How Does a Background Check Verify Employment?

Tammy Cohen, PHR, SHRM-CP

September 7 2022

David applied for an open position as the Operations Manager for your  Customer Service department. His resume lists a master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) and advanced skills in organizational planning, high-level problem solving, effective communication, and team management honed through three supervisory roles over the last five years.

On paper, David exceeds your qualifications , 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. Since you have many responsibilities as a Human Resources professional, you are tempted to set aside the other resumes knowing that David is your perfect candidate. However, fight that urge; it’s best to wait until his employment verification is complete.

Putting stock into one or a few candidates prior to screening often increases time-to-hire and puts your organization at risk. Research shows that 46% of resumes contain at least one discrepancy between information on the resume and the candidate’s background check results. Running a background check to verify David’s employment and credentials is the best way to ensure David is the dream hire who was presented to you on paper. Are you wondering how a background check verifies employment? Read this guide to employment verifications to learn more.


What Does an Employment Verification Reveal?

The primary reason for conducting an employment verification is to validate whether an applicant possesses the experience and skills necessary to succeed in the applicable job role. Employment verification provides dates of employment, job titles, salary information, eligibility for rehire, the reason for leaving, and performance details.

Here are some examples of what would be revealed during the employment verification stage of David’s background check:

Dates of Employment

After speaking with his previous employer, David’s employment verification specialist confirms that his last position was Manager of Customer Service. However, he only held that position for four months instead of one year as listed on his resume. Whether this falsification was a mistake or a lie, David may not have the experience needed for the position.

Job Title

A reference check with another past employer reveals that the supervisor role David claimed to have two years ago was a Team Lead position that did not require any high-level management. This raises more questions about how qualified he is for the Operations Manager role.

Salary Information

David claims he earned a salary of $40,000 in his first leadership role five years ago, but a verification of his wages confirms that his salary never increased past $33,000 during his time in the Team Lead position. With such a discrepancy on his resume, David does not seem like the type of candidate who will support your organization’s foundation of trust and transparency. (Note that, in some places, it is illegal to use salary information for these purposes. InfoMart’s verification system has built-in rules to help remain complaint. )

Rehire Eligibility

Your professional verification specialists know what to ask past employers to give you a full picture of candidates before you make a hiring decision. During David’s reference check, your specialist enquires about his rehire eligibility at the companies he has worked at in the past. The HR representative from his most recent position discloses that David is not eligible for rehire, which suggests his time at his previous job may have ended on bad terms.

Reason for Leaving

The verification of David’s most recent management position reveals that his employer terminated his employment after catching him stealing office supplies. The company’s HR representative claims the company gained evidence that David took home office chairs without permission. This information is crucial to maintain a secure work environment and protect your company’s assets.

Performance Details

Verification specialists seek performance details from references who have worked directly with the applicant for a significant amount of time. References indicate what you should expect of a candidate’s performance by sharing examples of their teamwork abilities, communication skills, demeanor, and more.

Previous employers agree to provide professional references for David. The most recent employer describes David as a hard worker, but they also say he struggles to motivate and effectively manage large teams. Another employer says David was punctual but often failed to prioritize the work most essential to meeting departmental goals. These insights suggest that he likely does not have a leadership style that will best support your Customer Service department.

How Does Employment Verification Work?

Though options exist to run employment verifications for free, the quickest, most compliant and reliable option is to work with a professional background screening vendor. When you run background checks through InfoMart, you receive a dedicated, FCRA-certified verifications specialist to run reference checks. Your specialist will use the information provided on a candidate’s resume to contact previous employers and receive direct, accurate verification of employment – with only the information you can legally use in a hiring decision. With an average turnaround time under two days, you will quickly receive a report of any discrepancies or additional information needed to make a hiring decision.

Since much of your company’s credibility and reputation depend on hiring quality employees, using a professional employment verification service will pay off. Verifying resumes is the best way to ensure you hire well-qualified people who represent your organization’s brand, values, and culture.

InfoMart conducts comprehensive and accurate background checks for clients nationwide. Our proprietary employer database contains millions of employers, with their contact information and methods of verification, allowing us to verify employment information quickly. We eliminate the time you spend on Google searches, leaving emails, and exchanging voicemails. 

Your InfoMart profile gives you a quick way to compare what the applicant stated against what the employer verified.  You will notice immediately when job titles don’t align or when termination was involuntary.  InfoMart provides an employment timeline that identifies gaps in employment.  Often, these gaps are used to disguise time while incarcerated or working a job that the candidate doesn’t want on their record. 

Your dream candidate is out there. In today’s job market, you need to catch your ideal candidates fast before someone else extends an offer. The person who gets their background checks completed the quickest usually makes the first offer. Our reliable verifications reduce your time-to-hire and guarantee that you hire the right applicants for your business. To discuss how we can tailor our verification services to your company’s unique needs, reach out to an InfoMart sales representative today.

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.

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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