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International Job Candidates and Verifying Their Education

Posted in News & Events, News Articles on 05/10/2010

More and more companies are beginning to screen and hire international job applicant’s to work for their organization. Many times, these applicants will have degrees that were awarded by colleges outside of the United States. If the degree was issued from an accredited institution, it is every bit as valid as a degree that was issued by an accredited institution in the United States. The difficulty, however, lies in verifying the degree with that institution.

Due to cultural differences, language differences, and even time zones, getting that degree verified from an overseas college can become very difficult. As one example, if you are going to try and verify a degree from a college in China you have to deal with a 12 hour time difference to start. Then, the majority of colleges in China require the full name of the job candidate at the time they graduated spelled out in Chinese language characters. If you utilize a background screening company, they should be able to give you some information on what you are going to need in order to verify an international college degree.

Another step you may wish to take is to have the job applicant get their degree translated. There are reputable agencies that will contact the international school, become familiar with their requirements for graduation and degrees, and be able to show you on paper how that degree will be equivalent to a degree offered in the United States. This can become a time consuming option as they generally do take some time to get the degree information translated. Again, your background screening agency should be able to tell you where these organizations are and how to reach them.

Regardless of which route you choose to take to get an international degree verified, please be aware that it takes time and sometimes can be expensive. To try and plan ahead, be sure to have your job candidate prepare a copy of all documentation they have from the school (copies of the degree or certificate, grade reports or transcripts, or even a letter that the school issued indicating graduation). Frequently an international school will authenticate documentation supplied to them quicker than they will look up a job candidate to verify a degree.