Today’s hiring climate finds more jobs than employees. Employers are scrambling to find the right fit for the job openings. Jobs are going unfilled because there just aren’t enough qualified workers to do them.
It is more important now than ever to make sure you are putting the right person into the right job. Education and certifications are important. Education is often the building block of someone’s ability to be successful in a position. Education verification can confirm whether the applicant’s education claims are true.
So we’ve convinced you that education verification is important.
But is it really necessary in a hiring climate that finds more open positions them employees to fill them?
Yes! Even more so now. A few years ago, when applicants struggled to find jobs and the unemployment rate was close to 10% for almost 18 months, you might understand why applicants would lie about their education. Diploma Mills and Degree Mills did a brisk business selling fake credentials and transcripts. Now that the unemployment level is less than 4% and employers are struggling to fill positions, you might wonder why an applicant would lie about their education. But with so few applicants and so many jobs to fill, it is even MORE important to make sure that the candidate you are hiring is who they say they are. The Education history on a resume or application are the fundamental building blocks to the skill set an applicant is offering. If they lie about their skills, you might find you’ve hired someone that can’t do the job. The cycle of finding, hiring and on-boarding a new hire is costly both in time, man-power and money. Can you really afford to not do education verification on your candidates?
Okay, so I need to verify the education of my applicant.
Do I need to hire someone else to do that? We can do that ourselves in HR, right?
Of course you can do it yourself. If you want it to be full-time job of your HR staff. Education verification is not a simple task. There are multiple ways to verify education, depending on the level you are working on.
One might think the simplest way to verify someone got a diploma or a degree from a school or institution would be to call that school and ask. The reality is that most colleges and high schools don’t have the time to answer all of these calls. Further, the hours of the office of the registrar might not coincide with the availability of your HR department. If you don’t get an answer the first time, HR needs to remind themselves to place the call again until they get someone to answer. And then hope they can get that information. Does your HR staff have the time to continue to make these phone calls and to follow-up as necessary?
You can also get education verification from the National Student Clearinghouse. This database is a third-party verification website where over 3,000 universities and colleges from the United States provide their student and degree information. This cumulative reporting service is the leader its industry of educational reporting. It is compliant with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act which protects the student’s privacy with regards to their education records. Can you be sure your HR staff is up-to-date on the privacy laws associated with education verification?
Another problem with in-house education verification is the proliferation of fake degrees. With the explosion of the internet, it is very simple for someone to buy a degree from a degree mill or a diploma mill. Anyone can buy a very real looking diploma anywhere on the internet. Further, anyone can also buy transcripts and there can even be call centers that answer inquiries regarding degrees. It is so important to know if the institution is accredited and whether or not the degrees granted come from class work or life experience. Can you expect your HR staff to be able to tell the difference between a real degree and one bought on the internet?
- Can you really afford to not do education verification on your candidates?
- Does your HR staff have the time to continue to make these phone calls and to follow-up as necessary?
- Can you be sure your HR staff is up-to-date on the privacy laws associated with education verification?
- Can you expect your HR staff to be able to tell the difference between a real degree and one bought on the internet?
When you consider all of these questions, using an outside expert to do your education verification makes a lot of sense.