By Jen Hunter
When you are looking to fill a position at your organization, you are
probably hoping to find someone that meets the skill, previous
employment, and education qualifications for the job as well as
factoring in their fit into your culture. It can take time, money, and
careful vetting to find someone you think checks all those boxes.
Did you know that more than 40% of job
candidates lie or omit information on their resume or application?
This could be falsifying a degree, the length of time they
were in a position, or just omitting something that they think is
not relevant. When identified, this information could have an impact
on how you may think the candidate would fit in your open position
and often it warrants further discussion. Depending on the
circumstances and gravity of the lie or omission, it may even be
enough to disqualify a candidate. If not caught during the
verification process, it could mean going back to the drawing board,
wasting more time and money on the search, and experiencing a longer
time of unproductivity.
Even more unsettling is that 80% of job candidates
who falsify or omit critical information on their resumes are hired.
Surely, a great number of these candidates’ falsehoods and omissions
were not discovered or, at least, not before they already had the job.
This does not mean that you should be overly suspicious of all job
applicants. But given the importance of finding the right candidate
who fits the organization and the complexity of the application and
interview process, it can be worthwhile to use a pre-employment
verification process to help unearth these inconsistencies, determine
what information is relevant for review and ultimately better protect
yourself from potential risk.
Let's say you’re looking to fill a role in your organization
and, after going through applications, resumes, and speaking with
candidates, you think you may have found a strong individual. Based on
their listed qualifications and what they have told you, this
individual appears to be a good fit and you are considering extending
an offer for them to join your organization. That's when the
background screening process can begin. Conducting a thorough
background screen can help you better understand, qualify, and verify
that what the candidate included in their application and in their
interview is accurate and truthful.
Oftentimes, they match up and all is good. But not always…
For example, you could be hiring for an electrical
engineering job and an applicant has noted that they have a degree
in electrical engineering. It's important that their education data
matches the skills of the job because this is a prerequisite for
the position and must be true. But, if that individual does not
have that degree, they may not be qualified for the work. Without
verifying their education, you could be introducing risk into your organization.
Employment and education verification is incredibly
important for employers operating in compliance driven industries,
and for those who serve customers with high regulatory standards.
Additionally, when hiring for a position that requires very specific
skills, experience, and education, employers should ensure they have
a pre-employment verification process to help validate this information.
Education isn’t the only misrepresentation or omission that
you may run into. Other common omissions you could potentially
Covering up gaps in employment to avoid
Claiming to work for a company they
never worked for in order to seem more credible
Omissions like these don’t always mean that somebody is
doing something purposely to be fraudulent or to try to embellish.
But, when the omission is discovered, it could signal to you to
engage in additional conversations with the candidate and ask
probing questions on their work experience, the amount of time they
had on a job, or perhaps about experiences they shared with you in
the interview process.
Not all information that's omitted is bad. It just means
that it may not have been seen as relevant by the applicant. But,
it is important that you have all the information you need to help
you make a good decision. In many cases, omissions don't mean that
an individual isn't qualified for the job, they just mean that
there's more to dig into to get a full view of the candidate.
While an omission is not necessarily an intentionally
nefarious act, not having all the information on a candidate could
introduce the potential for skills mismatches, business culture
issues, and retention risk. If you're only specifically verifying
the employers and education information that's been listed on their
resume, you don't know what you don't know.
By verifying an individual using verified data through the
background screening process, you're more able to identify if there is
work history or employers that may not have been listed on the resume.
You can gain a more complete picture of the candidate, identify if
they have the appropriate experience and education, and potentially
uncover business culture or possibly integrity issues. Without a more
complete candidate picture, your new hire may not be qualified and
could leave or be asked to leave within the first 30 or 60 days or more.
With a tight talent pool, it is really important to think
about how to help reduce employee turnover and hire candidates
that fit with your organization and their role. Having verified
data to help ensure that a candidate has accurately represented
their work experience and tenure can really help you determine if
they are truly qualified and possess the required skills for the
role. Confirming this probable fit pre-hire would seem preferable
to finding out a new hire might not be qualified for the role
weeks or months into the job. In the latter scenario, the employee
might feel underqualified themselves and select themselves out of
the organization, or you might have to make the hard decision to
ask them to leave. And if this happens in under 30 days, for
example, you've immediately put yourself back into a scenario
where you're back in the hiring process for a position that you had
likely hoped to have filled.
Conducting a thorough verification process can help you
mitigate risk by helping ensuring that you're not hiring somebody
who may have provided false information on their resume or has
actually left off information from their application that might be
pertinent and valuable to know.
Depending on your method, verifying employment and education
history can be time-consuming, and it can result in some really big
challenges. These challenges tend to surface most often when you’re
doing it manually and alone. At its most time-consuming, you may be
making numerous phone calls and checking pay stubs. This can cause
strain on existing resources, and that strain could be exhibited not
just in the HR organization but also on the hiring manager and the
teams that are waiting patiently for that role to be filled. Sometimes
the verification process, if done manually and independently, can
delay the hiring. And when you know you have tight timelines and
talent that is potentially looking at multiple different
opportunities, speed to hire can be critical.
A recent study shows that employers who have accessed
candidates with verified employment history in their hiring process observe:
28% higher 6-month retention rate
45% higher 1-year retention rate
59% higher 2-year retention rate
…compared with employers who do not conduct employment verifications.*
What this means is that through pre-employment verification
using verified data, you're often better equipped to evaluate a
candidate's true experience and education information to help
determine their quality of fit for the job, the role, and your
organizational requirements. And when you find the right fit, you're
more likely to retain them than organizations that are working
If you are not currently doing any pre-employment screening
and are interested in learning more about where to start, what
options are available, and how pre-employment verifications can
help you know more about candidates up front to further enhance
your ability to make more informed hiring decisions, visit us at
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