The Importance of Employment History Verification

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Posted by: David Garcia

Topics: Background Check 101, Human Resources, Recruitment

Employment history verification is one of the most critical steps in the hiring process. But it’s not something all hiring managers conduct, and it could be a mistake that costs the organization in more ways than one. 

By verifying an employee’s work history, you can ensure that a candidate’s credentials are accurate and that they have the experience and skills they claim to have. Past employment verification can help mitigate the risk of hiring with false credentials or inaccurate work history.

You always want to know what you're getting into when you bring someone new to the team. A thorough look at past employment history is critical to understanding a potential hire’s value as a prospective employee. 

Why Is It Important to Verify the Work History of an Employee?

You never want to skip the step of verifying employment history during the hiring process. Below are several reasons why.

Ensures Your Candidate's Employment History Is Accurate

The most obvious reason to verify an employee's work history is it ensures that their claims are accurate. 

In today's job market, it's not uncommon for people to embellish their qualifications or experience to make themselves look more qualified for the role than they are. Don't think it's that common? A 2020 study found that 56% of respondents admit to outright lying or stretching the truth on their resume.

With employment history verification, you can be sure they have the experience and skills they claim to have. Accurate representation of past work is crucial for roles that require specific skills or qualifications.

Verifies the Actual Job Title Held

Sometimes, a potential employee may claim to have held a particular job title when they didn't. It might seem like a simple adjustment of semantics to them, but even these small details matter, as a shift in job title can signal a shift in the role and responsibilities.

In other cases, an employee may have held a job title different from the one they're applying for, encouraging them to make a slight change to their resume to impress potential employers.

For example, an employee may have held the role of product manager at their previous company but is now applying for a role as a project manager. It's a slight title change but implies vastly different skill sets and experience.

Title verification ensures they have the relevant experience for the role. 

Provides Insight into Past Responsibilities

In addition to verifying the job title, it's also essential to understand the exact past responsibilities of the applicant. This profile will give you a better understanding of their skills and experience and how it relates to the role.

By verifying their employment history with HR teams and former supervisors, you can objectively look at their everyday duties and responsibilities. Knowing their actual role will help paint a picture of what it would be like to work with them and whether or not they're a good fit.

While they may have held a similar job title in the past, it doesn't necessarily mean their responsibilities were the same. For example, one project manager may have been responsible for managing a team of subcontractors while another was responsible for managing the logistical operations of the project and the finances. 

Knowing their past responsibilities will determine whether they have the skills and experience necessary for the job they're applying for now.

Confirms Work Tenure

An applicant’s length of employment may be more important than their actual job title or responsibilities. Pre-employment verification confirms the exact duration of their position at a given company. 

For example, suppose you're looking to fill a leadership role. You may want to prioritize candidates with several years of experience with the company over those recently promoted.

In other cases, you might want someone with new ideas and a different perspective. In this case, you may prefer fresh graduate candidates who’ve only been with their current company for a year or two.

Some candidates may try to cover up gaps in their work history by adjusting the tenure of their past positions. Verifying the actual time they held the positions will give you a more accurate window of when they worked there.

Uncovers the True Reason for Resignation

Employees who left their former roles on good terms should have no issue providing a positive reference. In other cases, there may be some tension between the employee and their former employer that you won't pick up on through a cover letter or resume.

If you speak with the HR team or the employee's direct supervisor, you can better understand the situation and why the employee left. It will help you decide if they're a good fit for your company.

It isn't necessarily a dealbreaker if an employee left their previous role due to workplace conflict with their supervisor or colleagues. However, it's essential to know. You can bring it up with the potential candidate before making hiring decisions.

Mitigates the Risk of Hiring Someone With False Credentials

Unfortunately, some candidates will lie about their employment history to secure a role they're not qualified to perform. In other cases, they may falsify information about gaps in their work history or negative experiences at previous companies.

No matter the reason, it's essential to verify the accuracy of their employment history before moving forward with the hiring process. You can speak with HR teams or their direct supervisors.

Verifying that the candidate is being truthful about their past experiences will give you peace of mind moving forward with the hiring process. If you can’t verify their employment history, it's best to move on to other candidates.

Know Your Employees Better With Employment History Verification

The importance of verifying the employment history of potential candidates cannot be understated. By taking the time to speak with former employers and supervisors, you can get a better understanding of the candidate's skills, experience, and work ethic.

At ScoutLogic, we perform various background check searches, including employment history verification. Call today to match up with a Scout and move forward confident that you're making the best decision for your company.

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