Although most employers tend to be more focused on criminal records when screening potential recruits, the fact of the matter is that in today’s day and age there is a lot more that you should be looking out for.
Over the last couple of decades in particular, there have been more and more ‘degree mills’ opening up, and today it is possible to get a legitimate looking degree at dirt cheap prices from these institutions.
Bear in mind that the term ‘degree mill’ is often used to describe both:
• Institutions that mass-produce substandard degrees, and
• Institutions that provide fake degrees
As an employer you are going to want to ensure that the candidate you may want to hire has a legitimate degree and that they have learnt the skills associated with that degree. What you probably do not want is to end up hiring someone who you ‘think’ has the skills required because of their degree only to find out that they really don’t because that degree actually came from a degree mill.
In order to check for fake degrees – you’re going to have to look closely at a person’s education references. The main way you can spot fake degrees is by scrutinizing the institution that has issued it, and determining whether or not they are a legitimate university or college, or whether they are just a degree mill that no one has heard about.
Unfortunately this can be time consuming. Chances are you’re not going to be able to recognize whether or not an institution is legitimate just at a glance, and so you’re going to have to dig into it and try to ascertain whether or not it is a degree mill or not. Imagine doing that for the hundreds of applicants that you might have for a given position?
Needless to say, that is the main reason why many employers utilize background checks to identify any fake degrees or substandard degrees. Because most reputable background check agencies will delve into educational references and raise red flags if anything is amiss, the bulk of the grunt work can effectively be outsourced to these agencies.
So if you feel that criminal records are really the only portion of a person’s background that you’re interested in checking out – think again. As an employer, you need to know that the person you eventually hire has the skills and know how that you expect of them, and unfortunately it might take a background check for you to determine that.
Be sure that when checking education references you also check out any overseas institutions that a person may claim to have studied at – just to be thorough.