Identity Verification
  • 29 Jul 2021
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Identity Verification

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  • PDF


Identity verification assesses whether the legal name and date of birth provided are the candidate’s own. Candidates can pass an identity verification by either receiving a code on their phone, or by answering security questions from their credit file.

An Identity Verification will not return any information once it has run. Instead, it will simply be clear or have an alert. It will not show how the candidate attempted to verify themselves.

The Importance of Identity Verifications

Background checks assume that the identity provided is genuine. Searches depend on accurate inputs. For example, most criminal court records are filed by name and date of birth, which means a false date of birth can cause you to miss information critical to your hiring decision.

Tens of millions of identities are stolen each year, making it increasingly common that candidates are using stolen identities on background checks.

It’s smart to add a layer of security to help ensure you are hiring the right person.

Where Other Solutions Fall Short:

You need to verify candidate identities to help ensure you get the right background check results. But while hiring professionals look for ways to gain the truth, validating is not the same as verifying.

SSN Trace:
An SSN Trace can catch someone who makes up a SSN, but it won’t catch people using identities they’ve bought online or “borrowed.” A SSN Trace can also confirm that the name and date of birth provided belong to that SSN, but they may not necessarily belong to that candidate.

Legal Identification:
If the candidate is physically present, you can request to see a valid form of identification, such as a driver’s license. This doesn’t work well at job fairs, when hiring remote workers or hiring on-demand workers at scale. And how do you know the ID is real?

I-9 and E-Verify:
All employers must ensure that their employees have a legal right to work in this country. Some use the E-Verify or other electronic verification system. But you are not allowed to use E-Verify until the candidate has accepted the job offer and you’ve already turned away your other candidates. Also, if the SSN provided on an I-9 form belongs to someone else, you won’t realize you have a problem until you hear from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

What You'll Learn From Identity Verifications

Identity Verification helps solve these challenges by assessing whether the legal name and date of birth your candidate provides are indeed their own. For added security - and especially when screening remote applicants - Identity Verification assesses whether the candidate is who they say they are.

How Identity Verification Works

Identity Verification works by assessing whether the personal details your candidate provides actually belong to them through knowledge-based authentication. This technique provides an additional level of verification by asking candidates to answer certain questions that are designed to be very difficult for anyone but the true SSN holder to answer, such as what street they lived on or which bank they have a line of credit with.

Seamlessly integrated into the GoodHire candidate experience, the process is crisp and simple:

  1. Candidate begins completing their personal information for the background check.
  2. GoodHire uses the SSN to generate a few questions designed to be very difficult for anyone but the true SSN holder to answer.
  3. GoodHire presents these questions interactively to the candidate.
  4. Candidates who fail identity verification still complete the background check process.
  5. GoodHire alerts you if we couldn’t verify your candidate’s identity.


Identity Verifications can be added on to any of GoodHire's background check packages.

Reviewing Results

The results of the Identity Verification will simply return clear if the individual used an sms/passcode authentication, or if they correctly answered their security questions.


If the candidate incorrectly answers their security questions, then an alert will be displayed in the Identity Verifications results. Employers can reach out the candidate and conduct additional identity verification if they have reason to believe the alert is a false positive.


Turnaround Time

Turnaround time for Identity Verification depends on how quickly the candidate completes the verification. Once the candidate has provided their information, the results are instant.


  • In some cases, depending on the candidate's credit file, they may only have the option to answer security questions.
  • If a candidate accidentally gets one of their security questions wrong, then the check will show an alert. Additionally, if the candidate does not have any established credit history, the check will show an alert.
  • Candidates must complete the Identity Verification process themselves. The process cannot be completed by the Employer. This will require that the Employer enter the Candidate’s email address and that an email is then sent to the Candidate.

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