When Recruiting International Candidates, Check Education Verification for Fraud

There are many things in today's world that are open to hyperbole.   Among such considerations are employment candidate's claims to college degrees and how they relate to the recruiting process.    Over time, as an employment screening service, we have seen any variety of claims to a university degree.   Most who are fraudulent in claiming degrees have actually attended that college or university but never graduated.   Their education verification background checks will return as "enrollment only."

And then there are some who actually invent themselves as graduates of a specific college or university.   I often wonder why did they specific this specific school.  Did they have a desire to go there, but never put it together?  Or were there strategic reasons?  Did they select an small liberal arts school because they believed it was obscure enough their fraudulent claims would not be detected?  Or did they go for the big university, believing they would be lost in the shuffle?

And then there are the stories.   Candidates will claim, yes, they really did graduate only the paperwork did not go through.   They will say they finished school late and the added paperwork wasn't transferred to their final transcripts.   Some will say anything.   But the truth.  They didn't go to school and in a tight job market and a bad economy they were hoping to gain the edge or at least parity with their competition who are truly college graduates.

With the expanding global economy and the intensified search to recruit talented employment candidates, the search for these candidates has taken on international proportions.   There are any number of highly qualified candidates from places like India, Japan, and China.   There are qualified candidates with remarkable skill sets.   But then there are those who realize there is a big demand for certain qualified personnel in the United States, and to be considered for the job they will lie about their education.

As reported in the New York Times education verification has serious issues in China.  Like rampant fraud.  For the employment screening process, Chinese candidates may claim degrees they never obtained.  But there are other issues as well.   There is a noted lack of integrity among various researchers who operate in China.  According to the article,  there are plagarized papers, purloined technology, and rampant cheating on tests.   The irony is there is no guilt or consternation on the part of a great many students.   They merely see plagiarism and the "borrowing" of ideas and technology as an easier way of saving time.

China is not the only place for fraudulent degree claims.  As noted earlier in this article, each country has its share of job applicants making false claims about college degrees.   Which is why in China and increasingly in other countries, to conduct international searches it is important to have a copy of the employment candidate's degree.   For many colleges and universities the fact that the candidate is claiming a degree is not nearly enough.   There are too many students with similar names, too many chances for clerical mishaps.   Verifying universities want to see the degree.

To some extent, the same holds true for India and Pakistan.   As education verification in different countries is often a hand search and not computerized, schools in India and Pakistan will request the student's row number, roll number, seat number, and registration number.   All four, plus the copy of the degree is the most desirable way to complete an education verification background check.     But sometimes it is possible to get the job done with two or three of the four specified pieces of information.   Of course, each education verification should be returned with the name and position of the verifying party.

When recruiting in different parts of the world, be sure you get what you are looking for.  Never take for granted that your  candidate did graduate from an accredited school.   Another consideration is the frequent use of diploma schools or "remote education degrees"  from unaccredited schools that issue worthless degrees for a fee or a truncated course in nothing.    Accept no degree at face value, nor is it wise to take it for granted that your candidate's leading thesis or great discovery was his original conception.    To do so may prove embarrassing if it is later discovered this was not the case.

Anyway, these are things to keep in mind when conduction education verification checks for employment screening.   It is in some ways a harsh world and getting more competitive all of the time.   Some employment candidates will, let's say,  stretch the truth a bit in order to gain an edge.   Some candidates, even in this day and age, don't believe employers, recruiters and staffing groups, will go the extra distance to verify international education searches.   And some candidates will just take a shot and hope their falsified education verification will slip through the cracks.  I guess they figure...what have they go to lose?   Interesting.

Views: 3028

Comment by Maureen Sharib on January 4, 2011 at 6:21am
It is interesting.

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