The hallowed halls of academia are the last place you would expect to find fraud and lies, but it’s becoming more common to find that educators in the higher education field are not immune to fudging their resumes or omitting key facts.
In fact, if you’re hiring for higher education, because the field is so intrinsically involved in shaping young minds and working directly with potentially vulnerable youths, you probably have a lot more to do than for any ordinary job.
Here’s why background screening for education is so critical, and some of the key points you should be looking into before making any appointments.
It goes without saying that when you’re hiring for higher education, you should be verifying every single credential and claim on every resume you see. There have been several high-profile cases in recent years where this was not done, and where people who were wholly unqualified for the position were hired as teachers, professors and even college dons.
That sort of mistake is embarrassing, and can lead to law suits. Just avoid it completely, and make sure that your credential verification process is above reproach.
Licensing and Certification
In many areas of education, there are additional layers of licensing and certification that are required for teachers, lecturers or professors. There may be different certifications required for theoretical and practical instructors. Make sure that you review what those requirements are at least annually, and that everyone you hire (and those individuals already on staff) have all of them.
Criminal Record Checks
Higher education is a field where criminal record checks are even more important than anywhere else. Not only could it be highly embarrassing if someone on your teaching staff be found to have unreported criminal histories, but it might well put the students at risk.
Not only should you have a watertight and absolutely thorough criminal record checking process as part of your background screening for education process, but you should have a written policy for dealing with any new cases or accusations.
Teaching, particularly in higher education, is a huge responsibility. Students are paying large sums of money to get the best possible insight into their chosen career path, and your teachers are the people who need to deliver on that.
Perhaps more than any other profession or industry, you owe it to your clients to do a thorough review of prospective hires’ past performances. You want to hire people who inspire as much as educate. Who have a long history of students who admire and look up to them, and who have been able to achieve great results, no matter how complex the field of study.
Quality Attracts Quality
Higher education is definitely one area where your clients are going to do their research. If you are known for hiring the best educators and delivering the best results, then you’re going to have a sought-after institution.
Don’t jeopardize your reputation with students and the public in general by skimping on background screening for education. Make sure that every person you hire for your teaching staff deserves to be there, and that they’re the very best people for the job.