Pre-Employment Screening – Background checks are vital to job referrals
Of all the categories of pre-employment background checks, previous employment poses the biggest concern for employers. This is because employment checks must cover work experience, job title, company details, salary and reasons for leaving.
Pre-employment screening: 1. “Stretched” work dates often hide unemployment
Applicants who seriously mislead prospective employers may, for example, seek to reduce – or eliminate entirely – long periods of unemployment or incarceration by “stretching” the dates of employment on their resumes, sometimes by years. As well as raising questions about what they were really doing during the period in question, it also casts doubt on the applicant’s honesty and integrity.
Other applicants will claim to work for companies that no longer exist and offer a reference from an employer that dates back to before that business closed. I have met others who set up websites for fake companies and who will wait at the end of the line for a verification call.
Pre-employment screening: 2. Reasons for leaving can hide the truth
Another area that employers increasingly need to scrutinize is the reasons for leaving, mainly due to increasing levels of redundancy. No one is proud of being laid off, let alone fired, which is why so many candidates will try to hide the real reasons they left their previous employer. It’s one thing not to state in your CV the reasons for leaving a post, and quite another to lie about it when asked. Even being fired in itself isn’t always necessarily detrimental to a candidate’s chances, but when a person lies about it, it certainly raises questions about their character.
And when it comes to providing current income, employees are increasingly benefiting from the fact that employers are no longer providing less and less information with standard references. In fact, most only provide dates of employment and job title. So employees allow themselves to inflate their salaries, thinking they can get away with such lies.
Pre-employment screening: 3. Positions can be a difficult area
When it comes to job titles, candidates play faster and looser with them than with any other aspect of a resume, but employers should also be aware that this is also a complex area from an HR perspective and one where real mistakes are made. Because of this, HR data systems may sometimes contain incorrect job titles, and such errors can only be detected by cross-checking.
Also, remember that in times of recession and unemployment, job seekers face a greater temptation to twist the truth to create more impressive resumes, and employee verification will prevent employers from hiring a person who is not what they appear to be.
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