How does a background check verify employment? Employers must use a screening process called employment verification to do so. An employment verification corroborates the work experience in a candidate’s resume. An employer can verify important facts about a candidate’s previous experience by conducting background checks on employment. This information can include job titles, employment dates, and reasons for leaving. Employers use this and other information to support their final hiring decisions.

Verifying a candidate’s past jobs is integral to the hiring process. Many employers will use prior work experience as a major element of their hiring decisions. Hiring managers want to know that their top candidates have held similar jobs before. Those with more experience and a better job understanding are often better choices. Hiring such people equals less time spent on training. Smarter hiring creates more opportunities for boosting productivity.

People are often not entirely truthful on a job application or their resumes. 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 that experience to make a hiring decision.

In this post, we’ll take a closer look at employment verifications. Let’s look at what these types of background checks might reveal. We’ll also explore the potential consequences of failing to confirm a candidate’s past employment claims.

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? Applicants often list their titles when describing job experience on a resume. It is essential to verify that these claims are accurate. For example, someone might claim to have been a manager when they were only a clerk. Verification lets you confirm specific job titles and someone’s path of advancement. Most past employers will reveal this information.

Start and end date

Employment dates are also a key part of the employment section of a resume. A candidate could misrepresent how long they worked at a company. Doing so is an easy way to inflate the amount and value of their experience. Verification helps confirm those dates for accuracy. You can then select the most appropriately experienced individual with increased confidence.

Other information

In some cases, verification of employment may furnish other details. For example, you might determine a person’s reason for leaving a previous job. You may also learn about their eligibility for rehire. Both these factors could indicate whether an employer fired the applicant. Not all businesses will disclose this information.

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. For example, candidates will tweak job titles to make them sound more impressive. They might edit employment dates to fill gaps in their work histories. Some will 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. A background check company can help.

How to Properly Verify the Employment History of a Job Candidate

The process of completing a background check for employment history may surprise you. Criminal background checks are another common employment tool, using databases of records. These come in the form of both official and third-party databases of criminal records. That makes them easy to search and procure. Believe it or not, there is no comparable solution for job history.

There is no complete public database with information on all workers in the United States.

Some major credit report bureaus claim to offer tools to uncover past jobs. However, there is no guarantee these services are complete or accurate. These tools may not even be legal in some areas because they report salary information. More states and cities have outlawed considering or viewing past salary data. Without a searchable database, how do background checks verify employment?

First, you must rely on candidates to provide information about their past jobs. If an applicant doesn’t supply enough evidence of experience, you may choose to select someone else. When a list of past employment seems like a good match, you must confirm that data yourself. You must contact that person’s past employers to ask questions directly. Background check companies can help make this process easier by making contact on your behalf.

Can anyone call an HR department to find out these answers? Companies likely won’t provide information to the general public. However, you can uncover more information if you identify yourself as an employer. HR teams are also familiar with fielding inquiries from background checkers. Relying on a professional service can streamline the information-gathering process.

How Does Employment Verification Work?

Here is the basic process for conducting an employment verification.

Step 1: Determine the information that you wish to verify

Determine which applicants you want to put through the entire background check process. Review each applicant’s resume and employment history section. Decide which jobs you wish to verify. Always follow all applicable laws and statutes before ordering a background check. Observe local and state ban-the-box laws and obtain consent as required under 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 many times over the past seven years, you may wish to verify several jobs.

Remember to order separate employment verification services for different employers.

Step 2: Provide relevant details to

To run a third-party check on a candidate’s employment information, you will need to share some key facts. will need the person’s name and the relevant job details as shared in their resume. The name and contact information of the employer is also important. Visit our employment verification checks page to begin.

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

During these calls to past employers, we ask to speak to someone from the business authorized to discuss past employees. This person is usually an HR representative. Once connected, we ask them to verify key details about your applicant. This includes the positions they held and the responsibilities involved. We’ll also verify their dates of employment. In some cases, we can even ask about eligibility for rehire.

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

We prepare reports for you after speaking to a candidate’s past employers.

Each report includes side-by-side comparisons that are easy to read. These reports compare the candidate’s information with what we learned 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?

There are no federal laws that create technical barriers to sharing information about past employees. However, employers have other concerns to manage. Fears of libel or defamation lawsuits are common among HR departments. Businesses will, therefore, try to stick to sharing only hard, verifiable facts.

Employers usually won’t speak about an applicant’s character or work ethic. Subjective details aren’t the domain of employment verifications. This caution is why we often can only verify job titles, dates of employment, and rehire eligibility.


Why is employment verification important?

Work history is one of the core elements that a hiring manager considers. This data plays a significant role when deciding whom to interview or hire for a position. Employment history indicates to employers who may have the experience relevant for a job. Confirming this information helps verify someone’s suitability. When an applicant lies about experience, it could negatively impact the business that hires that person. Lying on resumes is shockingly common. Employers must protect themselves against fraud.

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

At, we make employment verification services easy to access. Our third-party employment verification background checks provide the key facts you need. Learn how to order your first report by visiting this product page.

What can previous employers legally share?

Employers face few clear legal restrictions about what they can share about an employee. However, they typically share only objective details to minimize defamation risks. Expect basic facts such as the hiring date, last day, and job titles held.

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

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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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