Why employment verification checks are important
Get additional insight into your candidate’s work history. An employment verification background check helps you:
Hire qualified candidates
Make informed decisions and feel confident you’re hiring skilled, experienced candidates.
Verify previous positions held
Confirm the information provided by your candidate is true, and identify any employment gaps.
Mitigate risk to your business
Hiring a candidate with false credentials could pose a risk to your company’s reputation, or worse.
What you’ll learn from employment history checks
Employment history checks confirm important details provided on a resume or application are accurate, such as:
Position or title
Get more insight into your candidate’s level of experience by verifying their position.
Dates of employment
Check the length of employment and accuracy of each positions’ start and end dates.
Check the length of employment and accuracy of each positions’ start and end dates.
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Checkr’s employment verification solutions
Whether you need to check one candidate’s work history, or hundreds, Checkr helps you scale your screening process and reduce administrative burden. We combine a simplified candidate workflow with advanced technology and a team of experts to provide timely, accurate employment verification checks.
US employment verification
Verify a candidate’s employment history located in the US. Reports include dates of employment, title(s) held, employment gaps, and salary when available.
International employment verification
For candidates with international work experience, verify employment history located in any of 200+ countries. Reports include dates of employment, title(s) held, and employment gaps.
Save hours of administrative work by allowing Checkr to conduct professional reference checks on your company’s behalf. Choose from an industry standardized or custom question set. Learn more.
Add employment verifications to your screening program today.
Learn more about employment verifications
Employment verifications gather information about job applicants to confirm their prior work experience. Employers use verification of employment as part of a pre-employment background check to determine if the information the candidate provided on a job application or resume is accurate. Certain industries, such as healthcare and commercial transportation, have specific requirements for employment verification. Performing an employment verification background check helps hiring managers assess whether a job applicant has the desired work experience, skills, and required qualifications for a position.
What is employment verification?
Conducting employment verification involves searching databases, verifying employment documents, and/or contacting an applicant’s previous employers to confirm start and end dates of employment, job title(s) held and, in some cases, salary history. Human resources teams can conduct employment verification on their own or can use the services of a consumer reporting agency (CRA) like Checkr to streamline the process.
Either way, the verification process generally starts by checking The Work Number, a database to which millions of employers submit information about their employees. This database can be used for income verification as well as employment verification. (If you’re checking The Work Number yourself, rather than using a CRA, your company must first register and go through a screening process to get approval to access the data.)
If the information in this database isn’t adequate to verify employment, employers or CRAs must contact the candidate’s past employers directly by phone or email to confirm employment.
Do background checks show employment history?
It’s up to each employer whether to check candidates’ employment history as part of a pre-employment background check. However, it’s very common for pre-employment background checks to include an employment verification along with other elements such as criminal background checks, motor vehicle records checks, and education verification.
Making employment verification part of your background check process reduces your risk of hiring employees who are misrepresenting their work history, past experience, and skills. By helping you find the employees who are best qualified for the job, employment verification also reduces costly turnover.
What information can be released for employment verification?
Although there are no federal regulations restricting what information can be released for employment verification, some states have their own laws regulating what employers can divulge about an employee. For example, many states forbid asking about a person’s salary history as part of a background check.
Except where laws impose restrictions, employers can choose what they will and will not reveal about employees. Due to concerns about lawsuits, however, many employers err on the side of caution and limit what they will say about an employee.
Employment verification generally checks:
- Dates of employment
- Job title or position
- Salary (if legal in that jurisdiction)
How far back employment verification goes depends on the type of job applied for. If you’re hiring for an entry-level position, for example, you might check a candidate’s employment going back three years. For a more senior job, you’d probably want to go back five to seven years.
Employment verification differs from checking personal or professional references, although the two are often confused. A reference check contacts a candidate’s references, including past employers, to ask for information such as:
- Any promotions
- Any disciplinary actions against the person
- Whether the person is eligible for re-hire
- Why the person left the job
- The person’s skills
This is more subjective information than an employment verification gathers.
How long does employment verification take?
How long employment verification takes can depend on a variety of factors, including whether you do it yourself or use a professional background check company. Outsourcing employment verification to a CRA can streamline the process considerably compared to doing it yourself and may take anywhere from three to 10 days. An experienced background check provider also helps ensure your employment verifications comply with the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and relevant state and local laws, helping to reduce risk of noncompliance. A third-party provider may also check employer phone numbers, so candidates can’t use a friend’s phone number to falsify employment verification. They’ll also follow up with employers to keep the verification process moving along.
If you choose to do it yourself, it could take weeks for your human resources team to contact each of the candidate’s prior employers; keep track of whom you contacted, how, and when; check to see whether they responded; and follow up until you get an answer. Additional time may be needed if the candidate needs to supply an employment verification letter, or if a W-2 needs to be submitted because a previous employer is no longer in business. The process to procure an employment data report can be even more complex and time-consuming if you need to verify past employment for someone who worked in another country, also known as an international employment verification. Lags in employment verification could cost your company qualified candidates and leave gaps in your workforce.
How to get employment verification
Conducting employment verification is an important part of the hiring process for most employers. However, manually confirming past employment is time-consuming, especially if you’re hiring at scale, and could expose your company to legal liability if you accidentally fail to follow employment laws.
Hire faster and with confidence by trusting Checkr to handle all of your employment verification requirements. Checkr offers a variety of employment verification options, allowing you to customize your background check packages for each position type. Our candidate-friendly workflow simplifies a tricky process and quickly verifies employment while helping you comply with pre-employment background screening laws, such as state and local restrictions on asking for salary history.
In addition to conducting both domestic and international employment verification, Checkr also offers education verification and personal and professional reference checks.
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.
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