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WES Digital Badges: New Tool to Verify International Credentials

Tuesday October 27, 2020 | by WES Global Talent Bridge

Virtual Hiring During COVID-19

COVID-19 has drastically altered the employment landscape in Canada. Although the year began with the country’s lowest unemployment rate in decades, Canada is now experiencing increasingly high unemployment and underemployment as businesses grapple with restructuring in the wake of the pandemic. For human resources (HR) professionals, this restructuring has resulted in a high number of applicants for vacant roles and a screening process conducted almost entirely in a virtual environment. In a recent Gartner HR Survey, 86 percent of organizations reported conducting virtual interviews to hire candidates during COVID-19. Similarly, a Jobvite report showed that 42 percent of survey respondents found jobs using social media networks. In the absence of traditional in-person interviews, recruiters and hiring managers are faced with competing challenges: a high volume of applicants to assess, and the need to determine their suitability solely through virtual means.

The increasingly high applicant volume requires HR professionals to have processes in place that enable a thorough and efficient assessment of candidates. To this end, the WES Digital Badge is an effective smart tool to include in the recruitment process. The WES Digital Badge helps recruiters to quickly identify candidates who possess the education that a given position requires.

About WES Digital Badges

World Education Services (WES) credential evaluation is a key step in understanding the educational background of candidates who were educated abroad. Our credential evaluation services mitigate risk while simplifying and streamlining the hiring process. We verify credentials and provide their Canadian equivalencies in a physical report. Beyond having the physical credential assessment in hand, many candidates also claim a digital badge from WES. The digital badge is a web-enabled version of their credential evaluation and can be verified online by any interested third party, such as a recruiter.

Digital badges are a natural extension of credential evaluation reports. So when a recruiter is short-listing potential candidates, the digital badge allows the recruiter to easily access and verify a candidate’s international credentials in one easy click. In addition to providing the ease and efficiency of one-click verification, a digital badge conveys other critical information, such as the criteria for earning the certification(s), key details about the individual’s credential, and when the individual earned the certification(s). As noted previously, the badge also provides the Canadian equivalency of the individual’s credentials. For example, when a recruiter receives an application from someone who completed a bachelor of science at the University of Melbourne, a WES Digital Badge appears on the candidate’s résumé or social networking profile (if the individual has chosen to display it), allowing the recruiter to easily click on the badge to verify the candidate’s credentials and understand how they compare to Canadian standards.

Sample WES Digital Badge on the Acclaim platform

A WES Digital Badge provides prospective employers with concrete, verified evidence of a candidate’s international educational credentials, allowing real-time authentication. According to Credly, digital badges help to avoid the costs, inconvenience, and business risk of hiring unqualified applicants. For example, recruiters can quickly verify a candidate’s educational qualification before forwarding the individual’s application to the HR team, rather than spend time verifying the education at the time of extending the offer letter.

Digital Credentials for Virtual Recruitment

A digital badge isn’t simply a digital image file. Badges are a secure avenue to access accurate, verified information; candidates’ badges are uniquely linked to data (metadata) hosted on Credly’s Acclaim platform and verified by WES. This link to verified data makes the WES Digital Badge more reliable and secure than a paper-based certificate. A WES Digital Badge is awarded to the person whose name and email address were used to complete the credential evaluation application. If someone were to copy the badge, it would be unverified and invalid. A digital badge is linked to an earner’s profile on the WES Acclaim website. Each credential evaluation and profile share a unique URL that displays their badge information if the earner chooses to share it on a social network profile or website, or in an email signature.

Providing even greater security is the badge’s evidence link. The evidence link is verification of the credential with which the badge is associated, and only that credential; it does not provide verification of any other academic claims. The evidence link is a unique link embedded in each earner’s badge and hosted on the wes.org website. This link carries more verifiable information on an earner’s educational credential.

Sample evidence page of a WES Digital Badge on the Acclaim platform

This is why digital badges are becoming recognized and trusted in many industries: They showcase qualifications and provide evidence of certifications. Furthermore, they are meeting a need at this unprecedented time.

Increased virtual recruitment and screening in response to the global health crisis are likely to become part of the “new normal” for HR professionals. Digital mechanisms are needed to support the verification of candidates’ education and suitability for a given role. The WES Digital Badge is a tool that can greatly support recruiters as they become more adept at virtually screening candidates who hold international credentials.

For more information, visit wes.org/wes-digital-badges/.

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