work history

Ensuring Accuracy: Verifying a Job Applicant’s Previous Work History

Aug 31, 2023 | Resources

Hiring the right employee is a critical process for any work organization, big or small. Verifying an applicant’s previous employment history is vital to this process. While it may seem like a routine step in the hiring process, employment verification holds significant importance.

Throughout this article, we explore why you should verify a potential employee’s work history. We will also discuss what information you should gather during this process and how to conduct an employment verification background check. 

Why Verify Work History?

Confirming Accuracy

One of the primary reasons you should verify an applicant’s work history is to confirm the accuracy of the information provided on their resume or job application. Unfortunately, some candidates may exaggerate their qualifications or provide false details about their past employment to appear more attractive to potential employers. By conducting employment verification, you can ensure that the information given by the applicant is truthful and reliable.

Assessing Job Fit

Employment verification helps assess the applicant’s fit for the job and suitability for the role. When you verify their work history, you can gain insights into their past responsibilities, achievements, and the industries they have worked in. This information is invaluable when determining whether the applicant’s experience aligns with the requirements of the position you’re hiring for.

Avoid Legal Consequences

Hiring an employee without verifying their work history can lead to legal complications down the road. If an employee’s qualifications are misrepresented, and their performance falls short of expectations, it can result in lost time and resources for your organization. Employment verification acts as a safeguard against these situations and helps mitigate legal risks.

Protecting Your Reputation

Your company’s reputation is quite a valuable asset. Hiring an employee with a fabricated work history can harm your organization’s credibility and trustworthiness. Customers, partners, and stakeholders may lose faith in your hiring practices if they find you did not thoroughly vet your employees. Employment verification helps in maintaining your reputation as a responsible and trustworthy employer.

Information to Gather for Verifications

When conducting employment verifications, it is essential to collect specific information to ensure a comprehensive and accurate assessment of the applicant’s work history. 

Here is some information you should gather when verifying:

  1. Dates of Employment — Verify the start and end dates of the applicant’s previous employment, including the month and year.
  2. Job Titles and Roles — Confirm the job titles and roles the applicant held during their tenure with previous employers.
  3. Job Responsibilities — Seek information about the applicant’s responsibilities and achievements in each role they had. This helps assess their qualifications and skills for the position they are applying for.
  4. Reason for Leaving — Inquire about the reasons for the applicant’s departure from their previous jobs. This information may shed light on their work ethic and attitude.
  5. Contact Information — Ensure you have accurate contact information for the applicant’s previous employers, including phone numbers and email addresses.
  6. References — Request professional references from the applicant’s past employers or supervisors who can provide insights about their past work performance.

How to Conduct an Employment Verification Background Check

Conducting an employment verification background check involves systematically gathering the necessary information from the applicant’s previous employers. 

Here are the steps you can follow when conducting a background check:

  1. Have Written Consent — Before initiating the verification process, ensure you have obtained written consent from the applicant. This is necessary to comply with legal regulations and protect the applicant’s privacy.
  2. Contact Previous Employers — Reach out to the applicant’s previous employers or HR departments using the contact information provided. Clearly state your purpose, the information you’re looking for, and the timeframe for the verification. It’s best practice not to accept private or personal number for previous employers as their identities cannot be verified.
  3. Prepare Questions — Create a list of specific questions to ask during the verification process. These questions should cover the essential details like dates of employment, job titles, responsibilities, and reasons for leaving.
  4. Verify Information — When contacting previous employers, verify the information provided by the applicant. Cross-reference the details gathered from the employer with the applicant’s resume or job application. 
  5. Check References — If the applicant has provided professional references, contact them to gather additional insights into the applicant’s work performance, skills, and character.
  6. Document Findings — Keep thorough records of the information you gather during the employment verification process. This documentation is essential for future reference and can help protect your organization in the event of any disputes.
  7. Evaluate the Results — After completing the verification process, assess the information you’ve gathered to determine whether it aligns with the applicant’s claims. Evaluate if you see any discrepancies or notice any red flags.
  8. Inform the Applicant — Communicate the results of the employment verification to the applicant. If there are any discrepancies or concerns, allow the applicant to explain or give further details.
  9. Make Informed Hiring Decisions — Use the verified information to make hiring decisions. Assess whether the applicant’s qualifications and work history align with the position’s requirements.
  10. Maintain Compliance — Ensure that your employment verification process complies with all relevant laws and regulations, including any related to privacy and discrimination.

Pre-Employment Investigations for Professional Candidate Screenings

Verifying an applicant’s work history should not be overlooked. It helps confirm the accuracy of the information you’ve received, assesses the applicant’s job fit, avoids legal consequences, and protects your organization’s reputation. You can conduct a thorough employment verification background check by gathering specific information and following a systematic process.

At Pre-Employment Investigations, we specialize in providing comprehensive pre-employment screenings, including employment verification services. Our experienced team can assist you in verifying an applicant’s work history, ensuring that you can make an informed hiring decision. 

Don’t leave your organization’s success to chance. Contact Pre-Employment Investigations today to discover how our professional services can assist you in making informed hiring decisions and protecting your company’s future.

Reach out to us now to get started on enhancing your pre-employment screening process. Your success begins with the right employees, and we are here to help find them.