The Not-So-Minor Errors That Background Checks Uncover

December 2017

Background checks serve as an important step in the application process, providing confirmation of candidates’ credentials and peace of mind for employers. In some cases, comprehensive background checks unearth significant errors — both intentional and unintentional.

False information on resumes has become increasingly common, and the repercussions can include hiring unqualified or ill-intentioned workers. Sorting misleading information can prove difficult and time-consuming for employers, but professional background checks provide a quick, reliable solution.

What Types of Errors do Background Checks Uncover?

Some job candidates simply make mistakes on their resumes. Others exaggerate, and some provide brazenly fictional information to employers. With increasing competition for certain types of positions, it becomes more likely that employers will encounter false or misleading information on resumes and job applications.

Whether an applicant provides incorrect biographical data mistakenly or intentionally, a professionally conducted employment background check is likely to uncover the truth. Candidates may present a variety of false information, but several categories stand out as the most common:

  • Overstating past compensation. Applicants may report their past income as higher than it actually was in an effort to negotiate for an increased salary.
  • Misreporting academic degrees or professional credentials. Job applicants who have not earned a degree may believe they are at a disadvantage and incorrectly report academic achievements. Similarly, individuals who believe that certain credentials will give them an edge over other candidates may falsely list professional certifications on their resumes.
  • Changing employment dates. Applicants may falsely state employment dates if they have gaps in their work history that they would prefer not to explain.

Importance of a Background Check for Job Openings
Bringing new employees into your organization represents a tremendous investment of human resources and money. By the time you hire a candidate, your team has spent numerous hours reviewing resumes and interviewing.

Following the selection of a seemingly ideal candidate, your investment increases as you go through the process of orientation, onboarding and training. Finding out at this stage about false information on a resume can result in the loss of your investment and the need to restart the process.

In some cases, the costs of a poor hire can prove far greater. Bringing the wrong individual into your organization introduces significant risk. A new employee who lies about education, experience or credentials may not be qualified for the position and may harm your company’s reputation.

An employee who falsifies a resume also may be hiding a criminal past. By bringing an unvetted individual into your organization, you may be subjecting your customers, vendors and team members to potential danger.

Falsifying Application for Employment: Industries at Risk

A bad hire can increase the chances of negative outcomes for companies in nearly any field. However, the sensitive data and tasks involved in certain industries amplify the potential impact of bringing in the wrong candidates.

In the highly competitive field of finance, for example, strong temptation may exist for candidates to embellish information that will help them secure desirable positions. At the same time, employees in the financial services industry have access to client financial information and take responsibility for significant amounts of money.

In a field such as science or academia, credentials play a significant role in the authenticity and impact of research and publications. Hiring an individual who has falsified background information can have a far-reaching impact, which could affect the reputation of an institution for many years.

Without the proper screening, candidates who present exaggerated or blatantly false information can be hired into positions for which they lack the proper experience and training.

Choosing a Qualified Pre-Employment Background Check Provider

Global Verification Network has decades of experience in providing employers with highly accurate reporting of candidate credentials and background information. Work history, academic degrees, professional certifications and criminal backgrounds are among the types of data we provide as part of our  comprehensive background check services. To find out more or to request a quote, please  contact Global Verification Network.

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