When you hear the term “background screening,” what comes to mind? For most people, background checks are synonymous with criminal records. However, pre-employment screening is much more than looking at someone’s legal history.
Most employers also attempt to verify personal data used in the hiring process as a way of supplementing the criminal background searches. According to a 2017 poll by OfficeTeam, 46% of employed Americans know someone who has lied on their resume.
Validating the information that a candidate provides on their resume is the simplest way to ensure you’re onboarding a qualified individual and protect your business from potential hazards. Consumer Reporting Agencies (CRAs) like ESS are skilled in the collection of consumer data. Plus, CRAs adhere to strict data quality and reporting guidelines that must comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and ensure reports won’t be used in a way that violates federal or state equal employment laws.
So, exactly what types of information are verifiable in the screening process?
Employment & Reference Verifications
The most substantial portion of a person’s resume is their work experience, and often, it is the first impression of a potential hire. However, in the same OfficeTeam poll, those questioned admitted that 76% of resume lies were regarding job experience with 55% attributed to job duties.
“Reference verifications are important because they provide more detailed information regarding an applicant’s quality of work, punctuality, and individual character,” said Adrianne Babbit, Director of Verifications for Employment Screening Services (ESS). “It can also uncover false job titles or experience.”
Hiring an unqualified person can be incredibly costly for a business – according to Gallup, the cost of replacing an employee can range from one-half to two times their annual salary. It’s imperative to trust you’re hiring a qualified individual.
Professional License Verifications
Hiring a person who wrongfully claims to have certain professional licenses can be especially costly to some employers. By using online databases or contacting license distribution agency, verifications analysts authenticate the presence of professional licenses for an individual. Licenses are required for a variety of positions, from nursing and medical staff to plumbing and electrical contractors, and the information validated is more than simply checking for a number. “We’re searching for confirmation that the license is valid, belongs to your applicant, and that they do not have suspensions or flags on their record,” said Adrianne.
For example, A California woman was arrested in 2017 after filling nearly 75,000 prescriptions by using a pharmaceutical license number of someone with a similar name. Verifications screening could have alerted her employer to the invalid license and returned information that her own license had expired nearly ten years earlier.
Verifying a candidate’s education history is as simple as confirming degree type and graduation date, if applicable. The process is efficient for verifications analysts – most colleges and universities have databases with this information stored that CRAs can access.
Embellished truths or fibs on and employee’s education status can cause damage to a business if not validated. A Virginia woman was arrested and charged in May 2019 with several crimes related to her practice as a psychologist. Not only did her employers not confirm her ownership of the correct licenses, but they also failed to verify that she had the appropriate education at all. The woman claimed to have doctorates and a master’s degree, which the sheriff’s office uncovered was untrue.
“We see several forged or falsified diplomas a week so that is why it’s extremely important to verify directly with the school instead of just accepting a diploma copy from a candidate at face value. The falsified documents that we receive range anywhere from GEDs to a master’s degree,” explained Adrianne.
Background screening is the first step in safeguarding your business, but each employer faces different challenges and has a unique risk profile. Building a custom screening program is one of the simplest ways to combat potential threats.
It’s time to add verifications processes to your HR solutions. Contact one of our experts today at 866.879.0143 and take steps to confirm you’re making the best hire for your business.