Your company is a great place to work.  Applicants would do anything for a chance to join your team.  Some of those applicants, according to studies, would even falsify information on their resume just to get in the door.  Sure, you are checking the criminal records of your applicants but what about the rest of the resume?  Based on a review of several years of employment, education and credential reference checks, our analysis revealed discrepancies between what the applicants provided and what the sources reported in 48% of the cases.

Fraudulent degrees or credentials, altered employment dates, inflated salary claims, and inaccurate job descriptions are just a few examples of issues we have seen – all of which reflect poorly upon the character of your applicant.  So while your applicant may be able to pass a basic criminal record check because he or she doesn’t have a criminal record, any one of the issues mentioned above can indicate your applicant is willing to make ethical compromises that could lead to problems in the future.  Do you really want to start his or her criminal record under your employ?

Many hiring managers believe that there is little to be gained from verifying past employment – that title and dates of employment is all that you are likely to get from a former employer.  Verifying dates of employment can help uncover gaps in employment history.  If your applicant indicates that his employment with ABC Company lasted until September when in fact it ended in January that’s an eight month gap that requires explanation – as does your applicant’s decision to lie about the gap.

The value of confirming degrees and credentials should be clear – especially if the position for which the applicant is being hired requires a specific credential by law.  The story of a plucky young character pretending to be a licensed – “fill in the blank” makes for good television or cinema but in reality it’s a huge publicity and potential legal nightmare that rarely plays out as well as it does on screen.  Hiring a new CEO of your publicly traded company only to find out he or she is a “few credits shy” of that claimed degree is embarrassing and simple to avoid.

Adding education, credential and employment checks to your background screening program is an easy and effective way to verify the information your applicants are providing to you is accurate and complete.  Ask your screening provider to explain their process for verification.  Ask if the verification work is done off-shore.  Any difficulty in understanding the person asking the questions can result in incomplete or inaccurate information.

Verifying education, credentials and employment is all about confirming factual data and therefore less politically or racially charged than basing a hiring decision on whether your applicant has a criminal record.  Therefore you should take advantage of the available tools to confirm your applicants are everything that they say they are.  It’s better to know than to hope.