Employment history verification is essential for many reasons. Job applicants may lie on their resume to cover up previous employment problems, and even periods of imprisonment that they obviously do not want to reveal in an application for a new job. You are obliged not only by law, but morally, to make as sure as you possibly can that your employees are not harmed through your employment of an unsuitable candidate.
Your verification procedure should detect any false dates of employment provided, any exaggeration of positions or responsibilities held and the possibility of fictitious employers being named. Why does this happen? Why do some candidates feel it necessary to fabricate their resumes or CVs in this way? It is, in fact, not all that uncommon, and there have been some prominent cases reported in the press. Let’s examine some reasons why people do this.
A very common reason for stating false periods of employment with specific companies is to hide dismissal for inappropriate behavior, violence to other employees or theft. Any one of these could provide a good reason for finding an employer guilty of negligible hiring, and this itself introduces a problem. While it is essential that you identify these applicants, the previous employers might be loathe to provide details to you that could indicate them to have been negligent. Sometimes only a professional investigator can get to the truth of these situations.
Another reason is to hide a period of conviction, so someone released from prison can be confident of finding employment quickly. It is easier to provide a fictitious employer, or extend the period of the previous employment. Such temptations can be irresistible to a person desperate to find employment.
If questioned on the reasons for the job changes indicated on the resume, an applicant can provide a change of state or county, or even the desire for advancement, as a reason. They all sound plausible, there having been plenty of time for rehearsal of the story! Both of these excuses, or reasons, are common and are difficult to disprove if previous employers are loathe to provide full employment details. This is particularly true of lies told regarding positions of responsibility. Many employers will agree to provide employment dates if pushed, but no more. Not even severance details.
If you feel that something is not ringing true, or just feel a little bit nervous about the person you are interviewing, you are advised to have a professional carry out full employment history verification, and even a criminal record investigation. These are not tasks that can be given to an employee untrained in the techniques, and the job is too important to your company to hesitate on. A full employment background check should be carried out because you have a duty of care to your workforce.
If the position offered demands a certain level of management experience or seniority, then a few applicants will be tempted to exaggerate their previous employment. There are many recorded instances of candidates for senior positions falsifying their resumes in this way, and being offered the position only to be found out at a later date. This type of falsification is stupid because you will eventually be found lacking in the skills you should have had were your claims true.
You must carry out a full employee background check on all applicants to whom you are considering offering a job. The law requires that you take all steps to avoid negligent hiring, and failing to carry out employment history verification checks is regarded as employment negligence. The cost to your company can be crippling if someone you hired went on to injure another employee, or even just steal from them.
Sometimes other employers can be difficult when asked for employment history, but if you provide them with a completed release of information form they should have no grounds for refusal. A professional can deal with this, since they do it every day. In fact, frequently, just asking the candidate to sign the release form when they make the application is sufficient to put them off.
If an applicant refuses to complete such a release form, then don’t employ them. The same should apply if previous employers refuse to provide full employment histories, and in such a case you should inform the applicant why they are not being considered for the job.
You must carry out a suitable and sufficient employment history verification to meet your own legal obligations, and you can have no excuses for failing to do so. You can try to do it yourself, or have one of your employees do it, but you are better advised to employ a professional in employee screening to carry out a professional job for you. You will then be able to sleep well at night without worry.