Do employers do education background checks before hiring?


Fake jobs, licenses, and credentials are things that hiring managers catch on resumes every day. Depending on the level of responsibility involved in a position, as well as the need for a professional license or certification, an employer can choose to do an education background check before they make a hiring decision. Lying on a resume is always a bad choice, as there are many ways to verify the information, and you’ll end up losing chances for future opportunities.

Most Employers Will Run a Background Check

Regardless of the position, background checks are industry standard in human resources. So expect your potential employer to run one. One of the ways in which employers handle large numbers of applicant background checks is by using an online service, such as checkpeople. If you want to understand what they may find, it’s a good idea to start by running a background check on yourself to assess risks and control damages.

They Will Ask for References and Verify Your Employment History 

The second step of the verification process is to call your references. Some hiring managers may even call former bosses or coworkers that you did not list to cross-check information. They will also call companies to verify your employment dates and roles.

The Education Verification Process

If a degree is not required for a position, most hiring managers will overlook this step. But for positions such as those related to healthcare or money management, they will certainly verify your education record. Usually, they will look for attendance and graduation dates, diplomas earned, and honors. In some very specific cases, they may even ask for grade transcripts. A good way to fast forward the hiring process is to voluntarily provide this information, along with records, so there’s no need to involve third parties (such as your former school).

The Problem of Diploma Mills

The internet has many advantages, but it is also fertile ground for scammers. Diploma mills are websites promising fast and easy professional certifications and degrees. If you choose to pursue a degree through online education, make sure that the institution is properly accredited. Red flags for diploma mills include unprofessional recruitment tactics and a lack of academic-related admission criteria. Never agree to buy a diploma. Recruitment managers can spot diploma mills from miles away, and you may even be breaking the law.

There are many reasons why employers may request education verification. These include: 

  1. Liability. If, for example, a hospital hires a “nurse” with a fake degree, they will be legally responsible for their actions and shortcomings.
  2. To make sure an applicant meets certification requirements. This is especially true for positions regarding healthcare, education, and fitness, to name only a few.

Other Background Checks

Aside from education verification, during a hiring process potential employers will want to get as much information as they can before extending an offer. Be prepared to undergo criminal background checks, a credit screening (for which they will need your written consent), identity and social security verifications, and even social media and online activity reports.

Understand and protect your rights. Educating yourself about privacy is very important. No employer can ask for access to private accounts. If the information resulting from a credit background check determines that you are ineligible for a position, the hiring manager is legally required to tell you, and give you a copy of your report. If you spot inaccurate, mistaken, or sealed information, you have the right to demand corrections and start the process over. Because of Non-Discrimination laws, no employer can make a hiring decision based on gender, national origin or ethnicity

Final Thoughts

The internet is basically a giant database in which all your interactions are stored. The background check industry is getting better at analyzing information, and hiring managers are using background checks to mitigate risks. Before you start searching for a new job, understand what they can learn about you. Be mindful of what you share and how you interact, as you never know when information can be used against you or play an important role in a hiring decision.