Background Screening 101: Understanding Verification Services

Press Release from InCheck

If you’ve seen the 2002 film “Catch Me If You Can,” you’re well aware of an unfortunate fact: job applicants sometimes lie—and spectacularly so. In the movie, Frank Abignail, Jr. (played by Leonardo DeCaprio) successfully cons his way into employment as an airline pilot, an ER physician and convinces his father-in-law that he graduated from an elite law school, before the FBI ultimately catches him in a foreign country. 

Subsequent investigations have shown that Abignail actually lied about being such a successful con man. It’s an ironic twist in a story that nicely illustrates how people misrepresent their work history and education to attain positions they’re unqualified for, deceiving their employers and potentially putting their customers and colleagues at risk.

While entertaining, this is a great example of why verifying employment and education history should be an essential aspect of your hiring process. You may not understand the finer points of verification, but we do and we’re here to make the experience seamless. Here’s a brief overview of how InCheck confirms that candidates have the skills, qualifications and reputation they claim to possess—and why it’s vital to do so. 

How do verifications work?

The most important thing you should know about our turnkey verification process is that it generates the reliable information you need to make smart hiring decisions. We ensure accuracy by performing what’s called primary source verification (PSV), confirming a candidate’s education through an established database like the National Student Clearinghouse or a school registrar’s office. 

We follow a similar approach for employment verification by contacting past (and sometimes current) employers to verify a candidate’s work history, dates of employment, job titles, and gaps in employment, which we then confirm directly with your candidate. 

As a result, you can know with confidence that your applicant has the training and experience their job requires. You can also confirm industry-specific licenses, degrees or certification they’re supposed to earn and maintain. The details of licensing verification can vary between industries (a topic we’ll examine in a forthcoming blog post), but the key point for now is that a robust verification process will help you uncover illegitimate or falsified credentials and experience, which reduces your liability exposure. 

Importantly, employment and education verifications are different from reference checks, which InCheck is also well-equipped to perform. Verification allows you to confirm information reported on a resume or application, while reference checks provide a more in-depth look at a candidate’s work ethic and experience, which can be more difficult to verify than, say, a four-year degree. 

The value of honesty

Performing proper verification carries a number of significant benefits. Most importantly, training and replacing dishonest candidates is a costly, time-consuming endeavor. It could also carry legal consequences since you may be held liable for the mistakes an unqualified employee makes on the job.  

The flipside is that confirming a candidate’s qualifications and experience allows you to hire from a pool of honest applicants, and honesty in the workplace fosters productivity and creativity. Research shows that generation Z, the young professionals who began entering the workforce in 2014 or so, value honesty above any other trait in the companies they work for. “Over half of all Gen Zers believe honesty is the most important quality in a leader,” Business Insider reported. “This group seeks leaders who demonstrate strong integrity and provide a clear vision for the organization.”

InCheck knows how to help our clients create this culture of integrity because it’s a standard we set for ourselves. As an independently accredited consumer reporting agency, we have the verified qualifications and experience to help you acquire the talent your organization requires.

If you need help reviewing your company’s screening process, including verifications and reference checks, reach out to [email protected] or complete this form to set up a consultation. 

Disclaimer: This blog is for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice.
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