In the world of today’s labour force, many positions – whether menial or white-collar jobs – requires some sort of educational check; ranging from the lowest level certificate to higher-level degrees. One may want to trust completely the details of a candidate’s application. However, it is vital to legally verify such educational claim. Thus, making education verification a major prerequisite to gaining employment in any organization. This is irrespective of where an individual acquired his or her qualification.
Education verifications are a valuable tool in pre-employment background checks since they confirm whether or not a candidate has earned the diploma or degree claimed, hence highlighting a candidate’s qualifications and possibly revealing information about your candidate’s honesty and integrity.
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE FOR EDUCATION VERIFICATION?
This is one of the toughest and yet frequently asked questions. Howbeit, it should be put into consideration before making recruitment decisions. Each year, thousands of job candidates and approximately 10% of candidates in every recruitment fabricates their education history. Furthermore, they misrepresent their education in a wide variety of ways; thus birthing the rigorous process of education verification.
The fundamental purpose of education verification is to validate the academic records of applicants claiming to be successful students. Also, it helps to secure the most rewarding positions for truly qualified applicants. These days, an alarming ratio of job applicants admit to having overstated their academic qualifications. Even more, some others have purchased fake degrees from unaccredited institutions.
In addition to verifying the academic credentials of a candidate; the accreditation of the candidate’s domestic educational institution is also confirmed. This is because there are many institutions that claim accreditation from an independent agency. However, the standards and curriculum of these agencies are not equal with those legally established institutions. These fake and unapproved institutions are commonly called “diploma mills”. Usually, these institutions can offer everything from the lowest school certificates to university degrees. Most times, because of the intricacy of the process and operations these diploma mills require that seem genuine and legitimate; many enrolled persons do not even realize they have been duped.
IMPORTANCE OF EDUCATION VERIFICATION.
Verifying an educational background is a vital basic procedure that is often overlooked by business organizations. Various studies indicates that employees degrees are falsified within the ratio of 25% to 33% in most situations. In a world where there’s a constant battle between good and evil, fake and genuine, it is however pertinent not to sweep such valuable details under the carpet.
1. A great number of employees obtain their degrees from educational institutions abroad and across the globe. Hence, the more necessary for companies to conduct a thorough investigation into the applicant’s educational background.
2. It saves cost and mollifies the risk of a bad hire.
3. The verification process helps to eliminate candidates with unscrupulous educational background.
4. Education verification serves as a premium tool for choosing qualified candidates during hiring. Making a mistake by hiring someone not qualified by virtue of lacking his degree, you are jeopardizing your relationship with clients. It is highly possible that an employer may have assigned this person to a client, and now he messes things up through his lack of qualifications for that position. This could make your client extremely angry, and he/she may demand compensation, and may even threaten you by a lawsuit. This is not only costly but embarrassing and can ruin the reputation of the company. And no employer in his right senses would want to sit down, drink coffee while rumours of how his employee has ruined his company’s integrity spread around everywhere.
Employers evaluate applicants education background to screen out applicants who have forged and or exaggerated their qualifications and to protect the company against scam. Some of these qualifications are degrees purchased from and verified by illegal institutions. Verifications are done through direct contact with the school. Sometimes, they are done through the aid of a third party, such as trusted background screening companies. Job seekers provide information to background screening agencies and pay the stipulated amount accrued to such service. Some pre-verification service provide a secured online site where job seekers upload their education credentials. This will enable employers have access to view such verified information at any point in time.
THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE CONDUCTING AN EDUCATION VERIFICATION.
Before you get agitated or become overly suspicious; bear in mind that those who front about their degrees comprise of a minority of employment candidates. Your candidate is the one who says he/she is and did attend and graduate from the institution listed in his resume. There is a postulate which says that a good salesperson is born and not made out of the blue; or something to that effect. But while that may be true in certain disciplines, in more than a few; candidates better have the qualifications and requirements through the proper education.
It may well be a new employee, with his fictional degree, that may truly lack the skills sets required for the job and this reality can cause ask kinds of problems and even lead to impending damages in the company’s future. Since you have spent time, energy and resources in a candidate’s recruit; you have distracted other employees, at least those who have conducted the various interviews. Then when hiring this person, have it at the back of your mind that you may have rejected a candidate who was truly qualified, but is no longer available. In this case, you must now spend additional resources to find and hire someone else.
1. Universities and other higher institutions provide verification through third party services. If the institution is registered with a third-party service, the degree can be verified quickly and on the same day. This third-party assistance is certainly not free as they operate their own business like yours, they charge a fixed rate for access verification.
2. Degrees are verified by background checking services within a couple of days. The process may take longer if the applicant has graduated some years back, or is not shortlisted in the school’s database.
3. Verification process sometimes takes longer if the school is on holiday or have a semester break.
4. Verifications of students outside or across the globe take longer than national or domestic verification. The employer should be prepared to pay more and exercise more patience in waiting for the report.
5. If the candidate is a female, be sure the information you submit reflects the actual name with which your candidate graduated with, as frequently, female candidates apply for the position under their married names and fail to provide their maiden names.
6. Keep your verification process in order – you may decide to verify all degrees or only the highest degree obtained, but whatever the case may be, what you do for one candidate, you should do for all the rest.
7. Finally, if by chance and that after going through the stress of all the afore mentioned processes and you are not able to verify your candidate’s degree, it probably means he/she never obtained any. They may try to convince you into believing their blatant lie, but insist they provide the information that is requested. It is not an herculean task to provide such documents if truly their claims to having graduated from a reputable institution is correct. If they cannot provide the information, you may want to look for another candidate.
ITEMS NEEDED TO VERIFY EDUCATION CREDENTIALS.
Name of candidate as per university, college or school.
Name of full address of university, college or school.
Dates attended or date of graduation.
Exact name of the degree acquired, like B.Sc, B.Com, B.A, etc.
Registration number, matriculation number, hall ticket number, roll number, etc.
Copy of diploma, certificate or degree.
Copy of release of Authorization.
HOW CAN AN EMPLOYER CONDUCT AN IN-HOUSE EDUCATION VERIFICATION?
1. Request for copy of Applicant’s Degree: An employer may request for a copy of the candidate’s university degree or the certificate a candidate received after the completion of a professional programme.
2. The employee institution’s Admission and Record Office is contacted by the employer to authenticate the educational claims.
3. Verification of Pre and Post University Degree: An employment background check verifies all pre and post university degrees. The period covered in the report depends on how long an individual spent in a particular institution and when the degree was awarded.
OTHER FACTS TO REMEMBER
It is noteworthy that where qualifications are regarded as important and checked are in highly paid positions and not low paid jobs where the employers have barely enough to run their business. Generally, it depends on the kind of job one is looking for and the amount of responsibility involved before a check is carried out. It will be a big loss if a common roadside restaurant goes to the length of investigating or carrying out an education verification on its employees resume(if there’s any) because apparently, they will not only waste time and energy but they will also loose some money in the process.
In summary, if the verification of a degree is very important and its achievement is mandatory to fit in a qualified position, the process should be performed ritually to regulate the efficiency and effectiveness of both prospective and existing employees. Save your company the risk of bankruptcy and going down the drain by hiring worthy candidates.
Verification Consultant – Klinsheet Consulting