What to Look for In An Education Verification

Education verification background checks verify many different types of data points. The information received depends on the type of educational institution it is, how long ago the degree was awarded, and the document retention and sharing policies of the institution being contacted.

Some of the more common pieces of information you want to try to acquire during this process include:

Where the candidate went to school
The location of the institution and its certification confirmation (if desired)
Dates of attendance, including start and graduation dates (if completed)
Type of degree obtained
Specific major
Grades received in certain courses
Overall GPA
Although there may be other data points that employers seek during these verification exercises, much of the time the noted information above will provide a solid understanding and confirmation of the candidate you are considering hiring.

Employers are seeking to achieve two primary goals in this background check process. First, they want to ensure that the candidate has all the required education that is required for a particular job. Second, the employer simply wants to determine if they are dealing with an honest, truthful individual that can be trusted and relied upon. Is the information they provided on their resume and application accurate?

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Key takeaway: Most of the time, the data that is needed to confirm the legitimacy of the candidate consists of knowing where the candidate went to school, its location, time of attendance and graduation, degree(s) awarded, major (or area of focus), GPA, and so on.

Some employers don’t make a practice of education or licensure verification. Some of the most common reasons why employers do not regularly run education verifications have to do with trust in the process. Some employers feel the process takes too long. The fact is, by the time a company gets around to extending a job offer, they want to get the show on the road (e.g., get the candidate hired and working ASAP). Waiting another week may seem unacceptable to the hiring manager.

Other reasons for such reservation have more to do with the legitimacy of the process itself. Some employers feel that the information can be inaccurate, or incomplete even when fees are paid, and time is allowed for. Other employers feel that some educational data is mostly irrelevant and does not reflect the quality of the candidate. For example, if the candidate went to college 25 years ago, employers care less about if the candidate has a four-year degree. Their two plus decades of work experience may mean more.