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Why Should You Screen a Candidate's Educational Background?

Over the last decade, screening potential candidates has become increasingly common. Employers are smart to pre-screen candidates before the interview process and even smarter to check for flaws or grey areas after the interview is over. Even though criminal background checks and work experience are both very important, it is also crucial to check a candidate's educational background to make sure he or she has not embellished his or her resume. Here are just a few reasons why digging up a candidate's educational background is so important.

Resume Fraud – Many blame the economy, but whether or not the job market is to blame, more and more job searchers are lying on their resumes. For employers who do not screen potential employees before the interview process, a lying candidate can easily fool a company into thinking he or she is adequately qualified. Nothing is stopping an applicant from including falsified information on a resume or cover letter and if the information is not challenged, who's to say it is actually false? Many who are frantically searching for jobs have discovered this little loophole, and experts estimate that 20 to 50 percent of applicants embellish their credentials. Shockingly, more than 50 percent of applicants flat out lie, especially in their cover letters.

Fake Degrees – Proof of a degree used to be the best way to determine a candidate's qualifications; unfortunately, fake degrees are becoming more and more common. With accessible programs like Photoshop, the ability to create falsified documents has become all too easy. An authentic-looking degree can now be created from the comfort of one's own home, unchecked and unchallenged. In order to protect a company from hiring a person who has not completed a desired level of education, it is important that all candidates are thoroughly screened.

If a candidate's educational background is not screened before an interview, the company runs the risk of hiring an applicant who does not possess desired skills. This may be discovered in the future when tasks arise that the new employee cannot tackle. At this point, the company may realize it has been tricked and be forced to refill the position all over again – this time, hopefully, with a candidate that meets all requirements. This process is not only frustrating for management but is incredibly costly and damaging to the wellbeing of the company.

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