Perhaps your top candidate has just nailed his or her job interview. From what the resume portrays, the candidate’s education shows that he’s a very intelligent person. Furthermore, the employment history and the candidate’s personality profile him or her as a good fit for your company. In short, you’re just so sure that this person has all the criteria you would normally require for your company’s culture.

As much as this candidate looks too good to be true; every recruiter must be aware of the fact that applicants tend to embellish facts, tell lies or deliberately hide some parts of their histories; all in a bid to appear just right in the eyes of prospective employers. These and more, are the reasons why background checks are essential for recruiters who are looking to hire new employees.

Many times, employers run background checks to verify candidates’ school certificates and NYSC results – and maybe addresses. There are a couple of dangers that are involved in omitting a previous employer check. Some of these dangers include:

  • Misinformed dates 

    In a bid to portray themselves as highly experienced in a particular field, some candidates tend to overstate the actual duration of time they spent working with some of their previous employers. Time and time again, we have heard HR managers complain about candidates who have altered their CVs, just to fill in the void for experience they lack. For instance, there have been instances where a candidate with 3 years’ experience altered his CV because he wanted to apply for a role that required a 5-year experience. Without running a previous employer check, this dubious act might just go unnoticed.

  • Misinformed Position 

    To help position themselves in a better stand for negotiation; many candidates tend to overhype the position they held at their previous organizations. It is not uncommon to have a sales assistant who lays claim to being a sales executive or a sales manager for his former employer. Without running a previous employer check, the hiring organization runs the risk of gullibly employing an under-qualified candidate to fill in a sensitive position within their organization.


  • Inflated salary

     Everyone sure wants to earn more money. It is the norm for employers to be curious about how much their prospective employees earned at their previous organization. Because we are humans, it is not strange for applicants to inflate the amount their previous employer paid them.

    In a case whereby a candidate observes that a prospective employer seems to be very impressed with his profile, such person could yield to the temptation of multiplying the amount of money he earned with his previous employer. Strategically, such person may then settle for a meager increase in pay; while laying claim to the fact that he just wants to garner more experience. Some individuals might even be savvy enough to claim they have always dreamed of working in the organization being interviewed at. Hence, working there wouldn’t be because of money, but would be a dream come true. More often than not, this cajole impresses employers, as it plays to their ego.


  • Job description & know-how

     Without running a previous employer check; an organization can only take applicants or employees for their word, while hoping that their words are true. Since applicants are now increasingly aware of the fact that employers are particularly interested in their level of experience and technical know-how as regards the job description; many applicants just play to the gallery with their prospective employers. 

As opposed to telling the truth during an interview; many applicants try to figure out what their prospective employers want to hear, and they tell them just that. Beyond being deceitful about their true status with their previous employer; some employees tend to tell unhealthy stories about their previous employers. In many cases however, such employees actually tell the reverse side of the story; as they deliberately omit their own shortcomings while telling the tales. 

Hence, the onus rests on you as an employer to run a previous employer check before confirming the appointment of an employee. Only by running a previous employer check, can you unearth the true status of your employee with his previous employer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *