How Does a Background Check Verify Employment?

Tammy Cohen, PHR, SHRM-CP
June 30 2016

David could be your dream hire. David is applying for an open position as an Operations Manager for your company’s customer service division. His resume lists a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) and skills in organizational planning, high-level problem-solving, effective communication, and team management honed through three supervisory roles over the last five years. You should probably run an employment verification on him to confirm, right?

David looks qualified on paper, and you’ve been directed to fill the position as soon as possible, so you start his background check immediately in hopes that you can schedule an interview for early next week. You have so much other work to do that you might be tempted to set aside the rest of the resumes in hopes that David will be your perfect candidate. Don’t!

What Does an Employment Verification Reveal?

The primary reason for conducting an employment verification is to validate whether an applicant possesses the skills necessary to succeed in the job for which he or she is interviewed. Employment verification may provide dates of employment, job titles, salary information, eligibility for rehire, the reason for leaving, and performance details.

I’ll use David’s candidacy to illustrate how each of these verifications can assist you in avoiding bad hires and employing the best talent that will help your organization succeed.


1. Dates of Employment

David’s Employment Verification confirms that his last position was Manager of Customer Service, but that he only held that position for four months instead of the full year listed on his resume. Whether this falsification was a mistake or an outright lie, David may not actually have the experience you need for the open position.

2. Job Title

The Supervisor role David claims from two years ago was actually a Team Lead position that did not require any high-level management.

3. Salary Information

David claims he made $40,000 in his first leadership role almost five years ago, but a verification of his wages confirms that the Team Lead position actually paid him only $33,000 at the height of his salary.

4. Eligibility of Rehire

The least recent positions David has listed say he would be eligible for rehire if he applied. The HR representative at his most recent position says he would not be eligible for rehire.

5. Reason for Leaving

Verifying David’s most recent position reveals that his role as a Manager was only four months long because he was terminated for stealing office supplies. The HR rep says the company had proof that David took home office chairs without permission.

6. Performance Details When Available and Requested

Performance details should be sought from references who have worked directly with the applicant for a significant amount of time. References may provide an indicator of future performance by sharing examples of your candidate’s teamwork abilities, communication skills, demeanor and more.

Previous employers agree to provide professional references for David. The most recent employer says that David was a hard worker, but had trouble motivating and effectively managing large teams. The employer prior to that says David was punctual, but often failed to prioritize the work most essential to meeting departmental goals. Will your Customer Service department flourish with that kind of leadership? 

Verify Previous Employment for Superior Hiring

Employment verification confirms that your applicant has been accurate and truthful on the application and resume. If there is a falsification or error in the given information, you might question whether the applicant is trustworthy or even qualified for the position. Verifying previous work experience ensures that the people you hire are capable of performing the job for which you hire them.

Additionally, your company’s credibility and reputation may be based, in part, on the quality of your employees. If you don’t conduct an employment verification, you could face the consequences of a negligent hiring lawsuit. Should your employee do something wrong, your company could be held liable for the employee’s actions and you may have no due diligence to support your hiring decision.

InfoMart conducts comprehensive and accurate employment verification for clients nationwide. We maintain a database of every employer we contact, as well as their method of verification so that we are able to verify employment information quickly. Our reliable verifications can improve your time-to-hire and the quality of the applicants you decide to employ.

About Tammy Cohen

Tammy Cohen, an industry pioneer and expert in identity and employment screening, founded InfoMart 30 years ago. Deemed the “Queen of Screen,” she’s been a force behind industry-leading innovations. She was most recently the first-to-market with a fully compliant sanctions search, as well as a suite of identity services that modernizes talent onboarding. Tammy revolutionized the screening industry when she stepped into the field, developing the first client-facing application and a due diligence criminal search that has since become standard for all background screening companies. Cohen has received national awards and honors for her business and civic involvement, including Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Top 25 Women-Owned Firms in Atlanta, Enterprising Women Magazine’s Enterprising Women of the Year award, the YWCA of Northwest Georgia’s Kathryn Woods Racial Justice Award, and a commendation in the 152nd Congressional Record. To learn more about Tammy, visit

About InfoMart

InfoMart has been revolutionizing the global background and identity screening industry for 30 years, providing businesses the information they need to make informed hiring decisions. They develop innovative technology that modernizes talent onboarding, including a first-to-market biometric identity authentication application and a verified sanctions search. The WBENC-certified company is a founding member of the Professional Background Screening Association, and they have achieved PBSA accreditation in recognition of their consistent business practices and commitment to compliance with the FCRA. The company is dedicated to customer service, speed, and accuracy, and it has been recognized for its success, workplace culture, and corporate citizenship with over 45 industry awards. To Get the Whole Story on InfoMart, please visit, follow @InfoMartUSA, or call (770) 984-2727.

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