More job applicants performing background checks on themselves

Job applicants conducting background checks on … themselves? According to some industry experts, the latest trend in pre-employment screening is something called the “self background check,” where the prospective employee conducts a background check on themselves just to see what kind of personal and professional information is available in the public domain.

Self background checks can enable a job applicant to see just how much information a prospective employer can find out about one’s criminal record, educational background and job experience, before handing in a resumé laced with half-truths or taking the leap from a current job to a new one that might not pan out. It’s along the same lines as obtaining one’s credit report to make sure there are no surprises before applying for a loan.

While we encourage this trend of job applicants making sure their public information is accurate, we advise employers to continue to conduct their own professional pre-employment screening on every prospective employee.

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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.

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