Do background checks show education? It is a question that many employers and job seekers alike have been asking.
Statistics from Statistic Brain reveal a staggering 70% of college graduates who were surveyed admitted they would lie on their resume if it meant securing their desired job.
The high percentage of college graduates willing to lie on their resumes is a compelling reason employers should be proactive in verifying educational claims on resumes.
The truth is employers and individuals want to ensure that the people they hire or do business with are who they claim to be and have the credentials to back it up. And in today’s world, where information is so readily available, you can’t help but wonder,
Do background checks show education?
Yes, background checks can reveal your educational background. It not only confirms whether the candidate graduated but dives deeper into their academic history, revealing details such as specific coursework, grades, dates of attendance, and degrees obtained.
A comprehensive background report may reveal noteworthy accomplishments, GPA, and SAT scores.
Despite the straightforwardness of verifying educational background, many employers tend to neglect this crucial step in their hiring process.
And it’s because they think that the verification process is too complex. However, in reality, the process is relatively uncomplicated and involves collecting basic information from the applicant, including:
- Name and address of the educational institution
- Title and field of their degree
- Full names of the candidate
- The dates attended
- A signed authorization release from the applicant
With the above-collected data, there are two ways to go about this. You can either use a third-party education verification service or do it yourself.
Using Third-Party Education Verification Services
A third-party education verification service offers an unbiased and comprehensive way to verify academic qualifications.
Not only do these services confirm the degree and attendance, but they also validate the legitimacy of the educational institution.
The primary benefit of using a third-party service is its reliability and objectivity to the verification process.
It can also save employers considerable time and resources, as these services have access to databases and records that may not be available to the employer.
Moreover, by outsourcing this process, employers can ensure a higher degree of compliance with legal requirements and avoid potential lawsuits due to improper or inadequate verification.
Doing it yourself
While using a third-party service can provide an additional level of expertise and objectivity, it is also possible to verify a candidate’s academic qualifications in-house.
To do this, employers must contact the educational institution directly and request verification of the candidate’s educational claims.
However, this process can be time-consuming and require additional resources, such as navigating school policies and procedures. Still, it is a viable option for employers who wish to keep the verification process in-house.
What Does A Background Check Consist Of?
A potential employee or an employer needs to know what to expect from a background check. Here are some of the things a background check on you will show.
- Social security verification – This confirms the validity of an individual’s social security number and may include verification of name, date of birth, and address history.
- Criminal record – This involves searching local, state, and federal criminal records for criminal convictions, arrests, or outstanding warrants.
- Drug testing may entail testing for illegal substances, prescription drugs, or alcohol as part of an employment screening process to ensure adherence to drug-free workplace standards.
- Credit check – It examines an individual’s credit history, credit score, payment history, and debt-to-income ratio.
This background check is often conducted when applying for certain jobs, particularly those in the financial or accounting fields.
- Employment history – Employment background checks verify an individual’s previous employment, including job titles, dates of employment, and reasons for leaving.
- Motor vehicle record – If you are applying for a job requiring you to drive a vehicle, you can’t escape a background check on your motor vehicle record.
It checks your driving history, including any accidents, traffic violations, or license suspensions.
The Process Of Conducting A Background Check
To ensure compliance, there are four key steps to follow. Generally, background checks are carried out when you are prepared to offer a job.
However, a few companies may conduct background checks on multiple candidates to facilitate employment decisions.
- Disclosure – As an employer, you must disclose to the candidate that a background check will be conducted as part of the employment process. Often it’s done by including it in the job application form.
- Consent – The candidate must agree to the background check by signing a form. This form should explain the scope of the background check, including the information to be collected and how it will be used.
- Research – Once the candidate has given their consent, the employer can begin the background check process. And as discussed earlier, it can be done in-house or by a third party.
Research may involve searching public records, including criminal records, credit reports, and driving records. The employer may also contact references, verify employment history, and check educational credentials.
- Review the results to determine the candidate’s validity – after the entire process, the final step is to determine the candidate’s authenticity.
The employer is expected to only consider information relevant to the job and should not discriminate against candidates based on their race, gender, religion, or other protected characteristics.
How Long Does Conducting a Background Check Take?
The duration for conducting a background check may vary, depending on the type of check being conducted, the number of checks, and the scope of the investigation.
Generally, a basic background check may take three to a whole week, while more extensive checks may take 2 weeks or more.
This is because some background checks may involve verifying employment, education history, criminal records, and references.
Additionally, some states and depending on the job, may require additional steps, such as fingerprinting, which can also extend the processing time.
Often be prepared to run into problems along the way, which can slow down your verification process. Some of the things that could slow down the verification process include the following;
1. You first need permission from the candidate
Obtaining permission from the candidate to conduct a background check is crucial, as it is a legal requirement. However, waiting for the candidate’s permission may cause significant delays, especially if the candidate is slow to respond or unresponsive.
Luckily, there is a way around this…have a clear communication plan and follow up regularly to ensure the process moves forward as quickly as possible.
Additionally, it may be helpful to establish a deadline for the candidate’s response to avoid prolonged delays in obtaining their consent.
2. Awaiting a response from the school
Waiting for a response from the school or educational institution can significantly slow down the verification process.
The delay may be caused by several factors, including the school’s administrative procedures, a backlog of pending verifications, or the institution could be closed for holidays.
In such a case, you’ll have to wait until the schools are open again for your request to be processed, which wastes time.
3. Are the degrees out yet?
Some educational institutions may take an extended period to release degrees or transcripts.
This depends on the year the candidate in question graduated. If they recently graduated and immediately looked for a job, there is a high chance that their degrees are not processed yet.
This means you will have to wait until the degree is out, which can significantly delay the verification process.
4. Diploma mills
Diploma mills are unaccredited institutions that sell fake diplomas and transcripts, making verifying an applicant’s academic credentials challenging.
Such institutions operate with the intent to deceive, and the documents provided by these mills often appear authentic, making it difficult to identify them as fake.
And how can you tell when a candidate has used a fraudulent degree from a diploma mill? Well, here are a few things you can check out;
- The institution has no address or location.
- The candidate’s school looks almost similar to a real known school.
- The institution is not credited by the Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation.
With such information in light, it’s necessary to conduct a thorough background check to verify the authenticity of the degree, which can take time.
Do background checks show education? Yes, they can reveal your educational history. However, the details disclosed in a background check depend on various factors, such as the type of check being conducted.
It’s important to note that employers must comply with applicable laws and regulations when conducting background checks.
This includes obtaining the candidate’s consent, providing disclosure, and following rules for accessing and using certain types of information.
Employers should also be cautious when using educational information to make employment decisions and ensure they are not discriminating against candidates.