Your Guide to Identity Verification Background Checks

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What Are Background Checks?

Hiring good talent is essential to the success of your business. Having the right people in your organization can boost your productivity, corporate climate, customer satisfaction, and company reputation. Moreover, good employees help save you from future costs you might incur in case they turn out to be a bad hire. In the UK, turnover costs can reach up to £30,000 per employee earning at least £25,000 annually. In the Philippines, the cost of turnover can go as high as 400% of the employee’s annual salary, particularly if they hold a high-level position. 

One of the most effective ways to help you hire the right people is to conduct background checks. They provide information about the candidate, which you can use to ascertain whether they are a good fit for the position. Through background checks, you can determine if someone has the right qualifications and experience. They’ll also reveal if they have a criminal record or debt that may affect how they fulfill their role. 

Some of the common background checks include Criminal History Checks, Adverse Financial Checks, Employment Verification, Social Media Checks (usually for high-profile positions), and Reference Checks

Another important check you need to run at the beginning of the hiring process is the ID background check. 

What Is Identity Verification?

It’s a common misconception that any background check can automatically verify a candidate’s identity. In reality, many background checks rely on information provided, like the applicant’s name and date of birth. Hence, any unintentional or deliberate error can lead to false background check results. 

Let’s say a candidate falsified documents and presented themselves as another person. A criminal background check on their fake identity may not yield significant findings, but there may be hits on their real identity. 

Because it serves as the foundation for the other background checks, it’s extremely important to verify that the candidate is who they say they are. Employers can do this through Identity Verification, which checks their official identity. 

An ID background check becomes even more important if you’re hiring someone who came from or worked overseas because verification may prove to be more difficult due to diverse document standards, language barriers, and legal and privacy differences. 

Why Does Identity Verification Matter?

Besides the fact that an ID background check serves as the foundation for the other checks, it’s also important for the following reasons:

It Protects Your Brand and Reputation

Proving our identity has become crucial to access many goods and services. From time to time, we fill up forms and provide details, such as our name, birthday, address, and work. Furthermore, our photos are often readily accessible through our social media accounts.

All these, along with the data breaches, make fraud an urgent concern. In the UK alone from the first quarter of 2020 to the 2nd quarter of 2023, the number of data records exposed due to breaches reached 914,000

Needless to say, companies need more confidence that the applicant is who they say they are. They have to take extra care in verification, especially these days when it’s becoming more common to hire people overseas. 

It Builds a Culture of Trust

Employees do more than collaborate on a project and meet for work. A lot of times, they go for after-work drinks, meals, and trips, and even share rides. When people in the company know that everyone has a verified identity, they’ll feel more secure and safe in the workplace.  

An ID background check also promotes accountability - employees would want to do well in projects or tasks that will be under their name. 

It’s Important for Compliance

Conducting an ID background check helps run the other checks that the law requires. 

Once you’ve verified the applicant’s identity, you can now confidently run right to work checks to ensure that you’re not hiring someone illegally. In the UK, a properly conducted right to work check gives your organization a statutory excuse should the government find out that you have an illegal employee. Identity verification background check also helps you confidently run credit checks and criminal records, which, in some industries, are required by law. 

An identity check will also help with tax compliance. Different countries have complex tax laws, and failure to comply with these can result in financial penalties.

It Helps With Safety and Security 

In some cases, an ID background check is a matter of safety and security. In the Philippines verifying a candidate’s identity is crucial to make sure that results of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) clearance - a form of criminal history check - are accurate. The NBI clearance shows if the applicant has been convicted of a crime, which could indicate if they will be a danger to the people around them. 

For overseas hires, international identity verification is particularly crucial for positions that involve sensitive information, critical infrastructure, or government contracts.

It Helps You Choose the Right Talent

An ID background check helps you obtain accurate results for your other background checks necessary to determine if an applicant can effectively take on the role. If you’re hiring a software engineer, you can use the applicant’s official identity to proceed with educational and employment background checks to assess their knowledge and skills. 

Overall, verifying candidates' identities and credentials can reduce the risk of fraud, help you hire qualified candidates, and allow you to make more informed hiring decisions.

How to Carry Out Identity Verification Checks

There are many ways to conduct an ID background check. The most common way is to verify their documents, like driver's license and passport, through a database that many employers and third parties have access to. Address verifications can be done through utility bills and credit databases. Some companies also perform phone verification where they determine if the person’s mobile number is truly associated with the candidate’s identity. The advancement in technology also now allows facial recognition between a candidate’s selfie image and their government-provided documents. 

Generally, different countries may have different types of processes and laws for conducting an ID background check. If you decide to run the checks on your own, you must know which documents you must collect since the best practice is to conduct several identity verifications. You may also discuss with a lawyer or your legal team the laws you must follow while conducting the ID checks. 

Veremark Solutions

To be more efficient, compliant, and accurate many companies now choose to partner with a reliable third party to conduct their identity verification. Veremark’s identity check service verifies a candidate’s official name and date of birth. It also determines the authenticity of the document and even uses a biometric match to the ID document. 

Veremark’s checks can be integrated into your workflow and combined with other confidential data to help you assess the candidate’s eligibility for the job. As the number one choice for leading brands and workplaces across the globe, we can guarantee accurate results at a fast turnaround time, with no lock-in period required. 


An ID background check verifies if the candidate is who they say they are. It also serves as the foundation for the other background checks you need to complete. ID checks need to be meticulously conducted because they serve as the foundation for your other background checks, which you need to ascertain if you’re hiring the right candidate. For accurate, fast, and compliant service, many organizations choose to collaborate with service providers like Veremark to run identity verification and other checks. 

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What background check do I need?

This depends on the industry and type of role you are recruiting for. To determine whether you need reference checks, identity checks, bankruptcy checks, civil background checks, credit checks for employment or any of the other background checks we offer, chat to our team of dedicated account managers.

Why should employers check the background of potential employees?

Many industries have compliance-related employment check requirements. And even if your industry doesn’t, remember that your staff have access to assets and data that must be protected. When you employ a new staff member you need to be certain that they have the best interests of your business at heart. Carrying out comprehensive background checking helps mitigate risk and ensures a safer hiring decision.

How long do background checks take?

Again, this depends on the type of checks you need. Simple identity checks can be carried out in as little as a few hours but a worldwide criminal background check for instance might take several weeks. A simple pre-employment check package takes around a week. Our account managers are specialists and can provide detailed information into which checks you need and how long they will take.

Can you do a background check online?

All Veremark checks are carried out online and digitally. This eliminates the need to collect, store and manage paper documents and information making the process faster, more efficient and ensures complete safety of candidate data and documents.

What are the benefits of a background check?

In a competitive marketplace, making the right hiring decisions is key to the success of your company. Employment background checks enables you to understand more about your candidates before making crucial decisions which can have either beneficial or catastrophic effects on your business.

What does a background check show?

Background checks not only provide useful insights into a candidate’s work history, skills and education, but they can also offer richer detail into someone’s personality and character traits. This gives you a huge advantage when considering who to hire. Background checking also ensures that candidates are legally allowed to carry out certain roles, failed criminal and credit checks could prevent them from working with vulnerable people or in a financial function.

Transform your hiring process

Request a discovery session with one of our background screening experts today.

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