Employment verification

Checkr saves you time and reduces your workload by verifying your candidate’s employment history for you.

Why employment verification checks are important

Get additional insight into your candidate’s work history. An employment verification background check helps you:

Hire qualified candidates

Make informed decisions and feel confident you’re hiring skilled, experienced candidates.

Verify previous positions held

Confirm the information provided by your candidate is true, and identify any employment gaps.

Mitigate risk to your business

Hiring a candidate with false credentials could pose a risk to your company’s reputation, or worse.

What you’ll learn from employment history checks

Employment history checks confirm important details provided on a resume or application are accurate, such as:

Position or title

Get more insight into your candidate’s level of experience by verifying their position.

Dates of employment

Check the length of employment and accuracy of each positions’ start and end dates.

Employment status

In some cases, learn whether the position was full-time or part-time.

"Our team has more time back in their days"

"Our results with Checkr are just outstanding. It was the best move that we could have made in regards to our onboarding needs that we have for our new hires: from the quick and timely turnarounds to the competitive pricing, as well as to the support that we receive."
Lisa Cramm
System Director of Talent Acquisition at Covenant Health
“Our favorite feature within Checkr is the regular reminders that are automatically sent to the candidates. Checkr takes care of the employment checks and requires candidates to upload necessary documents so we don’t have to manually perform that entire process.”
Jyoti Kamboj
Manager, Talent Acquisition Operations at BridgeBio

A faster way to verify employment history

In addition to traditional manual employment verifications, Checkr’s quick verification option allows candidates to connect to their payroll provider during the screening process. Candidates can enter multiple previous employers, depending on your requirements, instantly verifying their work history and saving you valuable time and money.

Improved turnaround time

Traditional employment verifications can take up to 10 days to complete. Quick verifications complete in <90 seconds.

No pass-through fees

No costly pass-through fees as you bypass third party verification and document review exceptions.

100% verified data

Automation and data integration remove the risk of fraudulent documents and human error.

Checkr’s employment verification solutions

Whether you need to check one candidate’s work history, or hundreds, Checkr helps you scale your screening process and reduce administrative burden. We combine a simplified candidate workflow with advanced technology and a team of experts to provide timely, accurate employment verification checks.

US employment verification

Verify a candidate’s employment history located in the US. Reports include dates of employment, title(s) held, employment gaps, and salary when available.

International employment verification

For candidates with international work experience, verify employment history located in any of 200+ countries. Reports include dates of employment, title(s) held, and employment gaps.

Reference checks

Save hours of administrative work by allowing Checkr to conduct professional reference checks on your company’s behalf. Choose from an industry standardized or custom question set. Learn more.

DOT employment verification

Confirm that important information (like titles and dates of employment) provided on an application is accurate, and verify safety and drug/alcohol history. Learn more.

Add employment verifications to your screening program today.

Frequently asked questions

Learn more about employment verifications

Employment verifications gather information about candidates’ work history to confirm their prior work experience. Employers often use verification of employment as part of a pre-employment background check to determine if the information the candidate provided on a job application or resume is accurate.

Certain industries, such as healthcare and commercial transportation, have specific requirements for employment verification. Performing an employment verification background check helps hiring managers assess whether a job candidate has the necessary work experience, skills, and qualifications for a position.

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What is employment verification?

Employment verification is the process of obtaining information about job candidates’ professional history to confirm that the experience listed on their resume or job application is accurate. Conducting employment verification involves searching databases to verify employment documents, job titles held, and contacting previous employers to confirm start and end dates of previous employment. Where allowed by law, employers may also provide salary history information. In some cases, previous employers may also share additional information, such as what job responsibilities and roles a candidate performed.

Human resources teams can conduct employment verification on their own or use the services of a consumer reporting agency (CRA), like Checkr, to streamline the process. 

