What is employee verification?
Employee verification is the process of confirming an applicant’s past employment details, such as job titles and duties, dates of employment and salaries. Verifying employment is typically done directly from company to company, with no assistance from the applicant, to ensure that any and all employment information provided is accurate. Some companies verify employment in house, while others hire outside companies to manage the process for them.
Why is verifying employment important during the hiring process? Employee verification confirms that an applicant has the professional experience, skills and qualifications that you’re looking for in a new hire. It verifies that the information on an applicant’s resume is correct — not falsified or misrepresented.
Just as you may need to request employment history from another company, there might come a time when another business asks you to provide proof of employment. In that case, read our article on how to write an employment verification letter, which covers what details should be included and a sample letter to get you started.
What information does employee verification include?
Employee verification reports can include a variety of work history information depending on what information you request. Some details, like job titles and employment dates, are almost always provided, while other information (e.g., salary, job duties) is available upon request or for specific circumstances. Here are some aspects of employee verification:
Almost always included
- Job title: This should be similar to the job title listed on the applicant’s resume.
- Start and end date: This tells you how long an applicant has worked for a previous employer, if they had any gaps in their employment history and if they’re currently employed.
- Salary: This can help your company and hiring managers determine a fair salary for the applicant.
- Job duties: This shows the specific experience and skills the applicant should have.
- Reason for termination (if applicable): This should give the hiring company more information behind why an applicant left a previous role (e.g., voluntary, involuntary).
Remember that the information included in an employee verification report may vary based on who is making the request and the purpose of the request. For example, the reason a prospective employee left a previous position will be more valuable to a prospective employer than to a government agency assessing the applicant’s suitability for aid. However, both organizations might be interested in how long the applicant was previously employed.
Related: New Employee Forms
Best practices when verifying employment
The following best practices will ensure your employment verification process returns accurate information and also abides by industry and state standards:
- Communicate directly with the company. Rather than communicating with the applicant, it’s best to communicate directly with the company that will be providing the employee verification. This way, you can ensure that the work history information you receive is correct and has not been manipulated in any way.
- Understand the laws. Employee verification documents are subject to state law. Be aware of the specifics of the laws in your state regarding employment verification and follow those guidelines to ensure legal compliance.
- Maintain a consistent policy. Have a consistent policy regarding employment verification. For example, request employment verification from all applicants or none as requiring employment verification from only certain candidates could be seen as discrimination.
- Tell the potential employee. Make sure you inform the applicant that you intend to request employment verification. You may need to provide a waiver for the applicant to sign stating that they understand their previous employers will be contacted and their personal information will be exchanged.
Employee verification FAQs
Why is employment verification important?
Employment verification protects the hiring company from hiring an applicant who was not truthful on their resume, and does not have the necessary skills, qualification or experience to complete the job. It ensures you, as the hiring company, is getting the best employee for your open position. In the case of a lender or government agency requesting employment verification, it makes sure the applicant qualifies for the provided services or benefits.
What is the employment verification process?
The employee verification process can differ from company to company depending on whether the process is completed in-house or through a third party.
Generally, the hiring company will inform the candidate they intend to perform an employment verification, which usually involves the candidate signing a waiver. Then, the hiring company will either produce a form to send to the candidate’s previous employers or enlist the services of an employment verification company. From there, the employment verification form, listing the requested information, is sent to the candidate’s previous employers. They will complete the form and return it to the hiring company for review.
Who uses employment verification?
Employment verification is most often used by employers, government agencies and lenders.
Potential employers most often use employment verification to determine the accuracy of an applicant’s education, experience, skills and qualifications to complete a specific job. Government agencies most often use employment verification for court cases or to assess qualifications for federal programs and benefits. Lenders most often use employment verification to ensure that the loan applicant has a steady job with adequate income to pay back the loan.