Avoid Expensive Hiring Mistakes: Check Employee Diplomas

Imagine this scenario: You’ve identified a good candidate who has a bachelor’s degree from a respected state school. You know this because it said so on her resume and application. Maybe she even included a scan of her degree. Your human resources duties are done for the week. But are they?

Resume Misrepresentation

Misrepresentation of educational background is one of the most frequently lied about details on candidates’ resumes, and the dubious practice is on the rise. A study conducted by staffing firm OfficeTeam found that 46 percent of workers polled said they know someone who included false information on a resume. This represents a 25-point increase from a 2011 survey. Simply put, candidates are lying about their education at epidemic levels. Hiring managers are often simply too busy (or too trusting) to check whether information on the application is true.

Increasingly, employers are looking for very specific degrees and qualifications to avoid wasting time with armies of generalists applying for jobs they’re not qualified for. Many candidates, confident they “know” the job, are stretching the truth about their degree level (bachelor’s versus master’s) and their majors. The most egregious offenders are inventing entire educational backgrounds and even creating fake diplomas. (For fun, here’s a recounting of some of the most memorable resume lies recounted by employers.)

Candidate Screening Tools

The good news is that screening tools are getting better and easier to use. As an employment background screening company, we provide clients with highly detailed reports very quickly, so potential employers can uncover the candidates misrepresenting themselves before they are accepted (or rejected). The services go beyond verifying degrees: DataCheck Degree Check can verify high school diplomas, G.E.D. certificates, college and university attendance, degrees, and trade school certification. It can also find misrepresentation of grade point averages and class ranking. (Your “valedictorian” may have barely squeaked a passing grade.)

Not all application lies are easy to spot (unlike the 32-year-old worker claiming 25 years of professional experience). Subtle misrepresentation and “white lies” can be expensive and time-consuming to catch, so many companies simply “take the chance,” which can result in expensive hiring mistakes (not to mention lawsuits by clients and customers). With the aid of an experienced third-party background check organization, the process becomes fast, easy and reliable.

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A Background Check Can Help You Uncover Lies on a Job Applicant’s Resume

In a competitive employment market, job seekers are looking for ways to stand out and secure a new position. Some pursue degrees and challenge themselves in their current jobs to gain experience. Unfortunately, some job candidates decide to lie on their resumes to get a job. This is why it is essential to conduct a background check on a candidate before extending an offer of employment.

Why You Should Verify a Job Candidate’s Education

Job candidates may lie about several types of information on their resumes. Some people claim to have received a degree when they actually only attended college for a year or two. Others claim to have degrees from universities they never attended at all, or even from universities that do not exist.

Hiring a candidate who does not have the right education for the job can be detrimental to your business. A candidate without the right training will be ineffective on the job. In a field such as healthcare, an unqualified employee can be dangerous. You should conduct a background check to verify any degrees and certifications that a person claims to have on his or her resume.

Why You Should Verify Prior Employment

Some job candidates lie about their previous employment. Some give themselves job titles and responsibilities they never held in order to make themselves seem more qualified. Others lie about their dates of employment to try to cover up gaps in their employment, rather than explaining a gap in a cover letter or interview.

A candidate who lies about his or her previous employment may be unqualified for a position that requires specific skills and experience. For example, a person who claims to have management experience but was actually an entry-level employee will be poorly suited for a job that requires supervising dozens of employees. Conducting a background check can help you verify a candidate’s previous employers, job titles, and responsibilities.

Contact DataCheck for Help with Pre-Employment Background Checks

If you run a business, you rely on your employees to help your company succeed. You need to know that you are hiring people who are well qualified and capable of doing the jobs they are assigned. The unfortunate truth is that many job applicants lie on their resumes, so you need to be careful. Before you offer someone a job, conduct a background check to verify the person’s education and previous employment. DataCheck can help you conduct pre-employment background checks. Contact us today to learn more.

Why You Should Conduct a Background Check before Hiring a Caregiver for an Elderly Family Member

As the American population gets older and more and more people enter retirement, families are concerned about caring for their loved ones. Many senior citizens want to continue living in their homes instead of moving to an assisted living facility or a nursing home. If family members are unable to provide care as often as it is needed, they may hire in-home help to care for their aging parents.

Why You Should Conduct a Background Check

Senior citizens are especially vulnerable to abuse and neglect, and they may be unable to effectively communicate about what is going on when family members are not around. Seniors can be victims of physical or sexual abuse, financial abuse or manipulation, or verbal abuse or threats. They may also be neglected by the people who are supposed to care for them.

If you are thinking about hiring a caregiver for your elderly parent and you would rather hire someone privately than go through an agency, you should conduct a background check before you extend an offer of employment. A background check on a prospective in-home caregiver should include several components.

What Should Be Included in a Background Check?