The employment verification check process generally starts by accessing The Work Number, a database to which millions of employers submit information about their employees. This database is used for income verification as well as employment verification. (If you’re checking The Work Number yourself, rather than using a CRA, your company must first register and go through a screening process to get approval to access the data.)

If the information in the database doesn’t adequately verify employment, employers or CRAs must contact the candidate’s past employers directly by phone or email to confirm employment information.

An employment verification isn’t the same as a reference check. The purpose of employment verification is to check work history, while a reference check involves contacting the personal references that a candidate supplies on a job application or resume. Not all references have knowledge of a candidate’s employment history, since some candidates list individuals they know through personal relationships, networking, or community involvement.

Why do employers conduct employment verification checks?

Employers conduct employment verification checks for a few reasons, including to ensure that they make informed hiring decisions, promote safety, and comply with regulations. Here’s a look at each of these reasons for performing employment verifications. 

Hiring decisions

Previous work experience is an asset for many positions. Employees develop skills by carrying out assigned job duties and fulfilling the responsibilities of their positions, while gaining experience and industry acumen along the way. 

Reviewing work history on a resume or job application may help employers judge whether a candidate is likely to succeed in a particular position. Since employers may base a hiring decision partly on employment history, they need to feel confident that the candidate’s information is accurate. An employment verification makes it possible to assess the accuracy of the information so that they can use it as one of the metrics for comparing candidates.


In general, background checks may allow employers to promote a safe environment for employees, customers, and the public. With an employment verification check comes the peace of mind that candidates practiced transparency when providing their work histories, helping to foster trust. 

Checking employment history also confirms if candidates previously worked in specific roles and are more likely to be familiar with industry-standard safety procedures and regulations. For example, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) establishes standards for various industries, such as construction and agriculture, and all employers must adhere to these standards. A candidate for an open construction laborer position with previous, similar work experience may already have experience upholding OSHA’s safety standards. By performing an employment verification, an employer could feel more confident that this was the case. 


In some industries, state or local laws may require an employer to perform an employment verification check before extending a job offer. Complying with these regulations helps employers avoid penalties, such as fines, prescribed by laws. If you’re unsure whether laws in your area require employment verification, consult your legal counsel.

How to verify a candidate’s employment history

To verify a candidate’s employment history, you can search databases or contact candidates’ previous employers directly or work with a background check provider, like Checkr. The Work Number is the database most frequently used for verification of employment and income verification. It allows users to search through records from more than three million employers. To access the system yourself, you must sign up for an account and pay a fee. Then, The Work Number performs a credentialing process that takes one to two days. Once the process is complete, you can begin conducting searches by employer name or employer code.

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Another option is to contact candidates’ previous employers directly by phone or email. To do this, you will normally need to contact the employers’ human resources departments. Since candidates typically won’t provide the direct contact number or email for human resources, you may need to research how to get in touch.

Although performing an employment history verification independently is possible, employers may often choose to work with a CRA, like Checkr. With our automated tools and advanced data retrieval technology, Checkr simplifies employment verification checks. We speed up the process, allowing you to complete checks that might otherwise take up to 10 days in less than 90 seconds, and we eliminate employment verification pass-through fees and additional third-party costs to make employment history verification checks more cost-effective. 

How to confirm employment eligibility

To confirm employment eligibility, you must typically use Form I-9 in the US. Also known as an I-9 employment eligibility verification, an employment eligibility verification is not the same as an employment verification. You and your employees can complete the form yourself or with the help of a background check service, like Checkr.

An I-9 verification is the process of determining whether a newly hired employee is eligible to work in the United States by collecting and reviewing identifying documents. On the other hand, an employment verification is when an employer confirms that a candidate’s employment history information is accurate. The I-9 verification process usually takes place during the onboarding process after hiring a candidate, while an employment verification is more likely to be a part of pre-employment screening.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) mandates that all US employers conduct an employment eligibility verification for all employees. To comply with the law, employers must require employees to complete Form I-9. This form has two sections, as follows.

