It’s common for candidates to have gaps in employment. In this article, we share what to look for, what to consider, and how to proceed.
Trust & Safety
The Importance Of Employment Verifications
Employers verify employment history to confirm the information provided by a candidate is true; the work experience is sufficient to meet the position’s requirements; and past titles, achievements, or responsibilities are valid. Using a third-party to conduct Employment Verifications helps to speed the hiring process by relieving the burden from busy hiring teams.
- Hire qualified candidates more quickly
- Ensure your candidate’s employment history is accurate
- Confirm your candidate has the skills and experience required
- Mitigate risk of hiring a candidate with false credentials
What You’ll Learn From Employment Verifications
Using Employment Verifications as part of a comprehensive pre-employment screening process helps you make informed decisions and instills confidence that you’re hiring the most trustworthy, qualified candidates for the positions you need to fill. For the most reliable results, Employment Verification checks will contact current or previous employers directly to confirm the accuracy of your candidate’s employment details, including dates of employment (start and end dates) and job title(s).
Types Of Employment Verifications Offered By GoodHire
With Employment Verifications, GoodHire’s team of experts helps reduce your workload by validating your candidate’s employment history. Each Employment Verification check confirms employment details by contacting the employer specified up to five times over five business days. Although the employer’s phone number is requested from the candidate, it’s used only if one cannot be independently identified.
US Employment Verification
Each verification contacts a single employer.
BEST USED FOR
Verify employment history is accurate and experience is valid.
Dates employed & job title(s).
International Employment Verification
Any employer specified in one of 223 countries.
BEST USED FOR
US residents who have worked outside of the US.
Dates employed & job title(s).
Employment Verification – Canada
Any employer worldwide.
BEST USED FOR
Dates employed & job title(s).
Learn More About Employment History Verifications
How long (or short) a resume is can reveal details about candidates that may help hiring managers in the decision-making process.
No matter how big or small the lie, it can be costly for employers for many reasons. We share what to look out for, and what to verify.
What You Need To Know When
Running Employment Verifications
Employers using a Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA), like GoodHire, to run background checks to assess candidates during the hiring process have important responsibilities to ensure a fair and respectful process for the candidate, and to comply with various laws and regulations that govern employment screening.
Disclosure & Authorization
The FCRA requires employers to inform the candidate that they intend to run a background check, and obtain the candidate’s permission to do so.
If the results of a background check prompts a decision to deny employment, the FCRA requires employers to follow specific adverse action steps.
Free up valuable time
by letting GoodHire’s team of experts
validate your candidate’s employment history.
What Is Employment Verification? What You Need To Know
One of the most challenging and time-consuming tasks involved in vetting prospective employees is confirming details of each applicant’s job history. Checking with every past employer of every candidate — especially when hiring senior managers with long work histories, or simply when adding many workers at once, can become a full-time task for HR staffers trying to balance many other duties.
This article will address best practices for conducting employment verification — what employers should and should not do to confirm job histories accurately, efficiently and legally. It also will touch on reasons employers may wish to outsource employment verification to dedicated background check providers.
Why Are Employment History Background Checks Important?
Employment history background checks can help reveal if a job applicant has the skills needed for the position they’re seeking. Confirming a candidate’s employment history can corroborate (or disprove) claims of relevant experience and job responsibilities in industries that matter to the hiring company.
It’s unpleasant to even think about hiring someone who would fabricate or exaggerate their work history, but the consequences of doing so go beyond concerns over individual character. Exposure of executives with phony resumes has damaged the reputations of major corporations and government agencies and hiring an unqualified worker on the basis of false credentials at any level of an organization may create a threat of legal liability.
How Do Employers Verify Employment History?
Employment history verification involves contacting each workplace listed in a candidate’s resume to confirm that the applicant was in fact employed there, to check what the applicant’s job title(s) were during their work tenure, and the dates of the applicant’s employment there.
Employment history verification is often a component of a more complete background check that may include identity verification, any record of criminal history, driving record checks, professional license verification, and education history, among other screenings.
Professional background check providers are considered consumer reporting agencies (CRAs) under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), and anytime an employer contracts with a CRA to do background checks, including employment verifications, on a job applicant, FCRA requires the employer to formally notify the candidate beforehand and get their written consent. GoodHire helps employers maintain compliance by including the notification and consent steps into the secure digital portal it provides every screening candidate.
At GoodHire, each employment verification confirms one past employer listed on the applicant’s resume. While the applicant may provide a phone number for a previous employer, GoodHire conducts its own research to identify a verified phone number. This helps reduce the unlikely, but not unheard-of, ploy of furnishing a friend’s phone number in place of a past employer’s. GoodHire phones the employer up to five times over five business days to confirm the applicant’s tenure and job title.
While the process of employment verification is well within the abilities of most hiring managers and HR teams, the time and effort required for placing numerous calls and the need to be available for callbacks can make “DIY” employment verification a burden for hiring companies. Delegating the task to a dedicated background check provider such as GoodHire, with the resources needed to conduct thorough background checks quickly and efficiently, can save time and frustration and is often highly cost-effective.
What Information Can Previous Employers Share About A Candidate?
Federal laws don’t limit what past employers can or cannot reveal about former employees, but most states have laws restricting the information employers can share, and to whom they can disclose it. In addition, a growing number of states prohibit employers from asking about a prospective employee’s salary history. If an employer is unfamiliar with those laws, its employment verification efforts could inadvertently violate the law.
And while not necessarily compelled to by law, many employers make it policy to restrict the type of information they will disclose, such as the past employees’ job titles, the start and end dates of their employment and, where permitted, their salaries.
Working with a background check provider that’s a consumer reporting agency (CRA) is an option many hiring companies choose to avoid inadvertently running up against state laws. CRAs such as GoodHire are versed in compliance with FCRA and the many state and local fair hiring laws and can help you steer clear of compliance concerns.
EMPLOYMENT VERIFICATION VS REFERENCE CHECK
Employment verification differs from reference checking. Each employment verification ascertains that an applicant worked for one employer listed on their resume and verifies their job title(s) and dates of that employment. On the other hand, when conducting a reference check, a prospective employer or manager may attempt to learn additional information about the candidate from his or her previous employer, such as:
- Terms on which the person’s employment ended
- Whether the past employer would consider re-hiring the person
- If the employee has job skills required for the open position
- Whether the individual showed work improvement in their job, earned promotions, or made other advancements during their tenure
- How much the applicant earned while employed there
Concern about potential libel litigation and the growing popularity of laws forbidding disclosure of past earnings have made many HR professionals reluctant to provide references.
What Is the Best Way To Verify Candidates’ Employment History?
Verifying employment history is an important step in evaluating a job candidate. It can help confirm the individual’s experience and level of previous job responsibility. It also helps root out “resume padding” and other efforts to falsify work history — signs of poor character and potential pitfalls for an employer who hires an unqualified applicant.
The best approach to verifying candidates’ employment histories is easy to state, but harder to execute efficiently:
- Check with every workplace listed on each applicant’s resume
- Use independently obtained phone numbers whenever possible
- Confirm if and when the candidate worked there and what job title(s) they held
- Comply with the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, and applicable federal and state fair hiring laws
Employment history verification takes a dedicated, focused effort that conflicts with the work demands of many busy hiring managers and HR pros, and that’s one reason so many of them rely on background check experts like GoodHire to do the job thoroughly and efficiently.
The resources provided here are for educational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. We advise you to consult your own counsel if you have legal questions related to your specific practices and compliance with applicable laws.