Academic Verification

So, you think you have found the perfect candidate for the open spot on your team. But can you trust that what you read on their application is legit?

The prevalence of fake college degrees is on the rise, meaning checking the authenticity of a candidate’s credentials is more important than ever. Falsified documents and dishonest applicants can pose a significant risk to your business and existing employees should you inadvertently hire an unqualified individual.

A falsified degree not only undermines the integrity of your hiring process but can also lead to legal complications, damage to your company’s reputation, and potential threats to workplace safety. To safeguard your organization, it’s essential to implement robust academic verification measures.

As a longtime background screening firm, Barada Associates specializes in academic verification background checks that can help your business identify novelty fake diplomas and take necessary actions against dishonest candidates.

In this blog, we’ll explore the steps you can take to identify and address fake college degrees. When you need professional, comprehensive background screening services, contact Barada Associates for a consultation.

Understanding the Issue of a Fake College Diploma

The Prevalence of Fake Degrees in the Job Market

Faking degrees is a trend that is growing in popularity. While it was hard to fake a diploma years ago, today it is easy. As we continue to push through an increasingly digital age, it’s fairly cheap and simple for job applicants to falsify college diplomas.

A quick visit to a website, a few adjustments, and a click of the button and ta-da! They have a custom diploma cover and university diplomas for degrees, and sometimes even universities, that don’t exist.

With this increase, employers need to be on their guard to ensure that candidates for employment aren’t lying about their academic credentials and have a real, original diploma that accurately reflects their education.

The Risks of Hiring Employees with Fake Degrees

Hiring employees with fake degrees can have severe repercussions for your organization. Here are some of the key risks involved in not pursuing academic background checks:

  • Potential Legal Implications: Legal liability for negligent hiring practices, possible lawsuits, and fraud-related legal action could all become a reality if you hire someone with a fake degree.
  • Impact on Company Reputation: An unqualified employee could compromise your organization through mistakes or malicious actions once hired. Negative effects include damage to your brand’s credibility and trustworthiness, loss of business, and decreased stakeholder confidence.
  • Workplace Safety and Productivity Risks: A bad hire can lead to an increased risk of errors and accidents, compromised workplace safety, and a decline in overall productivity.
  • Financial Losses: Costs associated with hiring and training unqualified employees can be steep when you have to replace them or hire additional help to pick up their slack down the line. Depending on the severity of their actions once hired, you may also lose money paying fines and litigation expenses.
  • Decreased Employee Morale: Existing staff may feel demoralized and distrustful of management if unqualified individuals are hired or promoted, especially if they work for a major company, got hired on their own merits, and now have to watch a dishonest person succeed alongside them. This can lead to a serious dip in employee morale which is directly tied to your company’s culture and success.

These risks are just the tip of the iceberg, but they highlight the importance of thorough academic verification. Protect your organization from the consequences of hiring candidates with fraudulent credentials – contact Barada Associates today.

Red Flags to Watch For On a Candidate’s Academic Credentials

When reviewing a candidate’s academic credentials, hiring managers and business owners must stay vigilant in order to catch signs of potential fraud.

Here are some key red flags to watch for:

  • Inconsistencies in Candidate Information: Pay attention to any mismatched details between the resume, application, and what the candidate says during the interview. Discrepancies in dates of attendance, degree titles, or majors can indicate falsified information.
  • Unaccredited Institutions or Diploma Mills: Verify the accreditation status of the institutions listed on the candidate’s resume. Degrees from unaccredited schools or diploma mills are often a sign of illegitimate qualifications.
  • Candidates Hesitant to Provide Detailed Information: Be cautious of candidates who are reluctant or evasive when asked for specifics about their education. Genuine candidates will typically provide detailed information and relevant documentation without hesitation.

By being aware of these red flags, you can more effectively identify and address potentially fraudulent academic credentials during the hiring process.

Best Practices for Employers to Avoid Diploma Scams

There are a few other actions you can take on your end to help minimize the chances of a fraudulent diploma from a candidate.

Here are some helpful best practices:

  • Implement Comprehensive Background Checks: Utilize thorough background checks that include academic verification, criminal history, and employment history. Barada Associates offers these comprehensive services, ensuring each aspect of a candidate’s background is meticulously verified.
  • Establish Clear Policies and Procedures: Develop and enforce clear policies for verifying educational credentials. Make it a standard procedure to verify all degrees and certifications during the hiring process. Ensure all hiring managers are trained to recognize and address potential red flags. Of course, ensure your policies are compliant with local, state, and federal standards.
  • Request a Hard Copy Diploma: There are occasions when a school cannot verify a degree because they cannot find the record of graduation. In instances like these, your background check team will ask the applicant to bring in the diploma and provide a copy to the school for verification. A growing number of applicants can produce a diploma from a third-party source, but not the college or university listed on the document. This step helps weed these applicants out as well.

While these are steps you can take yourself to protect your business and your team, the best practice of all is to hire a professional to assist you. Contact Barada Associates today.

Background Check Steps to Take to Identify Fake College Degrees

Unfortunately, more often than not, there won’t be any warning signs that a candidate has falsified information on their application, including their college, university, fake diploma, or degree type.