Section 1

Employees are responsible for filling out Section 1 of Form I-9. To do so, they must provide their personal contact information and social security number. The form also asks employees to identify their citizenship status and confirm that they provided accurate information and documentation.

Section 2

Employers complete Section 2 of Form I-9 and list which employment verification documents they reviewed. USCIS maintains a list of acceptable documents for employment eligibility verification. This list features three sub-parts: List A, List B, and List C.

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To satisfy USCIS requirements, candidates can provide either one document listed under employment eligibility verification List A or one document from List B and one document from List C.

List A I-9 employment eligibility verification documents include:

  • US passport or US passport card
  • Form I-551, permanent resident card, or alien registration receipt card
  • Form I-766 (employment authorization card)
  • Foreign passport with form I-94
  • Form I-94A with an arrival-departure record that contains an endorsement to work
  • Passport from the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) or the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) with Form I-94 or Form I-94A
  • Foreign passport containing a Form I-551 stamp or Form I-551 printed notation

List B employment eligibility verification documents include:

  • US or Canadian driverߴs license
  • ID card issued by a state or US territory
  • School ID card
  • Voter registration card
  • Military ID
  • Native American tribal document

List C employment eligibility verification documents include:

  • Social security card
  • Form FS-240 (consular report of birth abroad)
  • Form FS-545 (certification of birth abroad issued by the US Department of State)
  • Form DS-1350 (certification of report of birth issued by the US Department of State)
  • Original or certified copy of US birth certificate
  • Native American tribal document
  • Form I-197 (US citizen ID card)
  • Form I-179 (identification card for use of resident citizen in the United States)
  • Employment authorization document issued by the Department of Homeland Security

In Section 2, employers must list what documents the employee provided and attest to the fact that they verified those documents. Many employers complete this step of the I-9 employment eligibility verification online through E-Verify. The E-Verify service cross-checks Form I-9 information with records maintained by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Social Security Administration.

Supplement B

Employers only need to complete Supplement B of Form I-9 when rehiring an employee or reverifying them because the documents they provided on their original Form I-9 have expired. Some employers may be required or choose to submit I-9 verification information to E-Verify, but in most cases Form I-9 does not need to be submitted to a government agency upon completion.

When you use Checkr to complete employment eligibility verifications, you can easily collect required documents through the Candidate Portal, complete Form I-9 online, and set up your account to automatically submit Form I-9 to E-Verify after completing Section 2, if you wish. 

What are the consequences of failing to verify employment eligibility?

The consequences of failing to verify employment eligibility include civil money penalties and other legal action. For each violation of USCIS rules, an employer may face a civil money penalty. The amount of this penalty depends on the size of the organization, whether the organization acted in good faith, whether the individual in question was an unauthorized noncitizen, the seriousness of the violation, and the organization’s previous violation history, if any.

With repeated violations that indicate a practice or pattern of employment that violated USCIS rules, an organization may face additional consequences. The US attorney general can bring a civil action against the organization. Depending on the outcome of the litigation, a permanent or temporary injunction, restraining order, or other order may be placed against the organization.

What information can be released for employment verification?

What information can be released for employment verification mostly depends on the laws within an organization’s geographic area. Although no federal regulations restrict what information can be released for employment verification, some states have laws regulating what employers can divulge about an employee. For example, Oregon prohibits employers from asking about a candidate’s salary history as part of a background check.

Employers can choose what they will and will not reveal about employees, except where laws impose restrictions. 

An employment verification background check usually includes:

  • Dates of employment
  • Job title or position
  • Salary (if legal in that jurisdiction)

How to get employment verification

To get employment verification, you can contact a candidate’s previous employers on your own or use a background check provider, like Checkr. Manually confirming past employment is time-consuming, especially if you’re hiring at scale, and could expose your company to legal liability as you navigate complex compliance regulations. 

