Employment history is one of the most common misrepresentations that candidates make when applying for a job.
According to the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) report, 25% of people include inaccuracies on their CV.
Information such as their past job titles, responsibilities and even reasons for termination are some of the most common types of inaccuracies or fraudulence.
If your current recruitment and employment screening process doesn’t cover this, your organisation is potentially exposed to hiring candidates who may exhibit dishonest behaviour.
Companies who hire dishonest candidates can expose themselves to costly risks and reputational damage. That is why employment history checks should be used to verify the accuracy of an applicant’s claims.
So what does an employment history check in Australia entail, and what are its benefits?
What Is an Employment History Check in Australia?
An employment history check in Australia involves verifying that there are no misrepresentations in the work experience or employment history of a potential candidate.
Any potential candidate can undergo employment background checks as long as the company has the candidate’s informed consent.
Once you’ve obtained consent, a company can verify the following employment history details:
- the name of the organisation where the candidate was previously employed;
- the position held by the candidate at their previous company; and
- the nature of the role and the tasks performed; and
- the status of the candidate’s employment – in other words, whether they were full-time, part-time, casual, contractor or an intern.
In most cases, an employment history check involves reviewing the last five years of employment. However, depending on the position, nature of the role as well as the employer’s requirements, the duration can vary from ten years to even twenty years of employment history.
What Are the Benefits of Employment History Checks in Australia?
Here are five ways your company will benefit from performing comprehensive employment history checks:
- Risk Management
Something as simple as checking a candidate’s previous job title, their duties and responsibilities and type of employment will verify the accuracy of an applicant’s claims on their CV and demonstrate integrity accordingly.
In addition to verifying their previous employment position, employment history checks can be used to assess whether a former job has impacted their suitability for the role they’re currently applying for.
By assessing the candidate’s employment history and confirming their eligibility to work, you can mitigate the risk of hiring an unsuitable employee and any fraudulent behaviour.
- Reduced Long-Term Costs
Pre-employment screening is not merely limited to ensuring that you’re hiring a candidate who hasn’t misrepresented information on their CV. Employment history checks have several potential long-term benefits as well.
The more you know about your potential candidate before hiring them, the more you’ll reduce the chance of making an uninformed or biased hiring decision.
If it comes to light that you have made an uninformed hiring decision based on misrepresented information on the candidate’s CV, it’s possible that you may need to rehire someone better suited for the position.
Having to go through the recruiting, hiring and employee training process can become extremely costly.
- Verification of an Honest Candidate
By verifying a candidates employment history, you’re more likely to end up hiring candidates who have demonstrated integrity by telling the truth as opposed to those who are inclined to exaggerate or even misrepresent their competence and history.
Many candidates will overstate their work experience and expertise to look good on paper.
Besides verifying the accuracy of the information contained in a candidates CV, you are also ensuring that you’re hiring someone capable of the position as well as someone who is of good character and honest moral behaviour.
- Identify Any Employment Gaps
More often than not, a candidate may have gaps in their employment history on their CV. There could be various reasons for this, such as dismissal.
By performing an employment history check, you can ascertain if there are any gaps and then determine why the candidate did not account for that job.
What’s more, how candidates respond to their employment gaps also gives you valuable insights. For example, are they able to give you an honest response and explain why they omitted certain employment history from their CV? Or do you sense that they are making up excuses or omitting information?
Either way, an employment history check can help provide you with the confidence to make the appropriate decision.
- Better Understanding of Whether the Candidate Can Meet Job Expectations
Although the primary benefits of performing an employment history check are to ensure that there is truth to the candidate’s CV, there are also subsequent secondary benefits.
For example, suppose you know that the candidate has been accurate and honest about their capabilities. In that case, you’ll have a better understanding of whether or not they can meet the expectations associated with the job position you are recruiting for.
So, by deploying employment history checks, you are able to determine whether the candidate has lied about their ability to meet your job expectations or whether they can actually meet your expectations. A good screening technique is to ascertain whether they previously worked in a position with similar expectations.
Through an employment history check, you’ll be able to ascertain how the candidate performed in their previous positions and whether the expectations of those job positions are similar to your expectations for the current position.
Having a better understanding of whether a candidate can meet the job expectations is further enhanced when you add other complimentary background checks such as reference checks or competency assessments.
New candidates can turn out to be the greatest asset to your company or the most significant risk. This is where pre-employment screening comes into play.
Employment history checks in Australia are one of the fundamental guiders of a strong and effective pre-employment screening framework that all businesses should consider adopting.
There are five key benefits to verifying the information the candidates provide. These include
- risk management;
- revealing misrepresentations;
- a decrease in employee turnover;
- revealing employment gaps; and
- managing expectations.
Just like a reference check, verifying employment history helps with establishing a known association.
At VerifyNow, we believe that all industries and businesses can improve hiring quality and safeguard themselves against application fraud by introducing employment history checks.
With accurate and unbiased information about a candidate’s background and credibility, employment history verifications by VerifyNow can help you make the right hiring decision.
Should you wish to get further guidance on your company’s employment screen requirements, get in touch with one of our employment screening specialists today.