When you employ someone you want to be sure the experience listed on their CV is real. It might sound like a no-brainer but people are known to give inaccurate information on their CV to varying degrees. For example, a candidate might be telling the truth about the company they worked for but include an incorrect job title. While it’s less common, candidates can outright lie about their entire job history and even create fake companies where they supposedly worked!
It’s an employer’s job to ensure a candidate is who they say they are and that their experience is valid. An employment verification check is one way employers ascertain candidates are legitimate.
What is an employment verification check?
Also known as a pre-employment screening or employment history check, an employment verification check is used to verify a candidate's employment history.
This employment history check verifies:
- The name of the organisations an individual was employed by
- Dates employed
- Nature of employment (full time, part time, casual, contract etc)
- Last position held
- Reasons for leaving
Why employment verification checks are important?
Employment verification checks are important because employers must verify a candidate has the job history they claim. There are very good reasons employers should verify employment history. Firstly, it's a way to make certain candidates have the skills and experience they claim, ensuring they are truly a right fit for the role. Secondly, an employment verification check helps you make certain a candidate is who they say they are. Unfortunately, fraud and identity theft is more common in the digital age and it's up to employers to make sure they are hiring the right person. Due diligence laws vary between countries and states but you might actually be breaking the law if you don’t check a candidate's employment history! When you bring a new staff member on board you’re exposing your team to someone new and it’s up to you to ensure that person is safe. You also want to be sure this person is equipped to do the job so they don’t become a burden to your team.
How to conduct an employment verification check?
There are many ways to verify employment history. The traditional method is to pick up the phone and call each company a candidate has listed on their CV. With the advent of email and social media, this method becomes a bit easier. However, the best way to conduct employment verification checks is by using software. Reference checking software like Xref includes employment verification checks as part of their product. With access to real-time data sources such as government, credit bureau, private facilities, utility databases and more, platforms like Xref are built to easily conduct identity and employment checks. Employers don’t need to do any legwork to conduct due diligence and by making the process easy, you can be sure your recruiters won’t cut corners.
How is an employment verification check different to a reference check?
An employment verification check is designed to discover whether a candidate’s job history is real. This helps employers understand a candidate’s work history and confirm a candidate is who they say they are. A reference check is designed to get deeper insights into a candidate’s personality, working style, strengths and weaknesses. It works as more than an identity check. Ideally, an employer will conduct both an employment history and reference check on a prospective hire.
Do I need to ask for candidate permission before conducting an employment verification check?
Consent and privacy laws change between countries and states. Plus, every country has different laws in terms of compulsory checks depending on the profession or role. Check which laws apply to you and be sure to follow them. In many cases, candidate consent is required.
Be aware some applicants may be reluctant to have their current employer know that they are applying for another job.
What other verification checks should I conduct?
Along with an employment verification check you may choose, or be required by law to conduct:
- Criminal record checks
- Credit financial checks
- Education verification
- Police checks
- Professional membership checks
- Traffic and License checks
- Social media checks
- Work rights or Visa checks
- Working with Children checks
- Watchlist checks
- Workers compensation checks
Where can I learn more about employment verification checks?
Get in touch with our team to learn more about how you can conduct employment verification checks in an easy and compliant way.