Employment verification takes the padding out of r

When we think of pre-employment screening, employers often think of conducting background checks to turn up any criminal record a job applicant has or running a credit report to see if the potential hire is financially trustworthy. But the pre-employment screening process actually should start with something much simpler — verifying the information contained in the applicant’s résumé.

A lot has changed about the hiring process, but a résumé is still often the first thing you see regarding a potential employee. Yet would-be employees continue to pad their résumé with half-truths and outright lies, which makes employment verification a critical step in the hiring process.

As an employer, you need to do your homework on each and every applicant you are seriously considering, to make sure you’re getting someone with the depth of experience and education they purportedly have. The most common details on a résumé that are “enhanced” include: 

  1. Education. Doublecheck the fact that the applicant received the degree listed from the university listed. Also check to make sure the educational institution is an accredited college or university, not one of the many “diploma mills” out there.
  2. Length they’ve held a title. Sometimes an applicant will list an ending title beside the dates of their employment with a particular company, making it seem like they’ve been in a managerial or executive position for far longer than they have. Find out how long they held the most recent title and what responsibilities they had.
  3. Singular responsibility for group success. Applicants often enhance the contributions they made to a company’s bottom line or new initiative, regardless of how personally involved or responsible they were for that success.
  4. Salary. Make sure the current salary they list is what they’re actually earning, not what they think they’re worth.
  5. Computer skills. Employees know how critical it is to have certain computer-related skills, but listing a bunch of programs and applications in which they’re “proficient,” or saying that they’re “social media savvy” isn’t necessarily the case. Find out whether those specific programs and skills were used at their last job(s), or whether they just think you want them to be knowledgeable in those areas.

 

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Higher Tuition Rates Can Lead to Job Applications Turning to Diploma Mills

It’s no secret that the cost of education in the United States and abroad has risen significantly and is expected to continue to rise.  In fact, some authorities predict dramatic increases in tuitionrates through the foreseeable future.

For most people, this just means there’s a need to tighten their belts and choose one of the following options:

a)  Go to a school that’s more community-based rather than a liberal arts or prestigious university.

b)  Forego a bachelor’s degree and learn a trade OR get a certificate or associate’s degree.

c)  Put school on hold for now and get a job with a company that will pay partial tuition for long-term employees who want to get ahead.

d)  Start saving for their school of choice immediately, scaling back on unnecessary wants and working with a financial advisor.

These are all laudable and practical options.  But unfortunately, there is a small sector of persons who would rather take the “short cut”.  Those folks turn to diploma mills in lieu of getting an authentic degree.

As we’ve discussed before, diploma millsare, quite honestly, a scourge in terms of the business world.  They allow individuals to “buy” degrees (in the forms of diplomas or certificates), thus bypassing an online or brick-and-mortar classroom environment.

It’s cheaper, it’s deceptive and it’s tough for employers to spot.  That’s because diploma mills often have names that sound similar to legitimate colleges and universities.  This is where comprehensive background screening on every potential employee becomes essential.  Without it, any employer could wind up hiring someone who has basically skipped an important step in getting his or her diploma.

Don’t be duped by diploma mill-holding applicants.  Turn to a background screening firm.

5 Solid Reasons to Background Check Your Employees

Not background checking your employees?  Here are 5 reasons you might want to reconsider your position…

1. Diploma Mills

These are pesky places that allow people to buy degrees.  They aren’t real degrees, but they’ve fooled more than one employer in the past.

2.  Resume Lies 

You might be shocked at how many individuals are taking the liberty of adding to their resumes.  From lying about past positions to past employers, there’s probably nothing we haven’t seen before.

3.  Bad References 

If you don’t background check your employees, do you at least call all their references?  Most employers don’t, so they don’t realize that, sometimes, references are just made-up people with made-up phone numbers.

4.  Liability 

Let’s say you hire Bob and you find out months down the line that Bob is a registered sex offender or a criminal because he does something to one of your employees, customers or vendors?  Guess who is going to bear some of the brunt of the liability or at least be made the “bad guy” by the media?

5.  Safety 

Above all else, background checking employees provides you with a sense of satisfaction in knowing that you’ve made your workplace as safe as possible for everyone within your sphere of influence.

Diploma Mills Alive and Well

It’s a tough job market out there… and for some applicants, that’s enough of a fact to turn them towards bad behavior and practices.  One of the problems that’s becoming more worrisome than ever to employers is the rise of the diploma mill.

We’ve discussed diploma mills here before, but it’s very important for employers to be reminded of their existence.  Diploma mills provide a job applicant with a legitimate-looking and sounding higher “education” credential.  Thus, his or her resume appears to be much more well-rounded and solid.

Though many employers believe they can ferret out diploma mills, it’s essential to note that they don’t have names like “ABC University”; instead, the diploma mills choose university monikers that easily sound like common college names.  And the resumes pass by busy human resources personnel without problem.

One way to determine if an applicant’s educational background is real or simply paid-for (or even made up, which is a subject for another post), is to do some research in-house.  Google the University, double check its authenticity and give a call to the admissions office.  Of course, this takes time… something that most businesses would give an arm and a leg to have more of.

That’s why the second way to determine if an applicant’s resume includes the name of a diploma mill is a bit better — hire a firm to conduct background screening checks.  That way, the company doesn’t have to do it internally but the job will still get done.

In the end, if employers want to hire right, they need to hire smart.

  • VerifyProtect: Fast, Secure, Affordable Background Checks.
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  • Background Checks Ferret Out Those Who Use “Diploma Mills”

    If you’re an employer and you’re not familiar with the term “diploma mill“, you should be.  Diploma mills are made-up educational institutions where individuals can essentially pay for a copy of a diploma that looks real.  Thus, when they apply for jobs, they can say they have a BA, BS, MBA… even JD.  Fortunately, background checks can and do ferret out such deceptions.

    Don’t think you can simply “tell” who is apt to use a diploma mill, either; there are plenty of out-of-work men and women these days due to the economic downturn.  And desperation can sometimes lead to unethical behavior.  That’s one of the reasons that it’s absolutely critical for all potential employees to be expected to undergo a comprehensive background check.

    Again, it’s just one more way that you can protect your employees, customers, vendors and, if applicable, volunteers from persons who should not be representing your business.

  • VerifyProtect: Fast, Secure, Affordable Background Checks.
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  • A Dubious Award for the United States – Diploma Mill Capital of the World

    According to the numbers, the United States leads the world in offering something that’s rather embarrassing.  It seems that America — most notably the states of California, Hawaii and Washington — tops all other countries in the number of ”diploma mills”.  Ouch.

    What are “diploma mills”?  Well, to put it simply, they are entities whose sole purpose is to issue fake diplomas and certificates to men and women.  These diplomas look authentic, but the institutes from which they come are about as real as gnomes and fairies.

    So what is an employer to do?  Obviously, we recommend that every potential new hire be screened thoroughly — and that includes education verification.  If you haven’t heard of a school, there might be good reason.  It might not exist except on a website and piece of worthless paper.

  • VerifyProtect: Fast, Secure, Affordable Background Checks.
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