Employment Verification: The “Need to Knows” in an Age of Resume Fraud

Posted Thursday, June 28th, 2018 by Debbie Lamb, Sterling Talent Solutions

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What Information Do You Need for an Employment Verification Check?

A resume is how a potential new employer gets the first impression of your skills, experiences and qualifications. To snag the perfect job, applicants are seeking ways to compete with other candidates. One of the common way to “up their games” so to speak is to pad, embellish, exaggerate and even lie on their resumes. In an eye-opening 2017 OfficeTeam survey, 46% of those surveyed said they knew someone who shared false information on a resume. The same people were asked what was misrepresented on the resume with 76% stating job experience and 55% saying job duties. Interestingly, one-third of the managers surveyed said they had removed a candidate from consideration for the job after finding out they had lied on their resume.

Employment verifications are another aspect of the pre-employment background check.  The first blog post in our candidate employment series, What You Need for a Criminal Record Check, shared what information needs to be provided to either a third-party background screening provider or an internal HR team to run a criminal record check. The second blog shared information about what could be required for an education verification check. All the components of an employment background check help organizations get a better overall picture of their candidates to give them the insight they need to make an informed hiring decision.

What are Employment Verifications?

In a competitive job market, some candidates may do anything they can to get potential employees to notice their resumes. Unfortunately, some of what appears on their resumes may be questionable. Employment verification services contact the past employer’s human resources and payroll departments to make sure that the candidate’s information is factual and without personal bias. These type of background checks compare information on the resume against information directly from the source to see if there are differences in prior positions held, job titles, dates of employment and reasons for leaving. By cross-referencing this information with details provided by a candidate, employers will obtain an invaluable view of their work experience and integrity.

What Do I Need to Supply for an Employment Verification?

The information that is needed for employment verifications will vary on a company’s needs. Some companies will require more detail about employment background depending on the role they are hiring for. As well as the information that you provided for a criminal record check such as full name, social security number, birthday, any known aliases, current and past addresses and driver’s license number, you may also be asked to provide the following information for an education verification:

  • Name, address and contact information of past employers
  • Dates of Employment
  • If past employers cannot be reached, some companies will require proof of employment by seeing a W2 or a pay stub from a previous employer

It is important to be informed about the process and what information you need to provide for the background check. Remember to read the consent form carefully before you sign it. Providing the correct information at the time of consent will help to speed up the background check process.

Background Screening Regulations

As a reminder, third-party background screening companies are regulated by federal, state and local laws. At the federal level, employment verifications are regulated by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidelines. One requirement of the FCRA is that a company must notify the candidate that they will be performing an employment verification. The notice will explain that the results of the employment verification will be used for hiring, promotion or retention. After explaining the intent of performing a background check, employers must receive consent (either on paper or online) from a job candidate to run a background check and that the results will be used in making hiring decisions.

There are many aspects to a background screen from criminal record checks to education and employment verifications. Each company will require different checks for the positions that they are filing. Understanding what information you need to be prepared for the background check will help the turnaround time and put you a step ahead of other candidates. For other questions about the process, check out our FAQs at the Sterling Talent Solutions’ website.

This publication is for informational purposes only and nothing contained in it should be construed as legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out this information. We encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.