The Best Of FYI Screening 2009

December 30, 2009


2009 was a year that social media surged and the use of social networks for employee background screening was frequently debated. We saw resume fraud, diploma mills and fake employment websites flourish.  During this time we’ve used our blog to keep you informed of these trends, best practices and legal compliance issues.  Look to FYI Screening for more of this in 2010.

Below you’ll find our most widely-read posts of the year:

  1. The Importance Of Post-Hire Background Checks
  2. 4 Tips On How To Use Social Networks For Employee Screening
  3. The Dangers of Using Social Networks for Employee Screening
  4. Diploma Mills: Degrees of Deception
  5. 5 Legal Reasons Why Your Company Should Have a Social Networking Policy
  6. The Other Background Check: What Does Google Have To Say About You?
  7. Resume Fraud A Growing Concern
  8. Twitter and Employment Law Issues
  9. Job Applicants Are More Likely To Lie As The Recession Grows
  10. The Pitfalls Of Using Social Networking To Screen Potential Employees

Happy New Year!

Photo credit: berk2804

Employee Screening Articles For March 2009

April 2, 2009

In case you missed any of our employee screening articles for March, here’s a quick recap of our most popular:

Smart, Compliant Hiring Decisions Made Easy

FYI Screening, Inc. offers a complete portfolio of employee screening services that will help you work smarter while providing the industry’s fastest turnaround and the highest quality results.

This will allow your company to focus on what really matters: hiring and retaining the best employees possible.

  • Sign-Up for a quick demo to see how your company can get the fastest, most accurate and cost effective employee screening results in the industry.

Photo Credit: gadl

Diploma Mills: Degrees of Deception

March 24, 2009

diploma mills

Are you ever tempted by an email or an ad claiming you can “earn a college degree based…on life experience”?  Don’t be, say attorneys for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), America’s consumer protection agency.  Chances are good that the ad is for a “diploma mill,” a company that offers “degrees” or certificates for a flat fee, requires little course work, if any, and awards degrees based solely on life experience.

Most employers and educational institutions consider it lying if you claim academic credentials that you didn’t earn through actual course work. Federal officials say it’s risky behavior: If you use a so-called “degree” from a diploma mill to apply for a job or promotion, you risk not getting hired, getting fired, and in some cases, prosecution.

Diploma mills may claim to be “accredited.” Colleges and universities accredited by legitimate organizations undergo a rigorous review of the quality of their educational programs. Although many diploma mills claim to be “accredited,” their accreditation is from a bogus, but official-sounding agency that they created. You can use the Internet to check if a school is accredited by a legitimate organization at the database of accredited academic institutions posted by the U.S. Department of Education or at the Council for Higher Education Accreditation database. (There are a few legitimate institutions that have not pursued accreditation.)

Look out for sound-alikes. Some diploma mills take on names that are very similar to well-known colleges or universities; a “dot edu” Web address is no guarantee of legitimacy, either. Keep in mind that some diploma mills use credible-sounding foreign names. Researching the legitimacy of a foreign school can be a challenge, but is clearly worth the time. If you’re having a tough time checking out a particular school, call the registrar of a local college or university and ask if it would accept transfer credits from the school you are considering.

So how can you tell if the institution you’re thinking about is legitimate? Here are some tell-tale signs of a diploma mill:

  • No Studies, No Exams — Get a Degree for Your Experience. Diploma mills grant degrees for “work or life experience” alone. Accredited colleges may give a few credits for specific experience pertinent to a degree program, but not an entire degree.
  • No Attendance. Legitimate colleges or universities, including online schools, require substantial      course work.
  • Flat Fee. Many diploma mills charge on a per-degree basis. Legitimate colleges charge by the credit, course, or semester, not a flat fee for an entire degree.
  • No Waiting. Operations that guarantee a degree in a few days, weeks, or even months aren’t legitimate. If an ad promises that you can earn a degree very quickly, it’s probably a diploma mill.
  • Click Here To Order Now! Some diploma mills push themselves through aggressive sales tactics.      Accredited colleges don’t use spam or high-pressure telemarketing to market themselves. Some diploma mills also advertise in newspapers, magazines, and on the Web.
  • Advertising through spam or pop-ups. If the school caught your attention through an unsolicited email or pop-up ad, it may be a diploma mill. Legitimate institutions, including distance learning programs, won’t advertise through spam or pop-ups.

Source: Federal Trade Commission

Next Step

  • Contact us for an online demo and see why smart companies are using FYI to streamline their employee screening process.  FYI Screening, Inc. is a leading global provider of employee screening solutions to corporations, government agencies, healthcare systems and educational institutions.

Smart, Compliant Hiring Decisions Made Easy

Diploma Mills – The New Resume Lie?

November 20, 2008

Diploma Mills

Screening potential employees and conducting background checks is already a challenging task for many employers. Diploma mills are making that challenge even more daunting. These “mills” sell diplomas and degrees to any person who is willing to part with enough money. A bachelor’s degree in computer science may cost as little as a few hundred dollars. A PhD in criminal justice may cost $2,000. These “mill” degrees are worthless.

If you’re an employer, this should worry you. Below, I’ll explain 2 ways in which diploma mills impact employers. Then, I’ll describe how to avoid being duped.

2 Costly Impacts For Employers

Job candidates blatantly lie on resumes. And they do it more often you might think (some estimates put the number at over 40%). Add fake degrees into the hiring equation and the problem grows even larger. This has 2 major impacts on employers:

1 – Misrepresented Education

Hiring any employee can be a costly process. But, hiring a candidate who has a fake degree can be even more expensive. After all, not only has your hiring staff wasted valuable time, but candidates who are actually qualified may no longer be available.

2 – Fraudulent Reimbursement

If a current employee gets a fake degree, he may be tempted to seek reimbursement from your company. Again, the degree itself is worthless. Reimbursing an employee for the degree is akin to throwing money down the drain.

Background Checks And Employee Screening

The first step to dealing with this problem is to broadly and openly communicate your screening policy to job candidates. Mention that your hiring staff follows a strict screening process that includes verifying education. Often, this alone is enough to discourage would-be frauds from applying. Then, of course, you need to follow through with your policy.

The second step is to conduct ongoing background checks and screening on your current staff. Not only should you do so regularly; you should do so whenever there’s a need. For example, if an employee earns a degree while in your company’s employ, and seeks reimbursement, verify the authenticity of the university.

If you lack the staff or resources to do these things, partner with an experienced employee screening service that can help insulate your company from costly mistakes.

Further Reading

Photo Credit: gadgetdude