Pre Verified Talent Pools: Worth reading the fine print!


The concept of a “Talent Pool” has been around HR and Recruitment circles for many years, but a recent trend of note is the increasing promotion of, “Pre-verified” Talent Pools.

There are many organisations spruiking this model and, on the surface, it sounds great.

Employers can access a pool of people who have already been, “screened”, as in their certifications and experience have been checked.

In 2014, the Society for Human Resources Management (U.S.) raised questions regarding the veracity of these pre-verified Talent Pools, citing concerns over the legitimacy and thoroughness of the person/entity supposedly undertaking the checks.

In addition, several employers indicated that they would largely discount the, “pre-verification” due to the lack of assurance that the due diligence processes would meet their own, internal standards.

Given these products & services charge a premium for access to their supposedly high-quality labour pools, what value then do they provide?

The answer lies in the old John West advert; The ones they reject .


Verification must perform the task of checking the information provided and, therefore, it must have a failure rate. A provider should be able to give you statistics on how many people fail to get through their processes.

Dr George Brown, Director Academic of the International College of Hotel Management completed his PhD on the authenticity of academic qualifications and estimates that close to 20-25% of Senior executives falsified their qualifications in an employment situation.

If that’s the case – a Provider that “pushes people through” an easy verification process to ensure they can claim they have the biggest labour pool, probably isn’t the one you want.

Here are some things to look for in a, “Pre-verified” Talent Pool provider:

1) Failure rate.

A good provider should be able to provide reliable statistics on how many people “fail”. This is a good indicator that their procedures are doing what they should.

2) Type of verification

Differentiation between “Source of Truth” verification and “Visually Inspected” verification. Lots of providers look at a document and then claim it as, “verified”. Downloadable apps make doctoring of documents very easy, therefore the reliability of the due diligence based on looking at something, is very poor. The provider should be upfront about their processes. 

3) Identity checks

Many talent pool providers verify a, “thing” independent of its relationship to the person submitting it. A qualification belonging to, “John Smith” could be perfectly legitimate – it just doesn’t belong to the fake John Smith whose profile is being used. This is one way scammers actually build fake identities.

4) Accreditation

A good provider can quote accreditation by a well-respected body which includes independent quality audits.

5) Quality Data Management and Transparency

A good quality provider can knowledgeably discuss how they manage their data to protect it from being tampered with – either by the candidate OR the employer.

6) Ongoing monitoring of the Information

Verification, by its very nature, is often point in time. This is fine for qualifications but not so appropriate for licences, training and inductions which have renewal requirements. How the Talent Pool provider addresses these issues goes to the heart of the reliability of the information.

So there are a few pointers to help you determine if the, “pre-verified” Talent Pool provider is one worth doing business with.