Technology has changed the face of the way we do background checks. Doing a background check on a potential employee has become easier than ever.

Type in their name and you can view their linkedin profile and partial facebook account, however, with the advent of technology, giving false information has also become easier than ever. The information on the internet is only as good as the information that has been input. If someone falsifies a degree on their resume, the same embellishment will be in their linkedin profile.

The goal of reference verification is to ensure that you are making the right hiring decision for your organization. Thorough references can help weed out poor performers. It can also give you valuable information on how to best support, engage and retain your future employee.

Although there is no guaranty that a thorough reference check will uncover everything all the time, there is an obligation to your organization to do your due diligence and try to find out who you are hiring.
A thorough reference check begins with reading through the candidate’s resume, looking at the dates and the responsibilities and cross checking that the employee actually performed the stated duties. The best practice would be to actually speak to the referee (given reference) and not send an online, generic form. Ask open ended questions that will uncover work habits, best environment for the candidate and motivators. Try to speak to people from more than one company and try to speak with references with different relationships to the candidate, eg, supervisor, colleague and clients.

Employment verification is a great way to find out if the candidate actually worked at the company for the amount of time claimed on the resume. Call the organization stated of the resume, ask for HR or payroll and find out if the employee worked there for how long and their title. Often the person on the other end will only be able to confirm the information given. It is important to never call an organization where the employee currently works. Their current employment should not be put in jeopardy, for any reason.

Education verification has evolved with technology. Very often the educational institution will conduct online verification, where the candidates’ name, student number, year of convocation and program have to be input and the confirmation is almost instantaneous.

Unfortunately many candidates know this and can give the student number of a relative with the same surname. Every educational institution has their own system and it is very hard to get around. Give as much information as possible at all time to try to ensure that you are confirming education for the right person.