Employment verifications play a crucial role in the hiring process as they validate that job applicants possess the relevant work experience required for the position. Through this verification process, you can uncover inaccurate employment assertions, provide explanations for employment history gaps, and gain valuable insights into the candidate’s suitability for your company.
Continue reading to discover the significance of employment verification, the process of performing it, and the inquiries to pose.
What is an employment verification background check?
Employment verification is a standard part of a pre-employment background check. This stage in the hiring procedure is designed to uncover any disparities between the details furnished by a candidate and their genuine employment track record.
During this process, a representative from your human resources (HR) department or an external background check service will reach out to key employers mentioned on the candidate’s resume to validate their past work, job titles, and periods of employment.
What information should be sought during employment verifications?
When conducting an employment verification, you should aim to gather as much data as you can. Private information, such as your medical history, may occasionally be provided to you, however, it may pose legal dangers. An HR expert or other third-party source can aid with this phase to help avoid lawsuits. The kinds of information you should look for during an employment verification include the following:
- Dates/length of employment
- Job titles and time spent at each position within the company
- Overall job performance
- Reason for termination or separation
- Job-related knowledge, qualifications and skills
- Safety or behavioral violations, if any
- Other work-related information
- Eligibility for rehire
How do you conduct an employment verification background check?
To conduct an employment verification background check, begin by formulating a concise set of specific inquiries and maintain a respectful and brief approach to maximize the information obtained. Before initiating the call, consult the candidate’s resume and any notes from previous interviews.
When reaching out to a candidate’s former employer, adhere to these guidelines:
- Consult your list of questions: Pose your inquiries in a professional yet friendly manner, ensuring a pleasant conversation for the person you are speaking with.
- Inquire about the candidate’s eligibility for rehire: While not all employers may disclose this information, it can be quite revealing, so it’s essential to ask regardless.
- Express gratitude: Maintain professionalism and extend your thanks to the individual for their time and assistance. Remember that you might need to contact the same reference regarding other applicants in the future. Furthermore, this interaction could be the initial introduction of other professionals to your company and its reputation, so making a positive impression is always valuable.
What is the difference between employment verifications and reference checks?
The terms “reference check” and “employment verification” are frequently used interchangeably, but they have distinct differences.
Employment verification involves confirming the factual data found on a candidate’s resume, such as their previous employers, job titles, and dates of employment.
On the other hand, a reference check occurs when potential employers reach out to the references provided by candidates they are considering for employment. These references can be professional, like former employers, supervisors, or colleagues, as well as personal, like friends. Since candidates select their own references, a reference check serves as a preliminary assessment and should be just one element of a comprehensive evaluation of the candidate.
Unlike employment verification, which verifies objective information, reference checks can be more subjective. For instance, you may inquire about the candidate’s working style, strengths, and why they would be a suitable fit for the position.
What are employment verification laws?
Despite the fact that employment verification can be a useful phase in your hiring process, it’s of the utmost importance to be aware of any potential legal restrictions.
- Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
If you include employment verifications in a criminal background check, it’s imperative to comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act. In essence, this requires that if your organization relies on a third-party background check provider for pre-employment screenings, you must obtain written consent from candidates before initiating the background check. The notification furnished to the applicant, which they should sign, should include the contact details of the company conducting the background screening.
In the event that the background check reveals adverse information, leading to the applicant’s exclusion from the hiring process, you must first follow the adverse action procedure. Adverse action entails providing the applicant with a written notification about the consumer report and a copy of “A Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.” You are also required to inform the applicant directly, whether electronically, verbally, or in writing, that their rejection is based on the results of the background check. The applicant then has the option to review and clarify the contents of the report.
- Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)
A pre-employment verification may disclose HIPAA-protected health or disability information. Sharing this information with others is not permitted by law.
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII)
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act forbids employment discrimination grounded in race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. This prohibition extends to the employment verification procedure. Employers are obligated to authenticate the employment details of both their current employees and prospective job candidates without any form of discrimination related to these protected attributes. As an illustration, employers are not permitted to seek distinct employment information from individuals based on their race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
What is the importance of verifying employment history in the hiring process?
It can be tempting to extend an offer of employment without verifying the specifics of their career history when you believe you have identified a top prospect. The candidate vetting procedure, however, requires employment verification checks, which should not be omitted. A verification of employment guarantees that the person you are recruiting is not only qualified for the position but also a great cultural fit.
Some of the main justifications for conducting job verifications are listed below.
- It confirms critical information.
According to ResumeLab, 36 percent of individuals have provided inaccurate information on their resumes. Some of the most common areas of embellishment include job experience (25 percent), job responsibilities (21 percent), and employment durations (16 percent). It’s crucial to validate that candidates are truthful about their work history and job positions to ensure they possess the requisite experience for the role. A comprehensive employment verification process can help distinguish between honest candidates and those who may be exaggerating their qualifications.
- It evaluates alignment with company culture.
Selecting the right candidates involves assessing their compatibility not only with the job but also with the organization. Employment verifications offer insight into a candidate’s previous company culture as you glean information from their former supervisor or HR representative.
- It elucidates brief employment tenures.
Employment verifications can provide confirmation regarding the reasons behind a candidate’s short-lived employment at a prior company. While you can inquire about this during the interview, verifying whether the company indeed downsized, relocated, or eliminated the role is essential.
- It prioritizes workplace safety.
It is of utmost importance to avoid hiring individuals with prior safety-related issues inadvertently. If for no other reason, the time invested in employment verification checks is invaluable in ensuring that you do not expose your company and existing employees to potential risks and liability.
When your small business starts to grow, HR becomes vital. You need someone who can help improve employee engagement and retention, a partner who will take care of payroll taxes and health insurance while you focus on your customers.
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