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How Background Verification Can Help to Hire the Right Candidate? Background intelligence may sound intrusive to many & may challenge privacy concerns but when done with a specific goal in mind & by taking in a consent from the prospective employee

By Ajay Trehan

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The environment that India is operating in is evolving and is extremely dynamic today and the best way to combat is to be prepared and open to change the way one has been operating.

India is witnessing growth across sectors and cities, be it the booming startup sector, the retail sector or with the global brands entering the Indian market. One of the most important factors facilitating this growth is the talent available in the country but the big question is, "Is that talent ready and in sync with the growing needs and demands?'. No one can deny that it's the people who form the backbone of any successful company, brand or economy.

There have been many unfortunate incidents, more so in the recent past, where companies have had to face financial and reputational loss due to frauds or misbehaviour of their employees. Plenty of examples are available for employee frauds and fake credentials of even the senior-most candidates, where proper authentication of candidate's credentials could have prevented loss of face for the companies.

Employers not taking adequate steps to really know their employees beyond what is written on the two sheets of paper as shared by the recruiting consulting firm will stay vulnerable to such risks. Shying away from this fact may not solve the crisis of lack of trust that employers are facing, but what may solve this would be an extensive employee background screening before taking the candidates on-board.

Background intelligence may sound intrusive to many & may challenge privacy concerns but when done with a specific goal in mind & by taking in a consent from the prospective employee – could really mitigate risks for the employers – risks that may have far bigger financial & reputation risks than imagined. It also assists HR departments to build a talented and productive workforce with genuineskillsets and a healthy work environment based on trust and confidence in its team members.

Some of the top background checks that are being requested by HR teams are:

  1. Identity Checks: These are the basic checks to verify the base identity of a person. It involves authenticating the claimed identity using national IDs like Passport, voter ID, PAN, Driving License, Aadhaar number, Ration Card etc. It's the most common check across industries and in particular, has proved to be extremely useful for On-Demand Economy and blue-collar workforce.

  2. Employment and Education Verification: Given the extreme competition and demand-supply mismatch of job opportunities, these two areas face the maximum lies or exaggerations by the candidates. The skillset, experience, remuneration heavily depend on these credentials and letting these go unverified can be extremely dangerous and damaging, especially in sectors such as banking/ accounting/ IT & ITES & medicine/ engineering and educational institutions.

  3. Litigation: For building a healthy working environment, it's important for any employer to be certain that people they hire are not criminals. With some unfortunate incidents tarnishing brands image in recent past, this is an emerging category wherein employers are checking civil and criminal backgrounds of employees starting from the blue collared employees &going right to the top of the ladder. We have found that in some districts in UP and Haryana, out of every 100 applications received as high as 15 had a criminal or a civil case against them.

  4. Drug Screening: A growing vertical in background screening as increasingly companies which hire young people in huge numbers are asking for drug screening. It's obvious to be concerned and not let one bad apple in that could not only hamper productivity but also may influence others around. In a recent case, we were shocked when 70 out of 100 applicants all in their early twenties were tested positive under the substance abuse test.

  5. Global Regulatory & Compliance Debarment Database Check: This check is increasingly become popular in the white-collar space and is extremely useful for people looking at international level positions. In the current socio-political scenario across the globe, employers want to be certain that they are not hiring anyone with a shady past. This screening throws up if the candidate has been on any government's most wanted list and has been involved in any of the serious crimes such as money laundering, human trafficking and terrorism. A shocking example from our past experience is where we did a background check on a teacher in a boarding school in India and we found out that the employee was on Interpol's most wanted list on account of being involved in terrorist activities.

To sum it up, background screening proves to be an important tool for any HR division, the only thing to watch out for is that it should be done strictly for one's professional requirement and by taking consent of the person whose background is being checked up. By following some of the above measures, one can not only save a lot of time and effort which goes into bringing a person on board, but it would definitely save a company and its reputation from being tarnished by someone whose heart and soul may not be in the right place.

Another aspect is handling the data responsibly and any good background verification company would take this up with utmost seriousness.

Ajay Trehan

Founder & CEO, AuthBridge

Ajay Trehan is a pioneer in modern background screening process outsourcing. He founded AuthBridge in 2005 and has built the company into a leading authority on background check management in India. Today, AuthBridge is a quality-driven, best practice company, delivering proven business impact risk advisory solutions to top draw clients, including Fortune 500 organisations.

Ajay’s perspective on the importance of risk assessment and mitigation drives AuthBridge’s culture of innovation and commitment to excellence. His passion for best standards in service and customer engagement has seen the company measure up to global quality benchmark, including ISO 9001 and ISO 27001 certifications. A visionary leader, Ajay has been critical to AuthBridge’s success and growth. While he is actively involved in formulating strategy and execution across the entire screening process lifecycle, Ajay also participates in guiding AuthBridge’s clients on Total Security Management – a risk advisory initiative of AuthBridge. 

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