Benefits of real-time employment verification

A look at the challenges and benefits of enabling real-time employment verification of candidates during the recruitment process.

August 31, 2019

In an ideal world, before rolling out an offer, employers would like to know that their prospective candidate’s past employment records are in order and consistent with their claims. An employer should be able to ascertain the past work experience on-demand and hire a new employee with confidence. In the absence of such a mechanism, the effort and cost that is invested in new recruits can go down the drain if detrimental information is discovered after they have been inducted in the organization. But, despite the importance it holds in the recruitment process, background screening has not been able to keep up with the digital advancements that have swept the HR function. 

The Typical Hiring Process today

After a candidate hears the phrase “You are hired,” it is quickly followed by “We will conduct a background check before we can roll out a formal offer”. This process, which is usually slow and tedious, can take anywhere where one to four weeks. For the candidate, this is dependent on past employers answering their phones and responding in a timely manner. The candidates also has to provide a lot of paperwork and hope their records such as photocopies of salary slips don’t get misplaced.

The wait doesn’t always end well. Two weeks into the new job, the individual is called into the manager’s office and politely asked to leave. Why: there is a discrepancy highlighted in the information provided for verification. 

For the employer, the current process is cumbersome too. Services of a background screening company are sought to complete the checks; turnaround time is at least a few days. The pressures of quickly filling in a position often conflict with the time taken to carry out a satisfactory verification.

Verifications are essential; though candidates may not always realise this

Nonetheless, the screening process is essential. Employers need to protect their brand and to ensure candidates have the right qualifications or skills for the job. Over 50 percent of resumes around the world contain discrepancies, reiterating the need for this check. Within the discrepant resumes, employment verification consistently has the highest number of discrepancies (over 80 percent) when compared to address, education, or other verification. 

Those applying for a job often overlook background verification. Employers are increasingly using modern verification tools to make sure that the candidates do not exaggerate their role, skills, and experience. With intense competition in the job market, a simple misrepresentation of   facts can potentially cost you a great job opportunity.

Moving the verification process into the digital age

Employers can address employees’ pain points by considering an employment data repository - contributed directly by HR/payroll teams. This record of an employee’s job – where they worked, since when, title, etc. is authentic, reliable information directly from the source. Minimizing manual intervention and the number of hands this data passes through can uphold the veracity of the data.

As we streamline this collection process, technological solutions can make this accessible in real-time. Real-time access to this database can, first and foremost, address the issue of the time it takes to conduct employment verification. With on-demand information made available 24 X 7, there is no more waiting to get a background check report. Verifiers can be provided secure access over the internet, maintaining the privacy of the data, ensuring consent, ruling out any manual or field checks. 

For an organization, there is also the more significant benefit of freeing up HR resources that are otherwise tasked to respond to verification requests from background verification companies and other employers. With an increased focus on quick business decisions, such real-time online verification services will provide employers an insight into employment history and help make sound business decisions, mitigate risk, contain costs and have HR focused on core HR activity 

Very soon, a time will come when a recruiter can say “you are hired,” with no verification caveats since the past employment checks would have been completed then and there.  Real time verification based on secure, authentic data is just what employers need.


The Writer is Nipa Modi - Country leader, Workforce Solution at Equifax India.

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