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What To Expect With Employment Verifications

Have you ever wondered what to expect with employment verifications being processed by your screening vendor? Consider this example below.

Your company is using an employment screening vendor to process employment verifications. You place an order and include all of the information provided to you by your candidate. Several days go by and the verification isn’t finished yet and then your vendor contacts you, explaining that the phone number is not correct and asking you to reply with a correct number.

Your blood starts to boil because you needed to get this candidate placed yesterday. You spend a few minutes doing some Google research, find the correct number, call the employer and verify the information yourself. Why are you even paying your screening vendor to perform this service, you ask yourself as you prepare an email to your vendor, expressing your displeasure over their poor service quality.



One of the most common complaints we hear from companies looking to find a new screening vendor is their dissatisfaction with the Employment Verification process. They feel their vendor should be moving faster and taking greater initiative to obtain information. Often times, their vendor will report not being able to reach the contact, but then the client calls the employer and reaches someone, making the client feel like they aren’t getting value. Other times, the number that was provided may be inaccurate or no longer in service and the client wishes the screening vendor would just run a simple Google search to track down the information instead of bugging the client to provide a correct phone number.

These may seem like reasonable expectations for anyone who uses employment verifications in their background checks process, but these problems seem to affect every screening company on some level.

The reason is two-fold. One, screening companies are under enormous pressure to achieve rapid turnaround time for all of their clients. This is compouned by the fact that background screening companies are processing hundreds to thousands of employment verifications daily.

In order to maintain rapid turnaround time for all the clients they serve, screening companies utilize the information provided by the candidate and if this information is not correct or complete, the verification specialist clicks a button in their system that sends their client an admin note and then the verification specialist moves on to the next verification.

Because most screening companies do not have the bandwidth to perform additional Google research in order to obtain more complete information (due to the volume of verifications they are processing and the pressure to complete reports quickly for all of their clients) they must rely on the information provided to them when the order is placed and if this is not adequate, they will quickly notify their client and jump to the next verification on their list.

The one person in this equation who has the time and ability to ensure that the most accurate contact information is provided up front is the candidate.

To greatly minimize these problems, the best solution is to emphasize with candidates the importance of providing the most current and accurate point of contact for verifications. If they must make a few extra calls up front to do this, it will prevent (or greatly reduce) verification problems.

The Best Practice approach to processing Employment Verifications is:

1) Emphasize to your candidate that they must double check contact names, numbers and dates of employment with former employers to prevent delays in processing their background check. Tell them not to rely on old information and tell them not to guess. Strongly suggest that they do the research up front and provide accurate contact information.

2) Make sure that if the candidate worked for a temporary staffing agency or consulting firm, they list contact information for this company and not the company where they worked as a temp or consultant. For example, if they were hired by Acme Staffing and went to work for Coa Cola, they should not list Coca Cola as the employer. If they were hired by a temp agency or consulting firm, this was their actual employer.

3) Understand that many employers are inundated with verification requests and they will respond when they can. While many verifications can be completed in one to two days, you should assume that an employment verification may take three to five days, just to be safe.

If you follow this Best Practice approach, you should start to experience a smoother process with faster turnaround on employment verifications.


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