What's Included in Employment Verification? (2021 Update)

What Is Employment Verification & What's Included?

 An employment verification is a background check that corroborates the past work experience in a candidate’s resume. By conducting this check, an employer can learn about a candidate’s past job titles, employment dates, reasons for leaving jobs, and more to help inform their hiring decisions.

Verification of a candidate’s past jobs is typically an integral part of the hiring process. Many employers will make hiring decisions based primarily on a candidate’s work experience. While filling a position, hiring managers want to know that their top candidates have held similar jobs in the past.

Applicable work experience reduces the learning curve and increases the likelihood of a new employee’s success. However, to hang the weight of a hiring decision on a person’s work history, an employer must verify past employment.

In this post, we will examine employment verifications, including what such a check might reveal and the potential consequences of failing to substantiate a candidate’s past employment information.

What Do Employment Verifications Check

A verification of employment can check multiple pieces of information about a candidate’s past jobs. These include:

Job title

Which job(s) did a candidate hold with a previous employer? As part of an employment verification, background checkers will learn about the candidate’s specific job titles and track advancement or promotions with former employers.

Start and end date

In addition to employer name and job title, employment dates are a key part of the employment information section of a resume. An employment verification will confirm those dates to ensure that the candidate is truthful about when and how long they worked for an employer.

Other information

In some cases, a verification of employment may determine a person’s reason for leaving a previous job, as well as their eligibility for rehire.

Credentials & professional license

Though not included in an employment information check, credentials and professional licenses are core parts of resumes. Employers frequently verify these details during the background check process. At backgroundchecks.com, we offer a professional licensing verification check that employers can use during their employment verifications.

The Importance of Checking Employment History

Many applicants are willing to lie on their resumes if it will increase their chances of securing a job. Lies about employment history are among the most common forms of resume dishonesty. Candidates will tweak job titles to make them sound more impressive, edit employment dates to fill gaps in their work history, and embellish their work responsibilities to appear to be a better fit for a job. Some candidates fabricate entire sections of their work backgrounds.

Prospective employers use background checks to verify employment to avoid making hiring decisions based on false information. By checking resumes thoroughly, hiring managers can ensure that they are choosing candidates who are qualified, experienced, and honest.

How to Properly Verify the Employment History of a Job Candidate

The process of completing a background check of employment history may surprise you. 

There is no searchable third-party database that will allow you to view and verify a candidate’s entire job history in one place. Instead, you will need to verify employment information by speaking with each past employer. Third-party background check companies can make this process easier for employers as they strive to confirm employment history.

Here is the basic process for conducting an employment verification:

Step 1: Determine the information that you wish to verify

Once you have determined which candidate(s) you will vet with a full background check process, determine which pieces of employment history you wish to verify. Always follow all applicable laws and statutes, including ban the box laws and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

If a candidate has held one job for the past 15 years, you probably only need to verify that position. If the candidate has changes jobs three or four times over the past seven years, you may wish to verify several jobs.

Keep in mind that you will have to order separate employment verifications for different employers.

Step 2: Provide relevant details to backgroundchecks.com

To run a third-party check on a candidate’s employment information, backgroundchecks.com will need that person’s name, the details of the job(s) and employer(s) that you wish to verify, and a few other details. Visit our employment verification checks page to begin.

When you purchase this check, we will take the information that your candidate provided on their resume and contact the past employers that they listed, using a separate verification check for each employer that you wish to verify.

During these calls to past employers, we ask someone from the business—usually an HR representative—to verify key details about your candidate, including the positions that they held, the responsibilities involved, and their dates of employment. In some cases, we may be able to ask about their reasons for leaving or eligibility for rehire.

Step 3: Compare the results of your verification to the candidate’s resume

Once we have spoken to a candidate’s past employer(s), we prepare a report based on the employment verification background checks that you hired us to conduct.

Each report will include side-by-side comparisons of the information that the candidate provided and what we learned directly from their employer. If there are discrepancies, they will be easy for you to spot. You can take this information into account when making your hiring decision.

What Can Previous Employers Legally Share?

Employers are not technically barred by law from sharing any information about past candidates. However, because of the threat of libel and defamation litigation, most employers will avoid sharing opinions about a candidate’s character, work ethic, attitude, and other details that could be considered subjective.

Employers can protect themselves from these risks by sharing only objective details of employment information, such as job titles, employment dates, and eligibility for rehire.

Frequently Asked Questions


Why is employment verification important?

Work history is one of the core elements that a hiring manager considers when deciding who to interview or hire for a position. Making sure that past work information is accurate and truthful is crucial to giving employers peace of mind in their hiring decisions—especially because of how common it is for candidates to lie on their resumes.

How do I verify the employment history of a job candidate?

At backgroundchecks.com, we make the employment verification process easy with our third-party employment verification background checks. Learn how to verify employers with a background check or order your first report now by visiting this product page.

What can previous employers legally share?

Employers are legally allowed to share almost anything about an employee. However, they typically choose to share only objective details (such as employment dates and job titles) to minimize defamation risks.

For more information about our employment verification product, visit our product page.

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