A thorough background check should include a review of criminal record databases in all states and counties where the applicant has lived to look for any history of violence, theft, or other criminal activity. It should include a verification of education, including any certifications listed on a resume, as well as previous employment. References should be verified to make sure the person actually did the work listed on a resume and to find out the circumstances under which the applicant’s employment ended.

If the caregiver will be driving your family member, the background check should include a check of the applicant’s driving records. You should also check a job applicant’s credit because someone with financial problems may be more likely to steal from an elderly person in his or her care. Using illegal drugs could put your family member at risk, so a background check should include drug testing.

DataCheck Can Help You Conduct a Background Check

DataCheck can help you conduct a pre-employment background check on someone you are thinking of hiring to care for your elderly parent. This can give you peace of mind knowing that your loved one is in the care of someone who is responsible and reliable and will not put your family member in harm’s way. If you would like to conduct a background check on a potential caregiver for your parent, contact DataCheck today.

Common Mistakes Businesses Make When Conducting Pre-Employment Background Checks

Conducting background checks on job applicants is an essential part of the hiring process. Employers often rush through the process or fail to stay up to date on changing laws. This can lead them to make mistakes. These are some of the most common mistakes employers make when conducting background checks on prospective employees and how you can avoid them.

Not Getting a Job Applicant’s Consent First

An employer is legally required to obtain a job candidate’s written consent before conducting a background check. This must be obtained through a form that tells the candidate that the information from a background check will be used to make an employment decision. Conducting a background check without prior consent is a violation of the law that can have serious consequences.

Not Verifying Key Information

A background check company will be careful to obtain correct information, but sometimes mistakes happen. This is often because multiple people have the same name or there is a mistake in a Social Security number or date of birth. Take the time to verify an applicant’s information before conducting a background check so you can get accurate records.

Not Conducting a Complete Background Check

Some employers only check a national criminal history database. This may not include records from all parts of the country. You should also conduct state and local background checks to uncover potential crimes in an employee’s record.

Employers often check applicants’ criminal and work histories but fail to verify their educational backgrounds. Many job applicants include misleading or downright false information on their resumes, including degrees they did not earn and even degrees from institutions of higher learning that do not exist. A thorough background check should always verify a job candidate’s educational background.

Not Giving an Applicant Time to Respond Before Taking Adverse Action

Before you decide not to hire someone because of information uncovered in a background check, you must notify the candidate and give him or her a chance to respond. The information may be incorrect, or the candidate may wish to provide additional information that may affect your decision.

DataCheck Can Help You Conduct Thorough and Accurate Background Checks

Conducting a background check on a job applicant is necessary, but you need to do it carefully. Mistakes often happen because employers don’t understand the law or try to rush through the process.

DataCheck has helped many businesses all over the United States conduct pre-employment background checks. We can help your company comply with all federal, state, and local laws and obtain correct information so you can make the best hiring decisions possible. Contact us today to learn more.

How Far Back Do Pre-Employment Background Checks Go?

Most employers conduct background checks on job applicants as part of the hiring process. A background check can uncover important information such as criminal convictions and can allow an employer to verify an applicant’s education and previous employment. Some employers also check candidates’ credit if they would be working in positions that involve handling money.

Fair Credit Reporting Act Guidelines

Records on individuals can stretch back many years, or even decades. Some information may not be included in a background check if it is more than a specific number of years old. State laws vary, but the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act sets some general guidelines.

The FCRA sets time limits on certain types of information that may be collected as part of a background check. Bankruptcies that are more than 10 years old, tax liens that were paid more than seven years ago, accounts that were sent to a collections agency more than seven years ago, civil suits and civil judgments that are more than seven years old, arrest records that are more than seven years old, and any other adverse actions, except criminal convictions, that are more than seven years old may not be reported to employers. These time limits do not apply to candidates for positions that pay $75,000 or more per year.

Reporting of Criminal Convictions Varies by Location

The FCRA does not set a time limit on the reporting of criminal convictions, but some state laws do. Different counties have different policies on how long they keep records of criminal convictions. Felony records are usually kept for a long time, while records of misdemeanors may be purged sooner.

Records of Past Employment and Education

Employers vary in terms of how long they keep records on past employees. A verification of past employment could turn up records related to employment that was recent or decades old.

Education verification is a credential check. Most colleges and universities keep records indefinitely, so employers can check a candidate’s education regardless of when the degree was earned.

Verifications of Current Status

Some parts of a background check are checks of current status. A Social Security number verification checks to make sure the Social Security number provided is currently registered to the applicant in question. A credit check looks into the current state of a person’s finances, and a license verification checks to make sure an applicant currently holds a valid license.

Contact DataCheck for Help with Pre-Employment Background Checks

If you are planning to hire a new employee, you should conduct a background check to verify an applicant’s education and work history and check for criminal convictions before extending an offer of employment. DataCheck has helped employers all over the United States conduct thorough background checks so they could make the right hiring decisions. We will work to comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act and all other relevant state and local laws. Contact DataCheck today to get started.