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Are Employment Verifications Necessary?

Man carrying box out of office. Termination concept.

Hiring is a challenge— and projected turnover rates aren’t going to help matters.

As mentioned in a previous article:

“According to Gartner, the average organization will see a 20 percent increase in turnover from their pre-pandemic average this year. In other words, a company that lost 50 employees annually in 2019, can expect to lose around 60 in 2022 and the years that follow.”

In addition to turnover issues, reported cases of violence in the workplace have been steadily increasing over the years. All types of occupational fraud have also been on the rise. These things combine to tell us something important…

Pre-hire screening practices could use some improvement. 

While criminal background checks and drug tests are tremendously valuable, there is an often-overlooked yet equally-relevant screening practice many organizations should consider implementing— employment verifications.

How Employment Verifications Can Help Improve Your Hiring Process

1. Identify Gaps In Employment and More

At the most basic level, employment verification screening allows employers to formally inquire about the work history of their applicants and hold them to a higher standard of honesty. From the candidate’s list of previous employers, hiring managers can structure more intentional interview questions. Are there employment gaps? Do their dates of employment with a given organization span shorter-than-desired timelines? What types of companies and industries does the individual have experience working with?

Moreover, when a candidate is aware their information will be verified at the source, they are less likely to be untruthful both on their application and during their interview. 

2. Better Understand Your Candidate’s Qualifications

It’s no secret that the natural tendency of many candidates is to embellish their qualifications a bit (sometimes much more than a bit). In fact, studies have shown that up to 78 percent of candidates are dishonest, to some extent, on their resumes. What may be expressed as proficiency in graphic design may have just been assistance on a single project requiring the use of Photoshop; spreadsheet mastery may, in reality, just be entry-level data entry skills, and so on.

When you verify employment, you can get an accurate idea of what your candidate’s past job responsibilities actually were, helping you make more informed decisions regarding their aptitude for the position.

3. Gather Reliable Employer Reviews

If you partner with a screening company that conducts employment verifications on your behalf, work with them to create a customized verification questionnaire. When speaking with a past employer, questions shouldn’t be limited to dates of employment and general duties. You should inquire about their work habits, reliability, ability to work with others, overall impact, and more. Such insights can help employers better understand how their prospective employees will conduct themselves on a day-to-day basis. 

For a list of specific questions that we reccommend you include in your employment verification questionnaire, read this article.

4. Gauge the Veracity of Your Candidate’s Application

Verifying employment is a good way to determine if your candidate is being honest. Common resume fibs often revolve around past dates of employment, job titles, and job duties. If your candidate’s resume or interview response paints one picture, and the words of their past employer paints another, there may be trustworthiness issues. It’s always a good practice to verify important candidate information at the source. This includes past employment history.


If you aren’t currently verifying the employment history of your candidates, we would strongly recommend that you consider doing so. There is no better way to gather detailed insights from an individual’s past employer, gain a more complete understanding of their work habits/character, and determine whether or not they are a fit for your organization. 

Past employers carry experience and knowledge with/about your candidates that can’t be found in any database or within the walls of a courthouse. Verifying past employment is a relatively simple and painless process that can go a long way in helping you build a dependable workforce.

For more information, visit us online.

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