Looking Beyond the Resume: Independent Employment Verification

When you create a job posting within your organization, you are often flooded with the resumes of eager candidates hoping for a chance to work for you. Sifting through those resumes to find the individual with the experience, skills, and education is a critical step in the recruiting process. But solely relying on resumes to accomplish this task is a bad idea because, like it or not, candidates regularly lie on their resumes. Independent employment verification is one answer to this persistent problem. 

What is Employment Verification?

Employment verification is done to independently confirm an applicant’s work history. Employment verification done by a third party ensures that the candidate has the experience they claim and uncovers any gaps, misstatements, or falsehoods. With the help of employment verification, you’ll have more confidence in the skills and knowledge of your hire, and you’ll have a better idea of their integrity and trustworthiness. 

How is Employment Verification Accomplished?

Verifying an applicant’s employment requires an in-person phone call to each employer listed to determine if the employee was, in fact, employed there, their employment dates, and their actual titles and responsibilities. If you choose to do this process on your own, be aware of the following:

  • Many employers will require you to contact a third-party company to get the information. While you may choose to verify employment on your own, other companies may choose to provide verification only through a third party. 
  • You are very likely to be asked to fax—yes, even in 2021—your verification request along with the candidate’s signed release. 
  • Waiting for callbacks can be frustrating. If a candidate has an extensive employment history, this can seem like it takes forever.
  • Many candidates worked for companies that have been acquired by other companies or that no longer exist, making it very complicated to track down the information you need. 
  • International employment verification is exponentially complicated. If the candidate has worked outside the United States, it’s still important to obtain verification, but the challenges of calling and communicating with businesses overseas and complying with foreign regulations can often seem insurmountable. 

A better, more streamlined option is to use a background screening company for employment verification services. These experts navigate all these complications efficiently and effectively to provide timely, reliable results. 

What Information Can You Request?

State and country laws differ on this issue, but employment verification reports may include information about any of the following:

  • Overall job performance
  • Reasons for termination or separation
  • Job knowledge and skills
  • Duration of employment
  • Wage history 
  • Professional conduct

In addition, there are no restrictions on how far back an employment verification can go. 

 The Takeaway

Due to the alarming number of padded resumes floating around out there, responsible hiring practices require some level of employment verification. Protect yourself from the high costs of bad hires with professional employment verification services.