Identity Verification

Modern technology is making it easier and easier for individuals to use false identities for everything, including applying for a job. Requiring potential employees to prove who they are is critical, especially in an environment that is increasingly using remote recruiting practices. While you might take a candidate’s identity for granted, your background screening vendor never does. Identity verification is the first step of every background check. Here’s why:

The Basics

Identity verification confirms that an applicant is who they claim to be on applications and resumes. When it comes to establishing a baseline of trust, this is the foundation. Don’t assume that identity verification is built into a domestic or worldwide background screening process. Vendors rely on the data the candidate provides and build the check from there. They use the addresses, birthdates, and other data provided to look for criminal history, credit info, etc. It’s entirely possible to run an entire background check, confirm that every bit of information provided on the application is correct for the person listed, and yet have the person who walks through your door or logs into your remote system be someone entirely different.

Building identity verification into your background screening process at the front end before any other checks are done protects you against onboarding a fraud.

Seriously, Is Identity Fraud Really a Problem?

Yes! Identity fraud happens all the time. When applications, interviews, and even employment happen fully online, it’s all too tempting for people to apply for positions using identities other than their own. By pretending to be someone else, identity thieves secure employment and then gain access to a variety of valuable resources. These criminals only need to get through the door or onto your system one time in order to do damage. But this isn’t the only risk. Middle-of-the-road fibbers tweak their identity details just enough to conceal potentially disqualifying information. You can’t get an accurate background check without accurate identifying data, so there’s no real value in proceeding with a screen until the candidate’s identity has been verified.

How is Identity Verification Accomplished?

The gold standard for identity verification is in-person verification. This is exactly what it sounds like; the applicant presents themself in person with physical proof of their identity. Legal documents such as passports, real IDs, and driver’s licenses are matched via visual inspection. But, in an increasingly digital and remote world, this type of verification is often challenging.

As a result, new methods are being piloted. The future of ID verification includes solutions such as the following:

  • Facial recognition matching selfie photos with photos of official documents
  • Biometrics
  • Geolocation
  • SIM card matches
  • A futuristic identity framework that comprehensively establishes your identity once and then can be accessed by employers as a check

Talk to your background check vendor about the methods they use to help candidates establish their identity.