What Are the Best Tips for Checking Qualifications?

N. Madison

An employer can benefit from a range of tips for checking qualifications when in the market for new employees. Among the best tips are those that recommend contacting a job candidate’s references and performing background checks. An employer also might ask to see documentation of a candidate's credentials. If a job candidate is unable to present original documents, an employer might accept copies and then follow up by contacting the original issuers to verify the documents' legitimacy.

Background checks provide a reliable way of checking qualifications.
Background checks provide a reliable way of checking qualifications.

One of the best tips for checking qualifications is to contact the references that a candidate provides as part of his or her application. In many cases, an employer assumes that a job candidate wouldn't provide references from people who would say unfavorable things about him or her. As such, the employer might consider calling the reference contacts a waste of time. This can be a mistake, however, as some people do add bogus references to job applications or list family members rather than former employers. Calling the provided reference contacts might save a prospective employer the trouble of hiring a dishonest employee.

Background checks also provide a reliable way of checking qualifications. Through a background check, an employer can learn not only whether a job candidate is truly qualified for the job but also whether he or her represents a hiring risk. A background check, for example, might reveal where the employee previously worked as well as whether he or she has a criminal record. With some types of background checks, an employer can even learn about the candidate’s driving record, which might be important if a job involves operating a vehicle. A background check also can reveal any licenses or credentials that a candidate possesses.

An employer might also ask for documentation of a candidate’s qualifications. For example, the employer could ask to see the candidate's diploma, degree or certificate. If the candidate needs special licensing for a job, the hiring employer could ask to see that as well. Obtaining the original documents might be a challenge, however. For example, if a candidate graduated long ago, he or she might not have the degree or diploma anymore.

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Sometimes, an employer will accept copies of credentials when checking qualifications. The employer might become concerned, however, that some job candidates could produce made-up documents, but this concern can be dealt with by contacting the issuer of the original document to make sure that it is legitimate. Each jurisdiction's laws might vary when it comes to the requirement of gaining a candidate's permission before calling educational institutions and licensing agencies or performing background checks.

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