How to Verify a Job Candidate’s Education History

Recent grad filling out a job application.Are you verifying your job candidates’ education claims before hiring them?  Do you know that you can verify education backgrounds, and how to do it?

It’s been said that “education is the key to success in life,” so it’s not surprising that some job seekers might be tempted to fabricate their education histories in order to increase their success!

When you hire someone for a critical position in your company, it makes sense to confirm their education claims just as you’d check their employment references.

Decide what education level your job opening requires.

The first step is to decide what level of education is required to perform the duties of the job you’re trying to fill.  Once you’ve done that, make sure to specify the position’s education requirements in your job ads.

How to quickly and easily verify someone’s degree yourself:

You can require a copy of an applicant’s transcripts, but this can prolong the hiring process, as most people don’t keep their transcripts on hand.  Fortunately, it’s  easy for you to verify the degree yourself!

Simply call the registrar’s office of the high school or university in question, provide them with your candidate’s name (and sometimes their social security number), and the information will be verified.

Under the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), graduation or degree verification may be provided by a school, as it is considered “directory information.”

How to confirm that a school is accredited and legitimate:

Never heard of the school that granted someone their degree?  Check it out to make sure that it’s accredited and legitimate.

You can do this online through the Council for Higher Education Accreditation’s website.

Never assume somebody else has already done the checking for you!

It is not enough to assume someone has their degree simply because they list it on their resume, and have been working in a related field.  There are famous instances of people lying about their education with great success, such as the Dean at MIT, who didn’t have the three degrees she claimed she’d earned!

Never assume that another employer has done the due diligence for you.  Before you make an offer to someone for an important job within your company, check all of their credentials, including their education history.

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