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 ratein 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.

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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