In times past, when discussing your educational background, it might be tempting to say that you graduated from a prestigious institution like Harvard, Yale, or Princeton. But, in reality, you may have only gone to a summer camp or had no connection to the institution. But if your employer isn’t able to verify this, what’s the harm, right?
The harm is significant; lying about your educational background can also lead to lying about other things. It’s not uncommon for people to stretch the truth about their educational experience. This can have severe ramifications in the healthcare world, where lives are at stake. Therefore, having education verification checks for candidates is an essential part of the background check process.
Employee Education Verification Matters
Employers can use employment verification to run an education verification check for an employee’s education credential. We’ll share a few actionable, tested items to keep in mind to help run a thorough background-check process.
If you bring someone on board without verifying employee education, certifications, and skills required, this could expose you to significant legal risk.
Why do Employers Need to Verify Education?
Even employers who conduct background checks should also determine if a potential hire has the education they claim to have in their application and the training necessary to perform the job. Earning an advanced degree shows that a person has the ability to persevere and accomplish a goal. During the employee verification process, you can determine the nature of the degree claimed. Some “universities” are diploma mills, granting degrees with little or no effort. A background check can help determine if a degree is legitimate from an accredited university. Consider also that this practice can help you eliminate dishonest candidates, who would potentially become a problem as an employee. Education verification doesn’t have to be limited by institutions, it can also be used for verifying any licenses or certifications.
Below are some steps you can take to execute a successful education verification.
How Does Education Verification Work?
Often, the easiest way to verify an employee’s education is to ask the applicant for an official transcript from their college or university. Another option is to use a third-party verification service to conduct an educational background check. To do this, have the prospective employee provide information including full name, name of their institution, dates attended, degree field, and signed authorization from the applicant.
Look Out for Fake Schools
If a candidate claims to have a degree from a school with a name similar to a well-known university in a different location, you should check deeper. Some legitimate, accredited schools have names identical to more prestigious ones. Worse, some diploma mills will give false degrees with names that are close to those of well-known institutions but don’t exist.
Conduct thorough research online about the school to determine whether the information on the diploma matches the school’s data. Contact the registrar of the school to verify the location, as well as the degrees conferred.
Contact the School Yourself
If you’re unsure about a candidate’s educational background, submit a form to the registrar at the school to confirm when they attended, what major they had, what degrees they received, and so on. If the candidate gives you the OK, you can also ask for a certified transcript.
Be careful, though. Some diploma mills offer verification services. A diploma mill might have someone answer the phone, respond to questions, and even send you a transcript–while in reality, none of the information is legitimate. Look to other sources and do online searches to verify the institution.
You can do this by checking to see if the school received accreditation from a recognized and verified accreditation agency. In addition, you can research a school on the U.S. Dept. of Education’s site to verify its accreditation status.