Join 100k employers running faster background checks with Checkr

Hire faster and with confidence by trusting Checkr to handle your employment verification requirements. Checkr offers a variety of employment verification options, allowing you to customize your background check packages for each position type. Our candidate-friendly workflow simplifies the information collection process and can quickly verifies employment while helping you comply with pre-employment background screening laws, such as state and local restrictions on asking for salary history.

In addition to conducting both domestic and international employment verification services, Checkr also offers education verification and personal and professional reference checks.

How long does employment verification take?

How long employment verification takes depends on a few factors, including whether you perform a check manually or use a professional background check company, and the accessibility of the candidate’s employment history information. 

If you choose to do it yourself, the employment verification process could take weeks for your human resources team to contact each of the candidate’s prior employers and follow up until you get an answer. Additional time may be needed if the candidate needs to supply an employment verification letter, or if a W-2 needs to be submitted because a previous employer is no longer in business. The process to procure an employment data report can be even more complex and time-consuming if you need to verify past employment for someone who worked in another country, also known as an international employment verification.

Outsourcing employment verification to a CRA, like Checkr, can streamline the process considerably. The majority of our employment verifications are completed within minutes, while also supporting compliance with relevant federal, state, and local laws.

How far back does employment verification go?

How far back employment verification goes mostly depends on the employer’s preferences. Generally, employment history may be verified throughout a candidate’s lifetime, though employers may choose to limit the scope to a specific number of employers or number of years. Often, employers consider the nature of their open positions when defining the scope of an employment verification. For example, if you’re hiring for an entry-level position, you might check a candidate’s employment going back three years. For a more senior job, you may choose to go back seven years or more. 

Employment verification laws

Federal, state, and local employment verification laws may enforce requirements for employment verification background checks. Some key laws regarding employment verification include the FCRA and salary history laws.

Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)

Employers working with a CRA to conduct background checks, including employment verification, must follow federal regulations set by the FCRA. The FCRA requires employers to provide candidates with written notice of their intent to run a background check and to obtain written consent before proceeding. If the employer decides against hiring, promoting, or transferring a candidate or employee as the result of information that is reported in a background check, you must also follow the adverse action process. See law.

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Salary history laws

Salary history laws may apply at the state or local level and vary by jurisdiction. These laws promote equitable pay by prohibiting employers from asking about a candidate’s past salary or wages during the hiring process, like when conducting an employment verification. Some apply only to the hiring practices of state or local government agencies, while others are applicable to all employers. If you’re unsure whether any salary history bans apply to your organization, consult your legal counsel.

More FAQs about employment verification

For more information about the employment verification process, check out these answers to frequently asked questions.

How does employment verification work?

Employment verification compares information a candidate provides on their resume or job application to records maintained by employers. Employers first may access employment records through databases or contact previous employers directly by phone or email if they’re unable to obtain records online. An employer can also use a background check service, like Checkr, to streamline the employment verification background check process.

Do background checks show employment history?

Whether background checks show employment history depends on the scope of the process. Unless laws require specific types of checks based on job title or industry, employers are generally free to determine what they wish to include in a background check. As a result, some background checks include employment history, while others won’t. A background check may also include other types of checks, such as criminal history, driving records, and education verification.

Do all employers conduct employment verification?

No, all employers don’t conduct employment verification. Unless mandated by law, employers can determine whether the employment verification process is necessary for making an informed hiring decision. 

How often do employers verify work history?

How often employers verify work history varies based on organizational hiring policies and procedures. Generally employers conduct a one-time employment verification during the hiring process. 

Get employment verification services with Checkr

Employment verification allows you to make more informed hiring decisions to ensure your candidates meet the qualifications for the role. Checkr can help streamline the process for faster, more accurate results. With flexible packages to meet your needs, you can easily add employment verification along with other screenings for a comprehensive background check. Plus, built-in compliance workflows help you hire with confidence. Get started with Checkr today.

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The resources and information provided here are for educational and informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Always consult your own counsel for up-to-date legal advice and guidance related to your practices, needs, and compliance with applicable laws.

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