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VOE, Background Checks and Personal References

Understand the differences between a VOE (employment verification), a background check, and personal references.
Headshot of Victor Kabdebon
Victor Kabdebon
Co-Founder & CTO + Product
Table of Contents
Table of Contents

Employment Verifications (also called VOE). Background Checks. Personal References. Each process provides critical value to employers and employees alike by helping expedite the hiring process. But what are the differences between the three?

In this blog, we cover those differences to help you understand how your information is being shared throughout the hiring process.

Employment Verifications

Employment verifications are our speciality here at Truework. For the most part, they’re rather straightforward. In their simplest form, an employment verification includes three key pieces of information from each employer:

  • Name of the company
  • Your start date at that company
  • Your end date

Simple right? Not quite. Those are just the minimum requirements. If you need an employment verification as a part of a loan process, the loan officer isn’t worried about additional details- they only want to ensure your ability to repay the loan on time.

Potential employers are different. When verifying your employment, they’re looking at more than just the basics. They’re digging into the details to assess whether or not you are the best possible candidate for the job.

With this in mind, an employment verification completed by a potential employer can include:

  • Job performance / professional conduct
  • Salary information
  • Job description and duties
  • Qualifications and skills
  • Reasons for termination or disciplinary matters
  • Workplace habits

What can and cannot be shared in an employment verification depends on the state in which you apply for a job. Each state government has their own legislation regarding this type of employment verification. If you want to know what information a former employer can share about you, you’ll need to check-in with the Department of Labor in your respective state.

Go more in depth about employment verification >>

TIP: If you’re applying for a new job, check your state’s labor website to see what information a former employer is legally allowed to share with prospective employers.

Background Checks

Most people associate background checks with criminal records, and for good reason. Having a clean criminal record is a big step in completing a successful background check. But it’s only the tip of the iceberg.

Modern background checks are much more comprehensive. In fact, many background checks today include employment verifications. A review of your criminal record is just one of 7 common checkmarks. A complete background check may include:

Employment verification Credit history report SSN validation Civil record report (including any domestic disputes, personal bankruptcies, etc.) Motor vehicle record report Rental history information

Undergoing a background check doesn’t necessarily mean an employer will turn over each of these stones. Many employers simply verify a candidate’s most important information, which includes employment history, criminal record and SSN validation. Others choose to conduct a comprehensive background check due to the increased requirements of a given role.

The best way to learn what information will be shared as a part of your background check is to talk with your prospective employer.

Tip: If you’re asked to complete a background check authorization form, make sure to read the fine print. All background checks are NOT created equal.

Personal References

Compared to background checks and employment verifications, personal references are much less regulated. Instead, they give the employee an opportunity to highlight their experience through their former colleagues.

Instead of being subject to state and federal laws, personal references allow the employee to choose who their prospective employer speaks to, giving them the chance to put their best foot forward.

Tip: When deciding on who to include in your personal references, be sure to keep them professional. Choosing too many peers as references may hurt your application.

Want to protect your personal information during employment verifications? Learn more about the Truework platform today.