective tools that you should use to build the right ‘infrastructure’ of employees.

background check tool

FAQs

How do you verify employment?

Reference checks are a tried and true technique for screening job candidates. What better way to determine if the candidate is a good fit than to speak with a former supervisor or manager?

Why should I conduct employment history verification?

In the above guide, you’ll find some solid reasons to conduct employment verification.

Do employers do background screening before or after an offer?

Most employers do background and reference checks during the hiring process (before offering a candidate the job).

Do employers tell you if you fail a background check?

Yes. Employers are legally bound to notify you of background check results and their decisions.

Download Free eBook: The Complete Guide to Employee Background Verification

Pawan Kumar

I'm a Content Marketer at Springworks. I've been featured in many reputed publications and online magazines! I'm an avid reader and movie buff. Let's connect on Social Media.

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