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November 25, 2016

Why You Should Verify Employees’ Credentials – Even After a Few Years

If you thought education verification was a once-and-done sort of thing, think again! Here’s why you need to do more, more often.

We’d all like to believe that we can take people at face value, and that the candidates who apply for positions we advertise are as honorable as they come across in the interview. However, as many high profile cases of resume fraud have proven, it’s not always that simple. In fact, for every high profile case you’ve heard about, there are hundreds more, because research has shown that as many as 56% of applicants have been caught in lies on their resumes.

Not all of the resume fibs out there are newsworthy, but that statistic is definitely enough proof that you need to spend more time on candidate vetting, and on education verification. Let’s look at why this is becoming so much more difficult, what you need to do, and why it’s a good idea to conduct periodic reviews of existing employees.

An Old Problem with a Modern Twist

Resume fraud is nothing new. As long as there have been resumes, there have been people fudging their credentials, and while it may have been easy enough to forge a diploma back in the day, these days, candidates can simply buy one, and avoid putting in any work at all.

While the internet has made it easier to verify credentials in some ways, in others, it’s made it harder to tell who is legitimately qualified and who isn’t. From diploma mills to suspect institutions offering dubious courses, you really need to do your homework when verifying credentials now.

What’s the Harm?

The truth is, in many cases, little lies on resumes probably won’t cause problems in your business. A middle management candidate who inflates their qualifications probably won’t do too much damage, and the same could be said for someone working in a host of other positions.

The problem comes in where the qualifications are not optional. Fields like petrochemical engineering, accounting and medicine require various credentials for various levels, and practicing without the required qualifications can land individuals and the companies they work for in very deep water. In fact, if an underqualified employee caused injury or damage to property, you may be looking at very expensive law suits.

Why Once Is Never Enough

There is no question that one of the most important things you can do when hiring for a position is a thorough education verification. However, if you’re like many companies, business owners and HR professionals, you may also want to introduce a regular review of credentials in your organization.

Over time, licensing requirements change, certifications lapse, and continuing education requirements for various fields will change. Even if they don’t know it, employees in your organization who may have been qualified for their role in the past may no longer be.

Even if it’s just to identify skills gaps in your organization, it’s a very good idea to set an annual date to review credentials, consider training programs and skills developments, and make sure everyone has the skills and qualifications they need to succeed in their roles.



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