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Why Is My Employer Asking for a Credential Evaluation?

Thursday | February 3, 2022 | by Kaitlin Ramby

employer credential evaluation

If you’re seeking a job in the United States or Canada, but earned your degree in another country, there is a good chance that you will need a credential evaluation. 

That’s because employers might find it difficult to validate your academic documents (which is important for them to mitigate risk). And they might not understand if your degree is equivalent to a degree in their country (since not all programs and awards are the same across the globe). However, a credential evaluation both validates your past accomplishments and provides an official equivalency report. 

It’s important to choose a credible provider of credential evaluations, like World Education Services (WES), to ensure that your report is trusted and accepted for all future positions and opportunities in Canada and the U.S. WES is a founding member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES).

Even if an employer does not ask for a credential evaluation outright, many hiring managers appreciate a job applicant who makes it easier to process their documentation. And although your report might not be required during the job search, it might be requested before a job offer is finalized. In this case, if you haven’t already started the process of getting a credential evaluation, it can introduce delays in starting your new job. 

Lastly, job candidates with a credential evaluation have a better chance of negotiating a higher salary and better benefits. That’s because they are better able to demonstrate their qualifications and the value that they bring to the company; so even if your prospective employer does not require an equivalency report for your international education, it can be very beneficial to provide your WES credential evaluation among your paperwork.

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Keep reading to learn why your future employer might ask for a credential evaluation.

It highlights your skills and experience

Unless the employer is based in multiple countries or has a track record of hiring employees with international backgrounds, they might have trouble understanding the value of your education. And that’s understandable; it’s difficult for most employers to translate, verify, or understand the equivalency of credentials earned from institutions anywhere in the world. But it’s wonderful that they want to bring that knowledge and experience into their workforce as long as they can verify it. 

A credential evaluation allows an employer to see what your education represents in the country where you are applying for work. But they won’t have to hire an outside firm, reach out to your school directly, employ a translation firm, or spend too much time on their end researching degree equivalencies. Experts from a credential evaluation provider like WES, which has specialized in this service for nearly five decades, allow them to simply review the results and continue with the rest of their standard hiring process.

It provides insights about your background

Most employers understand there are differences between degrees in every country. For example, most U.S. bachelor’s degree programs last four years, while they only last three years in the United Kingdom and India

But they are not always able to understand the nuances of why those programs are different. In some cases, the same material is covered in a shorter time; in other cases, much less material is covered. 

If the job is very technical, the employer might want to ensure that the incoming employee has taken specific classes while earning their degree. That’s where specialists (like WES) might be able to come in and help. You might learn that you’re just a course or two away from being able to hold the position that you’re pursuing. In some cases, employers might sponsor those courses.

In fact, there are different types of credential evaluation reports. You can get your degree verified or you can see the equivalency for every credential earned. Employers might have a specific preference, and this will change which documents you need to provide for evaluation.

It offers them protection against fraud

Unfortunately, many companies have encountered issues with fraud. That might include job applicants lying about what certificates or degrees they’ve earned, or at least lying about the institution where it was earned, in order to make themselves seem like a more attractive candidate. Or perhaps the degree and institution are real, but the school is not accredited within the country where it was issued (and therefore the level of education is not actually on par with other candidates who hold the same degree).

In order to reduce risk when bringing in new members of their team, especially in high-ranking positions, they will want to do as much research and verification as possible before putting a new employee under contract. That is especially true if they might consider sponsoring an individual for a work visa or green card at some point in the future. 

Employers want to preserve the reputation of their organization. But, thankfully, they don’t want these problems to stop them from hiring the very best international talent. Requiring a credential evaluation is a way of providing assurance to the employer that a candidate’s credentials are authentic and gives them confidence in hiring skilled immigrants, international students, or pre-arrival candidates seeking their first opportunity in the U.S. or Canada. 

It enables them to recruit top candidates 

In an increasingly global business landscape, it is beneficial for companies in every sector to welcome employees with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and education.

Hiring candidates who have lived, worked, or studied in one or more countries gives the company itself a distinct advantage. 

Requiring a credential evaluation makes it easier for employers to move internationally educated candidates through the hiring process. This means that they can confidently recruit from a worldwide hiring pool and find the best of the best in the world–not just the best from the local area. 

It ensures equal opportunity in hiring decisions

A credential evaluation is an equalizer; skilled immigrants and international students can be considered side-by-side with citizens of the U.S. and Canada. Your report helps employers compare you directly and fairly, without bias, against other job applicants. 

In fact, a credential evaluation ensures that your international education will be an asset to you in the hiring process. Additionally, your report will help you negotiate a higher salary and better benefits because it proves your past achievements and demonstrates the value that you bring, in an official report.

Conclusion

The job search process can be stressful and complicated, especially when you’re in a new country. But a credential evaluation can be your secret weapon. It can help you stand out from the competition during your search. But it can also streamline the process once your application catches a hiring manager’s eye. 

Remember: Employers are looking for the best fit for a specific position within their company. Anything you can do to showcase your best qualities is going to help them picture you in that role. 

Plus, they are often trying to move quickly; therefore, putting things in terms they recognize and having the equivalency report ready before they ask for it can make you look like a very considerate and prepared candidate.

Applicants who are located in another country, and those who were internationally educated, are tasked with demonstrating the value of their experience and education. Luckily, a credential evaluation makes it easy for you to showcase your background and its value in the U.S. or Canada.

Additionally, it can open up more opportunities, since you will know exactly what roles you qualify for and do not need to spend time applying for roles that are not going to reach out to you. Plus, you’re considered on an equal playing field with everyone else, thanks to your equivalency report.

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Kaitlin Ramby

Kaitlin Ramby is the former Digital Content Producer and a Contributing Writer for World Education Services.