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Four Do’s and Don’t’s of Conducting an Academic Verification Screening

Is your organization thinking about running academic verification screening in Buffalo, NY? Are you unsure about where to start? Use these Do’s and Don’ts as a guide.

Conducting an Academic Verification Screening | Metrodata Services



  1. Do Take Education Background Screening Seriously
    In many cases, having a degree or license is essential for a person to correctly perform their job. An employee who lacks the required education could harm your company through either incompetence and/or a negligent hiring claim. If you feel a certain level of education is vital, take the time to prove your workers are qualified.
  2. Do Contact Schools Directly
    Plan to vet educational backgrounds through admissions and/or records offices. This means getting in touch with the actual schools. Verify the institution is real and ask how long they have been in business.
  3. Do Dig a Little Deeper
    Sometimes applicants accurately list their school but misrepresent their degree. This can be tricky, because at first glance the information may seem true. As part of the process, inquire about GPA, majors, minors and concentrations, degrees earned, dates of attendance and date of graduation.
  4. Do Establish a Screening Policy
    If your business decides education background checks are important and necessary, develop a standardized policy. Address question such as: Will you automatically screen all new hires? Should you screen promotions and transfers? What are the consequences of embellishing or falsifying a degree? And, share your decisions with both applicants and current employees so they know exactly what to expect.


  1. Don’t Assume All Applicants Are Telling the Truth
    According to a recent report, “85% of employers caught applicants fibbing on their resumes or applications.” (, 2017) We may like to think of people as honest; unfortunately, it’s a good idea to double-check.
  2. Don’t Forget to Ask for Permission
    According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), employers must obtain written consent from individuals when conducting a background check through a third party. This mandate is less cut and dry for academic verifications than for criminal record or credit checks, but it’s in your company’s best interest to follow the rules.
  3. Don’t Limit Checks to New Hires
    Especially if your academic verification program hasn’t been in place for long, you should consider checking the credentials of all employees. IBM, Bausch & Lomb and Yahoo discovered high-profile executives who had lied on their resumes. (Business Insider, 2012) These situations not only are embarrassing, but also can damage an organization’s reputation.
  4. Don’t Be Fooled by Diploma Mills
    Although diploma mills appear to be higher education institutions, they are unaccredited and offer degrees usually for nothing more than a fee. Despite the fact these diplomas are meaningless, they may look surprisingly authentic. In other words, even if an applicant shows you an official looking document, background check anyway.

Are You Ready Begin Academic Verification Background Checks?

As Western New York’s leading pre-employment screening service, Metrodata Services is here for you. We offer academic as well as professional license and employment verifications. Give us a call and see how we can help you make the best-possible hiring decisions.

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