Verifications play an important role in helping HR teams prevent application fraud. By adding employment, education, and credential verifications to your background screening process, you can make more informed hiring decisions and filter out unqualified candidates.
Additionally, verifying employment, academic qualifications, and credentials helps build trust – thorough verifications help organizations maintain their reputation and integrity by ensuring that their hiring decisions are based on accurate and reliable information.
In my role here as Operations Manager, Verifications for Certn, I lead the team responsible for all your verifications. If you work in HR you know that employing people who’ve falsified their credentials can lead to poor performance and financial losses from productivity declines, employee turnover, or training costs. Worst of all, it could damage your company’s credibility and reputation or lead to legal issues. This is where my team and I help.
In this blog post I outline the differences between employment, education, and credential verification, and cover why it’s important as part of your standard background screening process.
What is Employment Verification
Employment verification is a component of background screening that involves verifying a candidate’s employment history and details such as their job title and duration of tenure. It’s a process where a background screening vendor (that’s us), at the request of an employer (that’s you), contacts the candidate's past employers to gather and validate information.
The employment verification process includes verifying the following details:
Dates of Employment: We confirm the dates of employment for each of the employers listed. This information helps you validate the candidate's work experience timeline.
Job Title: My team verifies the positions held by the candidate during their tenure at each previous employer listed. This helps you validate the candidate's claims regarding their past roles and responsibilities.
The employment verification process is an important step in the background screening process because it helps you minimize the risk of hiring individuals who may misrepresent their history or qualifications and ensures that the hiring process is fair and based on accurate information.
Employment Verification vs. Professional Reference Check
Employment verification is different from a reference check. In a reference check, brief interviews are conducted with former colleagues and supervisors (provided by the candidate) to find out what it was like to work with the candidate. For example, we might ask a reference if they’d hire the candidate again in the future. This can provide insight about the candidate's performance and conduct.
Certn can help you conduct professional reference checks.
Education verification is another standard component of background screening that involves confirming the educational history of a candidate. What typically happens is that a background screening vendor (that’s us), on behalf of an employer (that’s you), validates the educational qualifications claimed by a candidate in their résumé or job application against information in institutional databases and records.
Education verification includes the following steps:
Verification of Educational Institution: We verify the authenticity of the educational institution mentioned by the candidate. This includes confirming the existence of the institution and its accreditation as a degree-granting entity.
Degree, Diploma, and Certificate Verification: We confirm the completion of a degree, diploma, or certificate at the educational institutions named by the candidate.
Dates of Enrollment or Completion Date: We verify the date when the candidate began their course of study or completed their education. This helps confirm the timeline of their educational qualifications.
(My team can also verify ongoing enrollment, but results will return as “Partially Verified” due to the degree having yet to be obtained.)
By verifying education, you can assess whether candidates meet the minimum educational requirements for the position. Verifying educational credentials also demonstrates due diligence and helps maintain the credibility and integrity of the hiring process. In some industries, educational requirements are regulated by law or professional bodies, so verification ensures compliance with these regulations.
What is Credential Verification
Credential verification helps employers establish the credibility and trustworthiness of candidates or employees. It ensures that individuals possess the required qualifications and meet the standards set by their profession or industry. By conducting credential verification, you can mitigate the risk of hiring individuals with fraudulent or expired credentials, protect your brand reputation, and maintain compliance with industry regulations. In this blog post, we cover the dangers of not doing background checks.
Credential verification is the process of verifying and validating the professional certifications, licences, or credentials obtained by an individual. Here are key aspects of credential verification:
Certification Validation: You can hire our team to verify the certifications or licences held by the candidate. This process may involve contacting the issuing authority or certification body to confirm the candidate's certification status, the date of issuance, and any specific conditions or restrictions associated with the credential.
Licence Verification: For positions that require professional licences, such as doctors, lawyers, engineers, or pilots, the verification process involves confirming the validity and current status of the licences held by the candidate. This ensures that the individual is legally permitted to practice in their respective field.
Regulatory Compliance: In regulated industries, employers are required to ensure that their employees possess the necessary licences or credentials to perform specific duties. Credential verification helps employers comply with legal and regulatory requirements, ensuring that individuals meet the standards set by governing bodies or industry regulations.
Professional Association Membership: Credential verification may also include confirming the candidate's membership in professional associations or organizations relevant to their field. This validates their affiliation with reputable industry groups and demonstrates their commitment to professional development.
Mitigating Risks and Liabilities with Credential Verification
As I mentioned, certain professions such as law, finance, health care, and engineering require specific qualifications and licences. Verifying these credentials ensures that individuals are qualified to perform the job duties safely and effectively, reducing the risk of incompetence or negligence that could lead to legal liabilities. Furthermore, in these and other regulated industries, compliance with legal and industry-specific standards is crucial.
How Verifications Stop Application Fraud
On the most basic level, verifications help confirm the accuracy and authenticity of the information provided by candidates, such as their employment history, educational qualifications, and professional credentials.
Here are more specific ways verifications help combat application fraud:
Ensuring Qualification and Suitability: Verifications, particularly those related to education and credentials, help you ensure that candidates possess the necessary qualifications and skills required for a specific role. By confirming these details, you can filter out unqualified candidates who may be attempting to misrepresent their abilities and qualifications.
Mitigating Legal and Financial Risks: Verifications help protect employers from potential legal and financial consequences resulting from hiring individuals with fraudulent backgrounds or qualifications. By diligently verifying applicant information, you can reduce the risk of negligent hiring, regulatory violations, or lawsuits arising from the employment of unqualified or dishonest individuals.
Enhancing Trust and Reliability: As I mentioned off the top, by thoroughly verifying applicant information, you can establish a higher level of trust and confidence in the hiring process. I think candidates who are aware of thorough verifications may be more likely to provide accurate and truthful information, knowing that misrepresentation could be easily uncovered.
By employing qualified and trustworthy individuals, you can safeguard your brand, build credibility, and foster a positive work environment.
Verify Faster with Certn
In summary, verifications serve as an important part of the background screening process by helping to identify and prevent application fraud. By confirming the authenticity of candidate information, verifying employment, qualifications, and credentials, and detecting fraudulent documentation, you can make more informed and reliable hiring decisions.
If you want to learn more about the way that my team and I can help you, book a demo (link) to talk to one of our background screening experts today.
Tarah Kalman, Operations Manager - Verifications, Certn
Tarah has worked in verifications at Certn for over four years. She has a knack for organization and process, and her team of verifications experts ensure Certn clients have the information they need to make safe, informed hiring decisions. Tarah studied event marketing at the British Columbia Institute of Technology and is a passionate dance teacher.