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Employment verification: streamlining the verification process

There are many transactions where verified employment history is essential to make an accurate decision. Hiring a new employee, accepting a loan application, or leasing to renters are all examples of when you need an absolutely trustworthy verification of employment.


A person's employment history can tell you a lot about them. There are many transactions where verified employment history is essential to make an accurate decision. Hiring a new employee, accepting a loan application, or leasing to renters are all examples of when you need an absolutely trustworthy verification of employment.

For hiring managers, you must confirm that your candidates have the skills and experience (and personal veracity) needed to join the team. For financial professionals, employment can determine a person's income and their history of consistent earning. Property managers must confirm employment to be sure that a new tenant can support the rent and commute they are about to lease.

This leads to necessary Proof of Employment procedures. Most professionals rely on calling references and checking paystubs - but there's a better way.

What is proof of employment?

POE stands for proof of employment, and is the way we verify that someone has been employed by a specific employer and the dates they were employed. Sometimes, POE can extend to proof of income, confirming that the person also earns as much as they report.

Traditionally, POE is done with a process of calling employer references and confirming pay stubs. However, 1 out of every 12 pay stubs is forged, and we all know the trick of giving a friend's phone number for a fake reference. As employers become less close-knit, it has become nearly impossible to get a trustworthy verification of employment through these touch-point methods.

Fortunately, the digital infrastructure in which we all live has offered another option. Proof of employment doesn't have to be done with traditional methods when automation is available.

Why employment verification is necessary?

Any time there is some benefit to a lie, some small number of people will try to get an edge with deception.  Some will try to win a better job with a false job history, or lease a more valuable house without reaching the income safety-net requirement. Unfortunately, little deceptions like "resume padding" have become so common that well-meaning people are taught "this is how you get jobs" even if honesty is in their nature. In other situations, you may have people who have filled out their information incorrectly with small discrepancies that could matter to your decision-making process.

In short, you have important decisions to make and not every application you receive will be fully accurate. Intentional or accident, it's vital that you verify each candidate or applicant's employment history and current employment status. Proof of employment has been a part of business decisions since the days of each person carrying enveloped reference letters from past employers, and even in those days there were forged letters that were tough to verify.

Time lost to attaining proof of employment

Any hiring HR team and many lenders spend a few cumulative hours on the phone each month calling up references. Sometimes the call is easy - you get the candidate's previous manager at the provided number and receive a good reference. But let's face it, rarely is the process that simple. Often, the manager has changed roles and you are talking to a new person, have called a cellphone, or the number has been disconnected.

If you do reach a personal phone, the next challenge is determining if you are truly speaking to a previous manager or a friend ready to corroborate the story. You may need to hunt down the real employer through a different route and inquire about your applicant's history or their reported manager's whereabouts. Uncovering deception, unfortunately, just means time lost on an unsuitable candidate while a successful connection may still only provide limited information.

Pay stubs are a popular way to verify employment as they are physical or printed proof that a person has worked and been paid for a role. However, pay stubs often don't tell enough of the story and 1 out of every 12 submitted pay stubs are falsified. Verifying these, too, takes time for limited reward.

The good news is that technology has moved forward and there's now a better way to verify employment than calling provided references and trusting pay stubs.

Getting proof of employment from payroll Providers

Each application may provide deceptive or merely mistaken information that can be tough to verify, but all you want is the simple truth. Did Person A fill the Role X  on Y dates for Z amount of money? A little insight from a previous manager might be great, but to make your best decisions, you need a rock-solid way to confirm or disprove a given employment history. So we've gone to the source.

The social network approach may be shaky but who has all the confirmed employment information you need connected to a wide network of information about employees? The payroll providers.

Payroll providers are large, essential B2B services that process employee payroll, handle taxes, cut checks, and handle payroll deposits into employee accounts. They make sure employees are paid like clockwork so that no internal company workings interrupt this necessary function. This also means that payroll providers have all the just-the-facts data you need to confirm or disprove employment dates and incomes.

The trick is how to access this well of information and remaining compliant with data privacy laws. First, there are several payroll providers to work with - each providing to a large number of individual employers. Second, you need a route to a clean no-frills report on exactly the information you seek to verify.

Citadel for absolute proof of employment

Your best bet is to work with a company like Citadel. Citadel supports 35 most common payroll providers and has mapped over 100,000 employers to help applicants/HR and loan teams quickly find which provider is associated with the verification you need.  In as little as 30 seconds, you can direct applicants to use an app to log into their payroll provider and send you that absolutely trustworthy proof of employment report.

Here at Citadel, we know how much time and unsurity are involved in the traditional employment proofing methods. By automating this process with our app and payroll provider partnerships, you can verify employment for new hires, applicants, and tenants quickly and with absolute accuracy every time.

Ready to take the next step into streamlined proof of employment? Contact us today!

 

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