Background Checks

It’s not nearly as easy to verify a candidate’s academic credentials today as it was fifteen or twenty years ago.  Back in those days, all one had to do was call the Registrar’s Office of the college or university, provide them with the candidate’s name as it was when the candidate was a student, the year of graduation, and the degree claimed; and, ordinarily, someone would be happy to confirm it for you.

Within the last few years, however, as more and more employers have realized the necessity for verifying academic credentials, registrars have become less willing to take the time to verify anything.  Some claim that verifying a degree is an invasion of privacy, which, of course, is silly since the information about educational attainment comes from the candidate in the first place!

Some don’t want to be bothered verifying academic credentials all day, and some have farmed out verifications to outside firms that charge a fee to do the verification.  The point is it has become much more difficult to determine if the candidate is telling the truth about a degree claimed.  So, what’s the employer to do?
Happily, there’s an easy answer!  Simply call the school’s Alumni Association office and tell them you’re interested in hiring one of their graduates, but that you need to confirm that the candidate did earn the degree listed on the job application or resume.  Nearly every college and university publishes a directory of its alumni.  So, all the Alumni Association people have to do is make a quick check of their records to confirm that your candidate is listed as having completed the degree claimed.

Keep in mind, too, that one of the missions of any school’s Alumni Association is to help its graduates find employment.  Normally, they’re eager to help, particularly when it’s an exercise as easy as checking to see if your candidate has the degree claimed.

Unlike registrars who have other duties to perform, alumni associations are in the business of helping graduates any way they can.  Therefore, if you have trouble with a reluctant registrar or if you have to pay an outside company to confirm the degree, just call the school’s alumni office and ask them to help.  It usually works every time!