The digital economy, which interconnects people, businesses, devices, data and processes online, is thriving and at an all-time high. While global migration took quite a hit during 2020, remote recruiting became a popular and critical survival solution for many businesses and industries. Particularly within high-risk industries, (healthcare for example), the demand for hiring exceptionally talented professionals from overseas to fill the skills gap is high, but so is the risk of dishonest candidates puncturing inefficient hiring processes. It’s essential for talent professionals to understand why using primary source verification as best practice is crucial. Let us explain why.

What is Primary Source Verification?

Primary Source Verification, commonly known as PSV, is the process in which a company or regulator requests an applicant or candidate to submit certain professional documents, qualifications and employment details to validate their legitimacy. This process is a requirement by many regulators worldwide. As the name might suggest, an individual document or credential is verified from the original source, known as an issuing authority (IA). Primary source verification is particularly valuable to industries that hire professionals to carry out high-risk work. These industries include, but are not limited to, healthcare, engineering, finance and education. 

Verify Your Candidates

using primary source verification

As the global war on talent increases, we know that 6% of educational degrees are fraudulent and 53% of job applications contain incorrect information. That means that potentially over half of the job applications or submitted documents that businesses receive contain dishonest, exaggerated and fabricated information. 

Imagine an airline was hiring pilots for a new aircraft launch. Suppose half of the applicants for the job had falsified their credentials and were offered the job? The thought of an unqualified pilot flying a plane full of passengers is not worth the risk of human error. Not only could passengers and colleagues be in real physical danger but the truth uncovered could do severe irreversible damage to the company’s brand and reputation. 

There have been many true-life stories where someone, who had falsified their credentials, got hired and were completely unqualified for their role. In June 2020, it was uncovered that 262 of Pakistan’s domestic pilots (out of 860) paid someone to sit their aviation exams. That’s more than one-third of Pakistan’s domestic pilots holding the lives of thousands of passengers in their hands, and unqualified to do so.  Think about an American high-school graduate posing as a children’s doctor in Uganda, a negligent viaduct engineer in Singapore recklessly endangering the safety of others or fraudsters enrolling in top executive education courses and MBAs online. 

In light of the unqualified pilot scams shaking the aviation industry and various fraudulent scandals, HR professionals in other sectors appreciate the crucial need to conduct primary source verification of their new and existing employees. No stone should be left unturned and human resource officials should take heed of other companies’ failures and learn to optimize their hiring processes.  

Why Should HR Conduct Primary Source Verification?

using primary source verification

Implementing primary source verification in the hiring process significantly reduces risks for employers, staff, stakeholders, clients and reputation. No matter the industry or the size of the organization, businesses need to verify who is working for them before hiring. Malpractice, neglect and dishonesty in the workplace can lead to unwanted litigation, investigation, financial loss, reputational damage, physical risk and even loss of life.  

Due to geography and demand, industries that experience a shortage of skilled workers must open their arms to overseas professionals. However, recruitment efforts, if not managed efficiently, open the door to fraudulent activities. 

Engaging With Primary Source Verified Candidates

using primary source verification

If you want to optimize and streamline your hiring process, then engage with candidates whose credentials have been verified in advance. Time-to-hire will be expedited, trust will be established and risk will be mitigated as you deal with qualified and relevant candidates for specific roles. Unless outsourced, HR professionals who collect and verify this information themselves understand how lengthy and expensive, this process can be for each candidate they process. Consider talent professionals in various industries dealing with PSV candidates in the following examples:


Hiring primary source verified professionals contributes to patient and brand safety while mitigating risk associated with healthcare credentialing


Hiring healthcare professionals with PSV credentials contributes to enhanced professional compliance, while delivering frontline care through the ever-evolving medium of telemedicine

Higher Education: 

Verified candidates from higher education courses are incredibly valuable for employers looking to fill a skills gap. Graduates with pre-verified credentials stand out from the crowd when applying for a new role. These verifications speed up the hiring process.


Due to the sensitive nature of the material handled by those within the financial services industry, the outcome of primary source verification and candidate screenings should be a main consideration for hiring decisions.


In today’s digital landscape, the proliferation of technology has presented opportunities for external and internal attacks on companies. Often a company’s greatest threat is already inside the company. An employee with access to sensitive data and information may use it for good or evil. 

Regardless of the industry you recruit and hire for, dishonest applications, fraudulent candidates and employee fraud is everywhere. Daily news stories inform us of hiring processes gone wrong and unqualified ‘professionals’ being caught out. Conduct primary source verification on candidates and employees as a matter of priority so that your company ends up in the news for all the right reasons. 

If primary source verification is something you need to add to your hiring process, can offer you tailored solutions.