Importance of Employee Verification

A significant number of job applicants falsify information on their resumes. Surprisingly, many applicants who fabricate their information still land the job. How is that possible?

According to Neil Adelman, President of Safeguard, a comprehensive background screening company in Beachwood, Ohio and business partner to DRI: “About 50% of resumes contain incorrect information and many businesses lack proper in-house resources to carry out full employment verification procedures or criminal record checks. As a result, companies can easily make poor and costly hiring mistakes.”

There are a variety of reasons why candidates falsify information. Adelman tells us that it runs the gambit from trying to hide periods of unemployment, conceal substance abuse, and/or hide a criminal record. For some, it’s simply to get the competitive edge in today’s economy and fierce job market.

Employment verification is too important for your company to hesitate on, delegate to an untrained employee, or disregard screening requirements and standards. According to Dan Charney, Managing Partner at DRI, “You have a duty to take care of your workforce as well as mitigate risk for your company. That’s why we established a partnership with Safeguard. We use their screening services when hiring our own employees as well as to help our clients during the interview process.”

Below are Safeguard’s Top 10 Reasons Why Employers Should Screen Their Applicants:

1. Resume Fraud. Approximately half of all applicants lie on their resumes. If you are able to determine which applicants have misstated their credentials, you can eliminate them from the get-go without wasting any more time in the process.

2. Limited Access to Information. Employers do not want to provide any more information than what is required and are very hesitant to respond to a reference request. But, at the same time, former employers often hold the key to the most relevant insight about the candidate.

3. Cost. Many employers use an outside agency to perform background checks on potential employees – and for good reason. Background checks are complicated and time-consuming to perform in-house. Hiring an outside agency saves time and money – especially when small employers cannot afford to dedicate the necessary resources to performing these checks in-house.

4. Compliance Issues. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) sets standards for employment screening. There is a list of compliance requirements triggered by the FCRA, including various disclosures an employer must make before, during, and after the background check has been performed. The FCRA also carries substantial penalties for non-compliance. SafeGuard provides the tools to maintain compliance that are built right into its systems.

5. Bad Apples Are Expensive. Hiring is one of the most critical decisions a business will make. Failure to carefully screen and select applicants can result in employees who are (1) not qualified to perform the work hired to do; (2) whose work habits are not in line with the organization’s; (3) whose attitudes and personalities clash with coworkers, (4) hired under false expectations which later turns into poor morale and low productivity. The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that the average cost of a bad hiring decision can equal 30% of the employee’s potential earnings during the first year of employment. But that estimate is low–many submit that the number is closer to 100% for non-management personnel and 150% to 200% for management.

6. Employee Theft. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates that theft by employees costs American companies $20 to $40 billion per year. U.S. consumers absorb this cost at the yearly rate of $400 per working adult. An employee is 15 times more likely than a nonemployee to steal from an employer.

7. Claims of Negligent Hiring and Retention. Employers can be sued and held liable if they fail to use reasonable care in the employment-selection process. “Reasonable care” is dependent on not just whether the employer knew about the candidate’s proclivities but also whether the employer should have known. In short, failure to screen applicants and to use proper care in hiring can result in legal liability.

8. Workplace Violence. Some two million American workers are victims of workplace violence each year. Certainly not every incident of violence could be prevented with applicant screening. But if pre-employment checks could prevent a potential incident from happening in your workplace, wouldn’t it be worth it?

9. Intellectual Property Concerns. Intellectual-property theft is a very real concern, costing American employers anywhere from $200 million to more than $1.2 trillion annually. As the workplace becomes more technology-based and employees become more technology-savvy, the risk of stolen trade secrets and other proprietary information will continue to escalate.

10. Federal Anti-Discrimination Laws. Of course, this is the biggest fear of most employers–that the person they hire will later “turn” on the company and file suit. And there is good reason to worry. Just ask Wal-Mart, which has been hit with several multi-million dollar lawsuits brought by employees over the past few years.