There are many types of background checks you can perform on potential hires. Some of the most common screenings you can run on candidates are employment history, drug and alcohol testing history, DMV records, and of course, educational background.
For most open roles, education history is essential. Whether the applicant in question obtained a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Harvard or not is going to be a pivotal piece of information in determining if your company will move forward with their application. In this regard, education history screenings are important, but what else can they show you about your candidates?
Table of Contents
1. Catching Lies
What does a background check show? Quite a lot, in fact. But the main reason you order background screenings is to weed out the liars.
You hope that no one who took the time to research your company, put together an application, and throw their hat in the ring would waste your time by lying. But there will always be a few bad apples in the bunch. An estimated ⅓ of job applicants admit to having lied on at least one job application.
When it comes to education, lies are unacceptable. If a candidate says they have an accounting degree but can’t even add 2 and 2, you need to take them out of the hiring pool.
2. Correcting Misrepresentations
The thing every employer fears is finding out the exciting prospective hire deliberately lied on their application. But what if the issue turned out to be an honest mistake?
It’s up to every hiring manager to determine how to handle factual errors on applications. Many choose to show compassion to applicants (of course, given the size and gravity of the error in question). If it’s a matter of a date range being a year off on the employment history section, that’s one thing, but claiming you have aPh.D.D when you only have an Associate’s is another entirely.
3. Learning About the Applicant’s Prior Conduct
You can learn much more about a candidate than just where they went to school and when from an education history screening. If they ever received any disciplinary measures or notices, you can request those files.
It may be as small as a few missed classes, but it may be as much as plagiarism. It’s your right to know, and you can find out with a background check.
4. Get a Sense of Their Character
According to CareerArc, 89% of applicants evaluate your company’s brand before applying. Why wouldn’t you do the same?
A great reason to run an education history screening on potential hires is to get a sense of their character. You can speak to representatives of their educational institutions who knew them best. It’s not all about the bad – the rules broken and the classes failed. Get a sense of their whole character.
Verify and Certify
Background checks are all about verifying, certifying, and moving on. Weed the non-starters out with a comprehensive education history screening, and then really spend your time with the diamonds in the rough.
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