What's Included in Employment Verification? (2023 Update)

What Is Employment Verification & What's Included? 

An employment verification is an element of a background check that corroborates the work experience in a candidate’s resume. By conducting this check, an employer can learn about a candidate’s previous job titles, employment dates, reasons for leaving jobs, and other information to support their final adjudication of hiring decisions.

Verifying a candidate’s past jobs is typically an integral part of the hiring process. Many employers will make hiring decisions based largely on a candidate’s prior work experience. While filling a position, hiring managers want to know that their top candidates have previously held similar jobs. Those who typically possess more experience and a better understanding of doing the job equals less time spent training and more opportunities for finding ways to improve productivity through new hires.

People are often not truthful on their resumes, and embellishments can appear in any element of a candidate’s listed work experience. Relevant work experience reduces the learning curve and increases the likelihood of a new employee’s success. However, an employer must verify previous employment to make a hiring decision. 

This post 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

Verification of employment can check all information about a candidate’s past jobs. These include:

Job title

Which job(s) did a candidate hold with a previous employer? During employment verification, background checkers will learn about the candidate’s specific job titles and track advancement or promotions with former employers. This item is one of the most common sources of information that past employers will reveal to those inquiring about an employee’s record. 

Start and end date

In addition to company and job title, employment dates are a key part of the employment information section of a resume. A candidate could misrepresent how long they worked at a company to inflate the value of their experience. Employment verification will confirm those dates to ensure that the candidate is truthful about dates and duration worked for an employer, enabling you to select the most appropriately experienced with increased confidence.

Other information

In some cases, verification of employment may determine a person’s reason for leaving a previous job and their eligibility for rehire. However, not all businesses will disclose this information as a matter of course.

Credentials & professional license

Though not included in an employment information check, credentials and professional licenses are fundamental to resumes. Employers frequently verify these details during the background check process. If a candidate claims a prior job that would have required a special certification, it may be wise to verify that the individual holds such a license. 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 look like a better fit for a job. Some candidates fabricate entire sections of their work backgrounds. If it can happen in the United States Congress, it can happen to any employer.

Prospective employers use background checks and reference checks to verify employment to avoid making hiring decisions based on false information. Hiring managers can ensure they choose qualified, experienced, and honest candidates by checking resumes thoroughly.

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 contains complete employment information on all workers in the United States. Although there are some solutions run by one of the major credit bureaus, there is no guaranteed way to view and verify every candidate’s entire job history in one place. Getting started with these platforms can be challenging, and in some jurisdictions, they may not be legal for employers because these reports may contain salary information. A growing number of states and local jurisdictions have outlawed considering past salary data, and a hiring decision cannot be adjudicated on such grounds in those areas.

For certainty and thoroughness, you must 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 what employment history you wish to verify. Always follow all applicable laws and statutes, including local and state 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 changed jobs three or four times over the past seven years, you may wish to verify several jobs.

Remember 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) you wish to verify, and a few other details. Visit our employment verification checks page to begin.

When you purchase this check, we will use the information on your candidate’s resume and contact the past employers listed, using a separate verification check for each employer you wish to confirm.

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

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

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

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

What Can Previous Employers Legally Share?

Employers are not technically barred by federal law from sharing information about ex-employees. 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. Many businesses will not disclose salary information even in jurisdictions where it may be legal, as they may consider this information sensitive to the company’s operations.

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 whom 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 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 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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