3 Myths About Resume Verification

Nick Fishman

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Hiring managers review a potential employee’s resume for a variety of reasons. From exploring their job skills, to analyzing experience to getting a good idea of educational history. You might not question whether the information is accurate or deem it necessary to contact every past employer for verification. However, there are a few resume verification myths you may have heard that we’d like to dispel.

1. Candidates always provide accurate, current information on their resumes.

This myth can be quite dangerous to your company—if you believe it. You may trust a candidate’s resume regarding education and prior work history, but many job seekers tend to fib, embellish, or outright lie about their job skills. Hiring a person without the right experience to take on a position they’re completely unqualified for can cost you time and money. You expend resources to hire, train and develop your team, all of which are wasted when it becomes clear that the person is incompetent. You’ll need to start from square one and rehire the right person.

Even worse, you might be risking your livelihood if you hire a candidate based on an unverified resume. You can lose business and customers when you present an unqualified employee into a relationship with clients. The reputation you’ve spent so much time cultivating can be suddenly thrown into doubt with respect to customers.

2. It’s not possible to verify past employment information, so the process is unnecessary.

Another falsehood that can be problematic when using resume verifications as part of hiring is not believing in the process. Your doubts about the ability to confirm previous employment of a job candidate are misplaced, so you need to understand what’s involved with this type of check.

While it’s not possible to verify past employment in every case, EmployeeScreenIQ is able to obtain verification on 85% of the time. And 11% of the time, we find that the company is no longer in business. And even for those that can’t be verified, the reason is typically that either the company closed or no records were found. A mere 4% of companies refuse to cooperate, so companies have a good chance of receiving the verification.

Another key component to the verification process, is making every effort possible to obtain the verification. Two of the main reasons a verification might not be possible could be due to the fact that the company is closed or that they no longer have the employee’s record—many companies discard records after seven years.

3. Even if you do resume verifications, discrepancies aren’t typically revealed.

Once you understand the process of confirming a person’s employment history and background, it’s obvious that this cliché about resume verifications is false as well. Discrepancies will be disclosed when you compare the results of the verification process to the information provided by your candidate.

Resume Verification Can Identify Issues Such As:

  • Fraudulent degrees
  • Incorrect employment dates
  • Graduation date
  • Inflated salary history
  • False job titles

Many background screening companies have even uncovered lies where a person’s previous employer never existed or fake names are used for references. Resume fraud happens every day, from the smallest white lie to a larger scale.

In EmployeeScreenIQ’s experience, 50% of resumes contain an education or employment discrepancy of some sort.

These myths might be an eye opener or something you’re already aware of, but they demonstrate why resume verifications are a wise component of the hiring process. Even if 99% of the candidates you check are absolutely truthful, you’ll realize how critical verification is for the 1% that you don’t want working for your business.



Resume Verification

Nick Fishman
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Nick Fishman

Nick Fishman is the co-founder of EmployeeScreenIQ, a leading, global employment background screening provider, and serves as the company’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer. He pioneered the creation of EmployeeScreen University, the #1 educational resource on employment background checks for human resources, security and risk management professionals. A recognized industry expert, Nick is a frequent author, presenter and contributor to the news media. Nick is also a licensed private investigator in the states of Ohio and Texas.
Nick Fishman
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