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4 min read

Tune Up for The New Year: 9 Employment Verification Questions

verify new candidates confidently

As we look ahead into 2023, it may be a good time to look back and reevaluate your company’s professional verification process. Confirming a candidate’s employment history can be critical in determining whether they are the right fit for a particular role. To make sure your processes are ready for the year ahead, ask yourself these nine questions for a verification tune-up:

1. Is my professional verification process outsourced or offshored?

Many screening companies continue to offshore critical operations because it helps them make minimal improvements to their bottom line. But that can be problematic when questions or issues arise. For example, offshore teams may need to gain complete knowledge of the terms key to the screening business. Previous employers may face long, confusing phone trees when they call back to verify work experience. The screening quality may need to be more consistent. Offshore teams may use questionable data security practices, and relationships can need more direct communication. These are common yet avoidable barriers to professional verification.

When operations teams are in-state instead, it’s easier for background screening providers to optimize the activities and manual processes they use to generate your background reports. A US provider makes it easier to monitor order volume and maintain appropriate staffing levels to keep turnaround times low. The operations team is intimately connected to allow for fluid communication. At Verified Credentials, we provide 100% U.S.-based operations and support. Every employee has the training and experience to deliver the service our customers deserve. At Verified Credentials, we provide 100% U.S.-based operations and support, and every employee has the training and experience to deliver the service our customers deserve.

2. Am I paying for job history verifications but getting unreliable results?

Two primary sources of information for professional verifications are databases and going directly to former employers. When taking the second route, anyone who answers the phone can verify employment. While it’s true that a current employee may have some system or personal knowledge of a former employee’s job history, they may not be the most reliable Verified Credentials differentiate between authorized and non-authorized sources when verifying information. Authorized personnel includes staff from:

  • Human resources
  • Payroll
  • Designated departments responsible for HR/payroll functions
  • Other designated third-party administrators

3. Is my provider setting limits on the number of attempts?

Many screening companies will make only three attempts to verify professional information before closing a record or charging extra for additional attempts. This practice can lead to incomplete candidate information for hiring organizations. At Verified Credentials, we perform unlimited attempts to complete verifications for employment and education histories. We only stop trying once our clients tell us to. It is rare for verifications to go incomplete, and we take pride in our high success rates. Very few instances exist when a background screening case may close without verification. For example, numerous attempts have been made to the certified contact, usually previous employers, without any response.

4. Am I only relying on resumes or job applications for work history?

Resumes and job applications provide some personal information that can aid in background check efficiency. But the typical job application may include only some of the information you need to complete a screening to your organization's standards. Asking for more candidate information upfront can help get you the results you need to move forward with a hire. One way to do this is to leverage a candidate portal that can collect more details about an applicant’s employment history than resumes or job applications alone.

5. Am I getting low success rates in my results?

Regarding work history verifications, success can be limited by the protocol used. Suppose a background check provider only makes three attempts to verify the information before closing a record. In that case, you can expect lower success rates for the fulfillment of verifications. Across the industry, “incomplete” records or “completed but not verified” results are more common than you might think. But there is a better way. Our research shows that success rates can be up to 70% higher if a screening provider makes unlimited attempts to verify information instead of just three. Verified Credentials does not have a time limit or attempt limit for our verifications. We continue to make unlimited attempts to complete every verification until we are told to stop by the requesting employer.

6. Am I waiting days for someone to start working on my verification?

What good is your background screening provider if you wait days for the process to start? We start the work right away when you send in the request, and we continue the work once it's done. Our operations team is adept at getting the necessary verifications you need in a timely manner – generally 2 to 3 days. The verification process is only, on average, about 8% of your hiring process time. Inside your customized portal, you can easily track the screening progress and gain insight into the entities that have been contacted thus far. At Verified Credentials, we value our clients' time and pride ourselves on responding quickly to your questions if you have any. On average, we answer phone calls within three rings. Email responses are sent within one hour, and live chat responses on our website come within five seconds.

7. Is my provider offering a personal touch to complete the process?

According to our internal study of employment verification orders, 30-40% of employment verifications can be completed with a database search. That could mean your background screening provider gets results back the same day, if not almost instantly. But that also means 60-70% of verifications require manual processing. Suppose your provider isn't calling past employers and actively working to verify the information. In that case, essential records could be missing in a candidate's history. Make sure your background check provider has a robust method and an experienced team to verify the information to go beyond a simple database personally.

8. How does my provider highlight discrepancies?

A discrepancy is when two pieces of information don’t line up. Where there should be agreement, there’s confusion or ambiguity. There are some reasons why employers might find discrepancies in background check results. Discrepancies could include things like:

  • Inconsistent dates of past jobs
  • Lack of a specific degree
  • Expired licensing credentials

If a record comes back that requires further review, how do you know? Verified Credentials help make the adjudication workflow easier for employers. Improved efficiency is a report, notice, or click away in your:

  • Background report – With Verified Credentials, a result status indicates when your verification is completed or includes a potential discrepancy for review.
  • Administrative reports – Pull an on-demand verification results list that includes a discrepancy for a quick high-level assessment. Report score – By using an add-on adjudication service, like Report Scoring, you can have Verified Credentials compare discrepancies against your unique, objective business rules. Let's say you want a specific hiring manager to see certain results. In that case, you can send an automated email notification to their inbox whenever a discrepancy arises on employment verification. Easy as that!

9. Is my provider inexperienced in global verifications?

When working to verify the information for international job candidates, be prepared for special releases and authorizations that some countries may require to release any employment history. As with all international screening products, this process can’t be avoided, and there are countries where obtaining background checks can be lengthy and challenging. While preparing for special authorizations is essential, knowing what is normal for an international employment verification can also be good. Knowing your average turnaround times and success rates for international verifications is a good place to start to set expectations for your results.

Still unsure how you can get the verification results you need? Let’s discuss how Verified Credentials’ unlimited attempts have resulted in a 99.7% completion rate. Contact us to learn more.

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