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Verification of Employment: Why It Matters

Trust is one of the most important things between an employer and employee. It’s vital that you, as an employer, be able to trust each member of your team to accurately represent their capabilities and perform at that level. Just as it’s essential that employees can trust their employers to provide a stable, safe workplace and reliable paychecks. However, trust doesn’t come from no-where. It is built during the hiring process. A big part of that is verification of employment (VOC).

When you meet a candidate for the first time, your judgment of them should be a blank slate.  They could be your next all-star team member, or they could be someone with a spoofed resume and a few interview buzz-words to throw around. While interviewers are only human and can be fooled by impressive false employment history mixed into legitimate resumes, verification ensures that you pick the right person every time.

Verification of Employment:

  • Increases hiring accuracy and future candidate success
  • Creates accountability among the professional workforce
  • Gives you a real insight into candidate experiences
  • Avoids the risk of misinformed hiring decisions

Why Verification of Employment is Important

There’s no denying that accurate information about job candidates is essential. Knowing a candidate’s past job history can reveal insights into what they can do, what they have experience with and even the work cultures they are familiar with. It can show you, someone who’s risen through the ranks, remained solid in what they do, someone who is brand new with potential, or an old-hand looking for a new home. But inaccurate job histories, therefore, can lead to misunderstandings and even dangerous over-estimation of a new hire’s capabilities if those inaccuracies become successful deceit. This is why VOE is essential for finding good hires, but why is it also so pervasively necessary?

Why Professionals Write False Job Histories

The challenge is that many hiring industry flaws can lead to an inaccurate resume.

1. The Resume Padding Tradition

First, millions of professionals today were taught by their first (and later) job coaches to “pad” resumes a little to make them look better to a new employer. It’s one thing to choose bullet-points over paragraph form or list charity work as past employment. It’s another to fabricate employers, roles, and job duties, but many well-meaning people were misdirected to do this. Resume-padding can vary from mild upgrades in job-title to completely falsified past experiences. Some are trying to cover job gaps or avoid awkward questions. All of these types of resume-padding are extremely common, and professionals are often trained not even to see this as real deception, just actualized ambition.

Resumes padded in this way may indicate a valuable employee who just needs re-coaching in how to accurately write a still-flattering resume.

2. The Rare Con-Artist

Second, there are always a few people who intend to be deceptive. There are those who would rather a high paycheck and eventual failure over legitimately earning a job with their real work history. There are truly deceptive people who are looking to scam a few good paychecks out of a job they’re not qualified for. Most people are earnest and genuinely want a good-fitting job but maybe misled about how to write a resume. But every hiring manager must stay on their toes for the occasional true con-artist coming through the candidate process with a falsified resume and interview buzz-words.

Resumes found to be fully falsified, naturally, are a bad sign for the candidate as a new hire.

3. The Over-Confident

Third, we commonly see candidates who are very confident in their abilities even if their real job history doesn’t reflect the assumed capability. Optimistic and over-confident candidates are more susceptible to resume-padding than most. Those with a less solid grip on professional ethics and those who have been tragically mis-trained in job-seeking are inclined to fabricate the employment experiences that will “win” the job they want. These candidates may approach their resume more like a magazine essay contest, where the most confident interviewer with the best-written fiction may win the job.

Over-confident resume fabrication can be re-coached, depending on the nature and extent of the deception and – often – the age of the candidate. Very young candidates who have misunderstood the process may not be poor hires in the long-run.

4. The Recruiter Resume Deception

The fourth, final, and most frustrating source of falsified job histories is recruiter services. You may have seen this before or have been lucky in your employer-recruiter partnerships. However, the nature of the recruiter industry can lead to some deception. Consider that recruiters (independent and companies) are often paid for a stack of resume recommendations, provided the resumes are well-suited to the roles. Recruiters have been known to use more than a few underhanded tactics to get this commission. In addition to poaching attempts and dummy job listings, some recruiters will also add “keywords” to a candidate’s resume or fill an employment gap with an extended or fake work history. Often, candidates don’t even know that their resumes have been altered before submission to the employer, so falsified resumes from recruiters should result in consultation with the candidate instead of disqualification.

The Right Way to Verify Employment

There are several traditional and technological ways to approach employment verification. The old-fashioned way is to call the employee’s past managers and confirm their employment, role, and performance over the phone. However, with limited time, availability, job politics, and teamwork deception, this approach has a few informational flaws for absolute verification. It’s time to turn to technology.

Today’s hiring managers are looking to the information age and industry software for solutions. For the real report on a candidate’s job history and work experience, you need a service you can trust to provide accurate, discreet resume confirmations. Verification of employment is essential for accurate and successful job hiring. Contact us today to find out more or consult for a quote on your company’s VOC needs.


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