Identifying fake college degrees requires a strategic approach. To ensure the authenticity of a candidate’s academic credentials, companies need to follow these two essential steps.

Academic Verification

Academic verification is the process of confirming the legitimacy of a candidate’s claimed educational background. Barada Associates offers comprehensive academic verification services that check the authenticity of degrees, diplomas, and certifications directly with the issuing institutions.

We can tell if all parts of a diploma are fake, if the documents were issued by a legitimate institution, and much more.

Reference Checks

In addition to academic verification, reference checks are an effective tool for identifying fake college degrees. Barada Associates provides detailed reference check services that gather insights from professional references, such as past educators, employers, and colleagues; and personal references, such as church mentors, family, and friends.

The process of a reference check consists of:

  • Employment Verification: Confirm the candidate’s previous job roles and responsibilities to cross-reference with their educational background.
  • Contacting References: Speak with individuals who can vouch for the candidate’s academic history and integrity. This can reveal inconsistencies and provide a fuller picture of the candidate’s qualifications.
  • Behavioral Insight Collection: Gathering feedback on the candidate’s performance, character, and personality, which helps in understanding their true educational background and capabilities.

Reference checks provide an additional layer of validation, helping to corroborate the information obtained during academic verification.

Barada Associates is here to help you verify your educational qualifications effectively. Contact us today for help with academic verification, reference checks, and other pre-employment background screening services.

Our Academic Verification Process

At Barada Associates, our academic verification process is thorough, so you can have peace of mind that you are making the right hiring decision every time.

There are several steps to academic verification, including:

Direct Verification: Barada contacts the educational institutions listed by the candidate to verify the degrees and dates of attendance. An applicant’s name, date of birth, social security number, graduation date, degrees, and other information are all used to help check the information in this step. This helps uncover any discrepancies or falsified information.

Accreditation Check: The team ensures that the institutions are accredited and recognized, which eliminates the risk of accepting qualifications from diploma mills or unaccredited schools.

Depending on how many educational claims are being checked, and how many screening methods are used, the length of a screening can vary. While some business owners don’t want to wait for a hard copy or to hear back from a college registrar’s office, it is worth it to know if you’re making a good hiring decision.

Plus, when you work with Barada Associates, we can offer most results within 48 hours. Contact us today to experience the speed and accuracy of our primary source-checking procedure.

Who Can Benefit from Academic Verification?

When it comes to dishonest candidates, there is no discrimination across industries. That’s why every company of any size or sector needs to partner with a background screening professional such as Barada Associates.

We can provide academic verification for the following industries:

  • Financial Services
  • Government
  • Healthcare
  • Law Firms
  • Manufacturing
  • Education: Non-religious Private Schools & Universities

Give us a call today to see how we can tailor our service to your business.

What Does an Academic Verification Check Review?

A good, in-depth education background check should be able to confirm or review the following:

  • High school diplomas
  • Enrollment at specific institutions
  • Enrollment period
  • Attendance schedule
  • Type of Degree
  • Graduation date
  • Major completion status

At Barada Associates, we’re dedicated to providing you with outstanding customer service and accurate information about the job candidates that you are considering. Contact us for a consultation today.

What to Do When You Discover a Candidate Has a Fake Diploma

Discovering that a candidate has presented a fake diploma can be a challenging situation. Here are the steps you should take to address this issue effectively:

Verify the Discovery: Before taking any action, ensure that the diploma is indeed fake. Double-check the verification results and consult with Barada Associates to confirm the results of any background checks.

Document the Findings: Keep a detailed record of all communications and findings related to the fake diploma. This documentation can be crucial for any potential legal proceedings or internal reviews.

Notify Relevant Stakeholders: Inform the appropriate parties within your organization, such as the hiring manager, HR department, and legal counsel. This ensures everyone is aware of the situation and can provide input on the next steps.

Confront the Candidate: Schedule a meeting with the candidate to discuss the findings. Present the evidence of the fake diploma and allow the candidate to explain. Be professional and respectful during this conversation.

Withdraw the Job Offer: If the diploma is confirmed to be fake and the candidate’s explanation is unsatisfactory, it is typically best practice to withdraw the job offer. Ensure this action complies with your company’s policies and procedures.

Review Hiring Practices: Use this incident as an opportunity to review and strengthen your hiring practices. Ensure comprehensive background checks and verification processes are in place to prevent future occurrences.

Seek Legal Advice: If necessary, consult with legal counsel to understand any potential legal implications and to ensure your actions are compliant with employment laws.

Handling the discovery of a fake diploma with a clear and structured approach helps maintain the integrity of your hiring process and protects your organization from potential risks.

Contact Barada Associates For Academic Verification

With over 30 years of experience identifying fake diplomas and a proven track record of uncovering other fraudulent credentials, Barada Associates is your go-to partner for academic verification services.

Beyond education checks, our background screening options include reference checks, criminal background checks, employment verification, and so much more. Diligent background screening can be the difference between your company’s success or a bad hire that brings down morale, productivity, and in some cases, legal consequences.

Barada Associates can help ensure you hire the right candidate for the job. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and get a custom quote.