Before hiring anyone, it is critical to verify their employment history. Employment history verification is important for determining a candidate’s experience, qualifications and integrity.
Employment history verification is essential because any claims made in a résumé cannot be taken at face value. Applicants sometimes misrepresent, exaggerate or tell outright lies in their job history.
The following statistics perfectly illustrate employment history verification importance:
- 54% of job candidates include false information in their résumés
- 34% of applicants lie about their employment (previous or current)
- 30% of résumés contain incorrect employment dates
- 40% of résumés contain exaggerated salary info
- 30% have exaggerated job descriptions
- 27% of candidates provide false references
The bottom line is that candidates often lie in their résumés. Therefore, in order to hire the right candidate, employers need to verify any employment claims. This is where we come in.
Our ultimate goal is to help you hire the best person for the job. This is precisely why we offer our employment verification service. This service is essential for cross checking any employment history included by candidates.
What Comes With Our Employment History Verifications?
The employment history verification involves fact-checking the employment records provided by the candidate. This includes:
- Employment dates (i.e. start and stop)
- Job titles
- Duties, Responsibilities & KRAs
- Reasons for leaving (i.e. resigned, fired, etc)
- Rehire status (i.e. given the chance, would the employer rehire them?)
These are the standard inquiries we make for each employment verification in each background check. Even then, there are certain industries which require more in depth inquiries. A case in point is the US Department of Transportation (DOT). In such cases, we conduct detailed inquiries in line with the industry standards.
How Are the Employment History Verifications Carried Out?
Our employment history verifications are carried out by our experienced team of experts. Each verification is processed using a thorough investigative process aimed at verifying applicant’s information.
Unlike many other companies’ services, our employment verification doesn’t rely on automated verifications or hands-off approaches like faxes and telephone calls. We establish direct contact with the employer, verify their authenticity and then ascertain the veracity of an applicant’s claims.
The reason for this approach is the rising incidences of applicant fraud. This includes company names, job titles, salaries, and employment dates. Unless carefully investigated, such fraudsters can pass for real applicants.
Tips For Avoiding Résumé Fraud
Although hiring a top-notch employment verification service is critical for combating lies on a résumé, each employer also needs to play their part.
Here are some tips which can be used to identify résumé fraud:
- Conduct a detailed review of the résumé. Look out for any sudden changes in job responsibilities and unexplained employment gaps. Also, look out for inconsistencies between what was said in the cover letter, and the résumé contents.
- Ask tough and technical questions during the interview. A good questioning strategy is to ask for specific dates. These can be verified later.
- Conduct interviews which can test for the job specific skills which the applicants claim to possess in their résumé.
- These tips, when combined with authenticating the job history using an employment verification service, can enable you to avoid résumé fraud. The ultimate result is that those hired will be the best choice for the job.
Key Employment Verification Terms
During the employment verification process, there are certain terminologies which employers typically come across. To avoid any confusion, here is a definition of the most common jargon.
Employment Verification. This is the process of confirming an individual’s past employment in terms of job title, employment dates, salary, eligibility for rehire and duties.
Résumé Fraud. This is where an applicant deliberately falsifies the information on their résumé. They can do this by stretching employment dates, exaggerating their salaries, lying about their responsibilities and inserting false references.
Reference Shield Laws. These are laws which protect employers who share factual information about their previous employees. These laws exist to limit liability in case former employees decide to sue.
W2 Form. This is a form which each employer is supposed to send annually to the IRS, detailing each employee’s earnings, and the amount withheld in taxes. The W2 form is the best indicator of an employee’s past employment.
Work Number. This is a third-party verification service used by employers to house employment records. The Work Number is a database used by organizations to store employment and income information. This database can be queried to provide information for employment verification.
DD Form 214. This is a document which is issued by the US Army whenever a military service member retires, separates or is discharged from active duty. It is the evidence which shows previous military service since US army bases do not keep records on former soldiers. The DD Form 214 is used to verify previous military service.
DOT Employment. This is a form of employment verification which cross-checks information with the US Department of Transportation. This verification usually involves aspects of the candidate’s driving history i.e. type of driver, type of driving and DOT reportable accidents, among others.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do employers face liability for employment references?
Yes and No. Yes, there are potential liabilities when conducting employment verification. However, the liabilities are typically on the side of the employer who is giving out the information. There is a possibility of an applicant suing their former employer for divulging information which ruins their chances of getting employed.
Even then there are Reference Shield Laws which are designed to protect employers against such liability. Therefore, as long as the information they provide is factual, then there is no possibility of getting sued over them.
Still, employers use a number of strategies to limit their liability. For instance, some restrict themselves to verifying specific information i.e. name, job title, employment dates and salary scale.
Other employers automate access to information on previous employees. This removes human contact, and thus eliminates the possibility of inadvertently releasing restricted information. Still, employers store employee information on third-parties. As such, any verification information comes from the third-parties, thereby shielding the employers from liability.
Is there a database where all previous employment records are stored?
No. If such a database existed, you would be able to conduct employment verification on your own. However, given that it doesn’t exist, you need to contact the previous employer directly. The simplest way is to contract a verification service like Crimcheck to contact employers on your behalf.
Can you verify self-employment or unemployment?
No. The essence of employment verification is getting access to objective data. It is impossible to come across such data where there are claims of self-employment. The same applies to unemployment.
How far back does Crimcheck verify employment?
Crimcheck’s employment verification standard is to verify one employer if employed for 5 years or longer OR two employers within a five year period. Of course, if you have special circumstances and need additional jobs verified, Crimcheck can customize our services to suit your needs.