How to Get the Most Out of Employment Verifications
An employment verification may seem like a simple thing and unnecessary, considering the time or financial cost involved. However, according to the 2015 HireRight Benchmarking Report, over a quarter of employment histories included discrepancies. Some of those discrepancies may be harmless–typos or inadvertent mistakes–but others may be intentional, attempts at making an employment history more substantial or hide gaps in employment. A thorough employment verification can help weed out potentially dishonest employees. Here are a few things we recommend you do to get the most out of them:
Perform employment verifications in conjunction with reference checks.
Employment verifications give you the cold, hard facts like hire date, end date, and position title. Typically, an HR professional or possibly a third party provides the employment information, but an HR manager or third party likely cannot provide character information about the subject’s ability to be a team player, performance, or work ethic.
A reference check performed in conjunction with an employment verification shows a fuller picture of the candidate’s work history including the time with a particular employer but also the character and work ethic of the candidate.
Get specific contact information for the company and, if possible, the HR manager.
Finding the right person to contact for an employment verification can be difficult, so ask candidates for their former employer’s HR information if they have it, or at least the name of the person you should speak with. The more information you have, the easier your job or the job of your CRA will be.
Have the candidate’s waiver form accessible.
Every candidate you will be performing a background check on should fill out a waiver releasing their information for employment screening purposes. Many employers ask to see the waiver when contacted for an employment verification, so keeping that waiver handy and providing it immediately to your CRA when you request a background check will facilitate the process.
Check several places of employment or work history for five to seven years.
Checking just the last place of employment may not cut it. For a complete employment verification, contact or have your CRA contact the last several employers or any employers that cover the last five to seven years to weed out any possible resume discrepancies.
Double check discrepancies.
If a candidate seems like a good fit but a discrepancies shows up in an employment verification, do what you can to figure out if the discrepancy is dishonesty or a legitimate mistake. Just because discrepancies pop out doesn’t mean the candidate should be disqualified entirely.