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Each month we use this blog to try and help business owners and hiring professionals understand that background checks are not just a box to check. There are so many background check companies out there that take our industry seriously, but unfortunately, there are also opportunists in our industry, who will cut corners and aim to make the most amount of money possible, for the least amount of work. When you are managing your business, you should always choose to partner with people and companies that you TRUST and care about their responsibility to your business. 

The background check is a big first step in building trust with a potential candidate. There are countless ways to cheat a background check, but one very common instance of dishonesty on a background check is a person’s education. Education verification is an important aspect of background checks, as they help demonstrate not only WHERE your candidate attended, and for how long, but WHAT they went to school for, which in many cases is obligatory to the job applied for. 

Let’s take a deeper dive into some of the most common things people lie about with regard to their education and rationalize why they might do that, and why it ALWAYS should impact your decision-making process. 

  • High School Diploma (GED)
  • Inflating GPA
  • Associate’s or Bachelor’s (technical or no college diploma)
  • Graduated (not completed)
  • Lying About What School Attended

High School Diploma (GED)

Many times a person applying for a job may be embarrassed if they didn’t complete their full high school term. A GED, or General Educational Development is a test that demonstrates someone’s high school academic knowledge and is often completed by individuals who have not graduated officially from high school. It’s important, to be honest, and open about your qualifications, and if a person isn’t confident enough to tell the whole truth, they may not be the right person for the job. 

Read More Why Is Education Verification Necessary?

Associate or Bachelor’s Degree

Sometimes a 2-year associate’s degree or 4-year bachelor’s degree is a requirement for a job application. In this case, it’s imperative that the hiring company complete an education verification on all applicants. This ensures that the individuals you’re reviewing are who they say they are and that they completed the degree they put down on the application. It may be required to have a degree in your field to stay in compliance, but it also just may be necessary to ensure the candidate is qualified to complete their assignments. Either way, don’t trust someone who lies about their degree with any assignment.

Graduated College 

It would be bad if your candidate said they had a bachelor’s degree, but only had a 2-year technical degree, but it would be worse if someone claimed they graduated college but didn’t. There are plenty of places called “diploma mills” that offer high payers a ticket into a falsified identity, where anyone can purchase a diploma. If you require a diploma, verify that your candidate did the work to complete receiving one.

Lying About What School

The higher you go, the higher the stakes. Someone applying to work at Best Buy may not need to have graduated from a prestigious law school, but if you are seeking someone talented with prestigious academic acumen, always verify which school they’ve attended. Some individuals may have only attended a school for a semester, or not at all. If someone isn’t honest about their educational background, you can’t trust them to be honest in your business.

These are just a few examples of how job candidates might lie on an education background check. We recommend that you always verify education through thorough background checks so that your decision is based on cold hard facts, not only feelings. We are always welcoming new businesses into our partner Rolodex, so if you have a question about how you’re conducting background checks now, please don’t hesitate to reach out! We are always available to answer your questions!