News & Resources

The importance of identify verification for new and existing employees

May 18, 2011 Brian Bradley

As identity theft becomes more of a pressing issue for employers, pre-employment screening and identity verification have become tightened in an effort to determine if job applicants really are who they claim to be. It is not uncommon for a job candidate, particularly one who has immigrated to the U.S., to use fake documentation to attempt to gain a position within the country. In an effort to deter illegal hiring, more companies' human resource centers are double- and triple-checking employees' credentials to ensure that they are who they claim to be. The process includes checking an applicant's work experience, educational background and determining whether he or she has any criminal record or outstanding warrants to his or her name. "Corporates are certainly becoming more careful and cautious when they are recruiting for the middle and senior level positions. It is a fallout of a series of scams that have hit the country," said Kanthi D Suresh, director of Konnexions HR, Money Control noted. The source attributed the increase in identity theft to the recession felt worldwide. With more consumers struggling to find work due to a lack of open positions, coupled with inexperience or poor credit scores, many turned to what they viewed as their only option. In an effort to fight back against wayward job applicants, the Obama administration has launched E-Verify. The software system checks an employee's name and Social Security number to ensure that he or she is using the number truthfully. Conversely, a job seeker can also use the system to determine if his or her number has been used unknowingly. No matter how large or small a corporation may be, it is in a company's best interest to conduct thorough background checks and identity verification in order to avoid any problems down the pike. All applicants should receive the same type of screening, no matter their previous experience, and a proactive approach should always be taken. Additionally, with new securities recently in place, it is wise for firms to conduct identity verification for existing employees, no matter their tenure with a firm.