Are Employment Verifications Failing To Go Far Enough?

Every business wants to make smart decisions about who they hire and bring on board. Building an effective team demands identifying the right skills and talent, bringing together personalities that mesh, and ensuring everyone can contribute to the company’s goals. At the same time, employers and HR managers want to do everything possible to protect the business—both its assets and the people who work there.

That emphasis often leads to a big emphasis on the criminal background check, and for good reason. However, are some businesses slipping and become less rigorous during the process of employment verification or education verification? Lies on resumes are incredibly common, but falsehoods might be on the rise. 

With the development of LinkedIn into a platform actively used for recruitment, there are more opportunities than ever to embellish one’s credentials. One study found 34% of survey respondents admitted to lying on their LinkedIn profile, suggesting that the practice is far more widespread.

Although a single reference verification or the presence of a degree in someone’s CV is often not the sole factor deciding whether or not to approve a candidate in adjudication, that information could carry significant weight. For example, a specialist position that requires specific education demands a process that verifies any applicant truly has the credentials they claim. 

The consequences of failing to be as thorough as possible can be far-reaching. First and foremost, you risk PR damage to your business and a loss of trust in your brand if your business makes it into the headlines because someone high-profile had their lies exposed. Second, in some industries, improper professional license and certification verification could endanger the public, especially in the healthcare sector. Finally, the costs of replacing a high-value employee can be astronomical when you discover they misrepresented their abilities or past.

Some businesses, facing pressing needs to staff up, might prefer to move more applications from the “consideration” column to the “adjudicated” column. Skipping verifications might seem like an easy way to save time, but the reality of today’s hiring technologies means it’s just as fast to conduct your due diligence.

Asking for letters of reference from prior employers, for example, reduces the likelihood that a candidate can lie to you about what their duties and titles were. Making the effort to actually contact references is also an important step. Many universities and colleges today streamline the process of verifying someone’s enrollment or degree status.

Turning to a reliable third-party reporting agency also opens the door to streamlining verifications without leaving valuable information on the table. When organizations as prestigious as MIT and businesses as large as Yahoo must content with resume fraud, it would be naive to assume that smaller businesses won’t have the same problems, too.

Dishonesty in the hiring process is an unfortunate reality of today’s landscape. The growth of online social media into a new marketplace for jobs and recruitment has only accelerated the rate at which lies seep into applications and resumes. For employers, it is vital to keep this in mind. While you shouldn’t treat everyone with open suspicion, it’s best to place your trust where it belong: in facts you can verify, not just what a job application claims as the truth.

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Michael Klazema

About Michael Klazema The author

Michael Klazema is the lead author and editor for Dallas-based with a focus on human resource and employment screening developments

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