Managing discrepancies with tolerance matrix in the recruitment process

recruitment process

Managing discrepancies with tolerance matrix in the recruitment process

recruitment processWhen performing background checks on prospective employees, we frequently encounter unforeseen challenges. For instance, if the candidate’s provided information does not completely align with the verification results, it raises the question: is it simply an error, or is there an intentional effort to deceive and fabricate the documents?

Discrepancies can vary from minor issues like typos, where letters are swapped or missing in names, to major errors, such as differences in reported educational qualifications. 

According to Integrity Asia’s experience with pre-employment screenings, the most common discrepancies are found in employment history checks. These often involve significant differences in the start and end dates of employment listed on candidates’ CVs, as well as frequent inconsistencies in job titles and responsibilities.

If discrepancies are found, what actions should be taken?

Managing Discrepancies

To effectively handle discrepancies, companies should establish clear procedures, which include:

  • Further Verification. Cross-referencing information with relevant sources, such as contacting the educational institution or previous employer of the candidate.
  • Communication with the candidate. Allowing the candidate to explain any discrepancies that are identified.
  • Use of Tolerance Matrix. Defining acceptable limits for certain discrepancies to assist in consistent and fair decision-making.

Importance of Tolerance Matrix

A tolerance matrix serves as a guide for companies to establish acceptable limits for discrepancies. It is essential for several reasons:

  • Consistency in assessment. Ensures that all candidates are evaluated against the same criteria, reducing subjective bias.
  • Saving time and resources. Provides clear guidelines, enabling quick decisions on whether a discrepancy requires further action or is acceptable.
  • Mitigates risk. Helps identify and manage risks associated with hiring candidates who may not meet the company’s integrity standards.
  • Clear documentation. Offers a documented rationale for hiring decisions, useful in case of disputes or audits.

 The Need for Further Verification 

In some cases, companies need to conduct more in-depth verification of discrepancy findings. For example, a candidate states in their CV that they served as a Business Development Manager in a previous company. However, upon verification, the job title recorded was Sales Executive. This discrepancy results in a “discrepancy” status in the screening process that requires further verification.

Therefore, it is necessary to conduct further verification with the HR department to determine if there is a significant difference in job description and level between the two positions. If the verification results show that the job descriptions and levels are equivalent, then the status of the verification results can be considered valid.

In other cases, if there is a discrepancy of less than three months between the employment period listed on the CV and the verification result, the company can make a decision based on the predetermined tolerance matrix.

Discrepancies in the employment background screening verification process is common and needs to be managed carefully. By having a tolerance matrix in place, companies can make fair and consistent decisions, saving time and resources. 

Tolerance matrix also helps in risk mitigation by ensuring that only candidates that meet the company’s integrity standards are accepted.

Ensuring that the recruitment process runs smoothly and fairly is a shared responsibility between the company and the candidate, and the tolerance matrix is an important tool to achieve that goal.

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