The COVID-19 pandemic may have changed the way we recruit, but the inherent risks of hiring are the same regardless of whether you’re hiring remotely or in-house.

Issues such as applicants lying on their resume, omitting criminal history, or leaving an employer on less than ideal terms are still present. And in some cases, these problems are exacerbated by remote hiring and the state of the job market.

Even though you may not be able to interview in person, there are some simple steps you can take to keep the process personal and keep your workforce safe.


Resume Falsehoods

Due to changes in the job market caused by COVID-19, applicants may be tempted to exaggerate or outright lie on their resume, now more than ever.

According to a recent 2020 study by ResumeLab, a substantial majority (93%) of people know a person who lied on their resume. The most common lies on a resume are about job experience (27%), skills (18%), and job duties (17%). 

With an overwhelming majority of talent acquisition teams (84%) adapting their processes to work remotely, it’s essential to take the right steps to ensure the best possible hiring outcome.

Solution- Employment and Education Verifications & Character References

Employment and education verifications are the first step to finding out if your applicant has been truthful on their application. Do they have the skills required for the job? Did they put in all the time they said they did with their previous employer? Do they have the requisite degree qualifications?

In addition, character references are an excellent tool to get a more in-depth look at your applicant. This is especially helpful in remote hiring situations. Being able to get a full picture of your applicant’s ability to work with others and overall work ethic from a former supervisor is vital.


Employment Eligibility

Under normal circumstances, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) requires that the I-9 form be filled out in person. Employers must physically examine one document from List A or a combination of one document from List B and one document from List C. Unfortunately, hiring remotely makes this part of the process difficult.

Solution- Remote I-9s & E-Verify

If you qualify for the relaxed restrictions on I-9 forms to enable remote hiring, this may be a great option.  

According to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) website, this policy only applies to employers and workplaces that are operating remotely. If there are employees physically present at a work location, no exceptions are being implemented at this time for in-person verification of identity and employment eligibility documentation for Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.

However, if newly hired employees or existing employees are subject to COVID-19 quarantine or lockdown protocols, DHS will evaluate this on a case-by-case basis. Additionally, employers may designate an authorized representative to act on their behalf to complete Section 2. The employer is liable for any violations in connection with the form or the verification process.

For additional information on remote I-9’s and more, download our Remote Hiring Handbook.

E-Verify The E-Verify system is a great way to instantly verify whether your employee is authorized to work in the United States. While you may have some tentative non-confirmation results that need to be handled by the employee at their local social security office, most verifications will come back verified instantly.


Missing Criminal History

Due to Ban The Box, criminal history questions have been relegated until later in the hiring process, but that shouldn’t stop you from eventually getting that full picture of your applicant’s past. As long as you obtain a release, run criminal background checks consistently, apply the job requirements fairly, and follow proper applicant notification guidelines, criminal history can be legally obtained. For more information on Ban The Box, read our full article.

Solution- County Criminal Reports & National Database Searches

A thorough criminal history report will help keep your workplace safe for employees and customers. We always recommend starting at the county level, because this is the most accurate and up-to-date source for receiving criminal history. Our most popular report package will run a social security trace report. The system can then automatically run criminal county research in any counties your applicants may have lived. From there, we also recommend running a nationwide database search to find any potential hits across the U.S., in areas that your applicant may not have lived.


In these uncertain times, it pays to have a trusted partner who can provide the data you need and the customer support to answer all of your questions. Our unparalleled support, combined with our nationwide researcher network, makes SELECTiON.COM® a valuable background check partner.

Our five-star customer support team is not only industry experienced, but tenured in their time with our company. Our staff is available to you via phone, email, and chat, Monday through Friday, from 8 am to 8 pm.

SELECTiON.COM® offers employment and education verifications, character reference reports, criminal history reports and our Search America® database is the largest in the industry with other 1 billion records.

Contact us today to develop a fast and accurate background check program to get you through this unpredictable time.

NOTE: This article gives a general overview of the legal matters. However, it is your responsibility to ensure compliance with all the relevant federal, state, and local laws governing this area. SELECTiON.COM® does not provide legal advice, and we always suggest consulting your own legal counsel for all applicant approval matters.