Fact or Fiction: How to Easily Verify a Candidate's Education

Just over a week ago, Yahoo! CEO Scott Thompson resigned his position after the news broke of his resume being “padded.”  Thompson claimed that he had degrees in accounting and computer science, when, in fact, he had never been awarded the latter degree. 
During the 1988 Presidential campaign, it was discovered that current Vice President Joe Biden falsely claimed that he had graduated at the top of his law-school class (he was 76 out of 85). 
What do these two scenarios, and based on recent studies, 20-40% of all resumes have in common? 
They represent the ever-increasing problem of resume padding- a nice way of saying a candidate has lied.   
The recent recession has dumped a large number of potential candidates into the pool, and some, to stand out, are attempting to separate themselves from the rest of the group by glorifying their academic credentials.  For an employer, this misrepresentation by a candidate is just one sign of potential issues.
Falsified resumes, whether education or experience, costs your company in many ways- from recruiting and replacement costs, increased turnover, the negative impact to your company’s reputation, lost customers and revenue, and the possibility of civil or criminal liability, should you hire them.
Misrepresentation on a resume tells us a lot about the candidate.  If they would lie about their education, what else are they lying about? Are they lying about their work experience?  Are they lying about commissions?  One thing is true- They are obviously not trust-worthy.
Instead of wasting time and money on fraudulent resumes, there are a couple of ways you can verify this information.
The most efficient way is to visit the National Student Clearinghouse. Their online system offers access to a nationwide coverage of postsecondary enrollment and degree records. This is an excellent source to verify the education of your candidate.  Rates vary from $4.50-$9.95 based on the number ordered annually.
The second way, and least efficient, is to have a member of your HR staff call to verify degrees.  This option is time consuming and less accurate due to the restrictions most institutions have regarding the release of information. 
Because of the increase of misrepresentation on resumes we recommend, at a minimum, you perform the following pre-employment screenings:
1.       Education Verification
2.       Employment Verification
3.       Job Fit Assessments
4.       Integrity Assessments
5.       Criminal Background checks 
These simple pre-hire steps will save your company up to 3 times the annual salary of one bad hire.  Isn’t that money well spent? 
Contact us for a complimentary white page, "10 Steps to Retaining Staff".

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