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What are Identity Verification Checks?

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A man having his fingerprint scanned for biometric identity verification

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Before making a job offer to any prospective employee, you want to be sure that you’re dealing with a candidate that is exactly who they say they are.

It sounds like a notion that shouldn’t even need to be verified, but with remote hiring on the rise, it is an important consideration to ensure confidence in your talent. Remote hiring has led employers to be more concerned than ever about instances of identity fraud.

Identify verification may be the first check completed once candidates have been shortlisted. If an applicant’s identity is incorrect, then any subsequent checks such as Education Verification, Employment Verification and Police Checks may be rendered inaccurate.

What is an Identity Verification Check?

An Identity Verification Check is a pre-screening process that helps to determine the true identity of a candidate by confirming their personal details and identification documents. 

Identity verification is implemented to prevent an unauthorised person or dishonest candidate from acquiring a job, carrying out a process, creating a false identity, or committing fraud.

How do I conduct an Identity Verification Check? 

In Australia, to complete an Identity Verification Check, your candidate needs to make sure they have at least two forms of photo identification such as a passport and driver’s licence. 

Identity verification services like RapidID can help complete your identity verification on a mobile device. As the candidate, this makes it easy to take and send a photo of yourself alongside your identity documents. 

RapidID uses biometric facial recognition to compare documents with a live photo and then verifies that with Government records. It can do this in seconds. 

RapidID uses biometric facial recognition

What does an Identity Verification Check reveal?

By using documents such as those in the list below, an Identity Verification Check reveals if the person submitting the documents matches the photograph taken at the time of the check. The photograph cannot be uploaded - it must be taken live. The documents that can be used to verify identity vary from country to country, but may include:

  • Centrelink Concession Card (Australia)
  • Certificate of Registration by Descent (Australia)
  • Change of Name Certificate
  • Citizenship Certificate
  • Driver's Licence
  • ImmiCards (Australia)
  • Marriage Certificate
  • Medicare Card
  • Passport
  • Visa
  • Social Security Number/Card (United States)
  • Utility Bills
  • Biometric Residence Permit (United Kingdom)
  • Armed Forces ID Card
  • Birth Certificate

Other providers may choose a video to confirm the identity of the person completing the verification check. 

How long does an Identity Verification Check take?

As most Identity Verification Checks utilise a biometric check to match a face to submitted identity documents, verification is typically immediate.

Who should conduct an Identity Verification Check?

In the current environment, where remote hiring is becoming increasingly common, it pays to know who you are hiring. Verifying identity can give you the peace of mind and confidence that your candidate is who they say they are. 

All employers should consider Identity Verification of Checks before bringing a new person onto the team. 

Why are Identity Verification Checks important?

With identity fraud on the rise and more and more business being conducted remotely or online, ensuring the identity of employees is essential. You need to know that those with access to privileged information or cash flow are who they claim to be.

The global pandemic has driven people online in ways never seen before. Even before the COVID outbreak, the amount of data stored online was huge. Data breaches, such as the Facebook data breach of 2018 and the FSB breach of 2019, compromised the data integrity of billions of records, exposing the names, addresses and other personal information of an unknown number of people. 

With the amount of private data held online and the regularity of data breaches, is it any wonder that identity fraud appears to be on the rise globally? According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), in 2021, fraud complaints increased by 19% and the most common form of fraud is impostor scams; a type of identity fraud in which a person pretends to be someone else for fraudulent purposes.

The UK-based fraud prevention organisation Cifas has reported a surge in identity crimes as criminals take advantage of a struggling economy and online workforce. 

Impostor scams are a form of identity fraud

Do I need a candidate’s permission before conducting an Identity Verification Check?

Yes. To carry out an Identity Verification Check, a candidate must be willing to do so as they must provide the personal information and relevant documentation to be cross-checked and analysed. If the Identity Verification Check is biometric, such as the checks performed by RapidID, the candidate must take a photo to match against online data and prove liveness.

If they are unwilling to do so, they won’t get the job.

In terms of good practice and transparency, it is advisable that companies inform their candidates early in the hiring process that they will be carrying out an Identity Verification Check, along with other verification checks, as part of their pre-screening and onboarding process.

When should an employer conduct an Identity Verification Check?

An employer may wish to conduct an Identity Verification Check before conducting any other check during the pre-screening process to ensure that subsequent checks are accurate. If you choose to verify identity, it should be the very first check performed.

What other verification checks should I conduct? 

There are many other employment verification checks you may choose or be required by law to conduct. These include, but are not limited to:


The amount of personal data being stored in the cloud and the frequency of data breaches releasing identifying information online has increased cases of identity fraud worldwide. The increasing prevalence of remote hiring has increased the worry of fraudulent hires. Identity Verification Checks allow organisations to be confident that candidates are who they say they are.

To verify the background of your candidate and the validity of their identity documents in a secure and seamless way, consider using RapidID.

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