As an employer, the onus is on you to recruit worthy talent for your organization. How do you do it? By performing a background check of the candidate. Education verification is an integral part of that background check to eliminate incidences of fraud. Just to put things into perspective, 36% of respondents admitted to lying in their resumes, according to a ResumeLab survey.
We believe that’s a substantial reason to understand the importance of education verification and its best practices.
Let’s get started.
Recommended Post: Resume Verification: A Must in Your Hiring Process
What Is An Educational Background Check?
A lucrative job offering may attract the eyeballs of thousands of prospects. While some are deserving, others can make up a few sections of their resume to fit in. Background checks help employers verify the training, certifications, and academic history of the candidates. That way, they can identify any discrepancies in the candidature and take necessary action on it.
To assist employers, consumer reporting agencies (CRAs) perform background checks and education verification. They find out if the applicant has earned his/her high school diplomas, vocational certifications, or undergraduate/graduate degrees.
Now the two important points to note are:
- As far as education verification is concerned, there is no restriction, according to the federal FCRA guidelines. That means consumer reporting agencies can check the educational claims across the applicant’s entire lifetime.
- The duration of verifying the educational background of a candidate is dependent on the method you choose. For instance, if you perform it yourself, it might take a lot of time. You will have to contact every institution the applicant claimed to have attended and then wait for their responses, which might take weeks. Also, you may miss out on any information in some cases. For example, if the applicant has failed to include a particular institution in his or her CV.
To make your task easy, consumer reporting agencies are there. If you hire us, we have
state-of-the-art technology to complete background checks in less time and deliver a remarkable user experience.
Why Should You Perform Background Check While Recruiting?
Applicants need to have a degree to be considered for any entry-level job. To gain ground over others, some applicants may embellish their qualifications and end up securing the job. Since educational background gives employers an insight into the abilities, skills, and knowledge level of an applicant, fake details can cloud the employer’s judgment of the individual candidate. As a result, the firm may hire unqualified employees, which may hurt business and reputation.
By conducting the education verification process, you get the following advantages:
- No unworthy hiring by shortlisting qualified candidates
- Able to save resources on the hiring process
- Test of applicant’s character
- Able to gauge the mettle of candidates by analyzing the marks in relevant subjects
Hence, to avoid any costly situations for the organization, employers must perform an education verification for employment as part of a background check to identify qualified, able, and trustworthy talent.
What Does An Education Background Check Reveal?
In this background check, the educational claims made by an applicant are verified. This part of the education verification process includes verification of the school or universities attended, the period of the academics as mentioned by the applicant, and degrees (Bachelor’s or Master’s) earned. While these are some basic verifications, agencies can further verify any top honors, areas of study, and GPA, if needed.
What Are The Best Practices From A Legal Perspective?
While employers can find themselves in the middle of an ocean while performing a thorough background check, it is right to hire a CRA.
Now the CRAs must adhere to all federal regulations and local laws while carrying out their job to help employers make correct hiring decisions. The Federal Trade Commission enforces the FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act). The law lists down the requirements that employers must be aware of.
Some of the notable points under FCRA are:
- Written disclosure: Employers must notify applicants that they will conduct background checks
- Consent: Before conducting background checks through CRAs, employers must obtain each applicant’s consent.
- Sharing results: After a certified FCRA-compliant CRA completes the background check, the employer must share the results with the applicant and inform them about their rights under FCRA.
- Follow the adverse-action process: If the employer receives any adverse information that can influence their hiring decisions, they must comply with the adverse-action process under the FCRA. For instance, if you find any discrepancy after the background check and decide not to hire the candidate, you must send a final adverse action notice to the candidate or employee.
In addition to this, employers must also know the regulations enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or EEOC:
- Anti-discrimination laws: EEOC enforces anti-discrimination laws.
- Treating everyone equally: Perform a background check consistently on every applicant irrespective of their race, origin, color, gender, and other ascribed characteristics.
- Follow local laws: Based on your hiring location, you must comply with the local laws.
Following every guideline can be time-consuming and difficult for employers. Hence, it is advised to partner with a certified FCRA-compliant CRA to conduct education verification for employment. The results will be accurate and provide reliable information to help you make better hiring decisions.