GET SECURED WITH BACKGROUND VERIFICATION
No matter if you are a startup or a well-established brand, your employees are not only your assets but also representatives of how the brand is. One single fraud by a person and the whole brand reputation and name you have built goes down. Background verifications are hence receiving the attention by the leading names. Let’s dive into the basics and need for background verification.
WHAT IS A BACKGROUND CHECK?
A background check has simply put a process that is used by a person or a brand to verify that a person is who they claim to be. This process allows one to get an insight into the various aspects of a person’s life socially. From their criminal record, education, employment history, and other activities that happened in the past, this process confirms their validity.
Every background check is distinct as its frequency, purpose, and legitimacy vary between countries, industries, and individuals. An employment background check usually comes into the scene when a brand is looking to hire a candidate typically. But it can also take place any time the employer deems necessary. There are plenty of methods that can be used to comprehend a check, from a comprehensive database search to personal references.
START-UPS AND EMPLOYEE CONTROVERSIES
Start-ups are involved in the employee background checks today than they were yesterday as they initiate their process of hiring their potential employees, as they are faced with the pressure to hire right.
The new ventures have witnessed 87% of discrepancies that were found during a recent survey by a leading background screening solutions firm. Of these candidates, 42.3% were in the 22-30 age groups, indicating that a significant chunk of them belonged to the startup ecosystem.
Well after the controversies that have hit the third largest ecosystem in the world, many brands have realised how the employees that are believed to be the biggest assets of the brands can turn into the biggest liabilities and they continue to represent a pose a risk to the credibility established by the startup.
INDIAN BRANDS AND EMPLOYEE BACKGROUND SCREENING
Indian brands have acknowledged the importance of the background screening process and have been putting it into action is extremely serious processes. The recruitment process has been coming up with so many cases of employee fraud and misrepresentation of resume or employment data have been plaguing the recruitment process for years.
Traditionally, we have seen the key companies in the offshore services industry along with IT or ITeS and private sector banking and financial companies largely believe in having a reliable employee due diligence mechanism which included verification of candidate details. However, in other industries and the informal industries, we can witness the desperate need for a proper background screening process by companies in India.
As far as the Indian background screening industry is concerned, it has showcased growth rapidly over the last few years. The proactiveness by the brands today is great as they are setting the trend for other brands to move in the right direction. The brands in the formal sector proactively seeking out help from 3rd party verification agencies and the informal services sector has also opened itself to the verification process. With the onset of the “gig economy” for example Urban Clap, Ola and Uber, there is still a long way to go for background verification.
HOW IMPORTANT IT IS FOR COMPANIES TO ADOPT BACKGROUND SCREENING POLICIES?
The importance of background verification cannot be emphasised enough as the companies across industries are conducting and adopting the background screening policies as it weeds out incompetent candidates eventually protecting the bottom line of a company.
- Saves Money: The wrong salary slips are avoided and companies’ saves from the headache of offering inflated salaries that can bleed a company month-on-month while the candidate is in the system.
- Avoids Unwanted Bad Publicity: As discussed, employees represent brands. With verifications, brands are saved from the unwanted bad publicity caused by the employee-related mishap or liability. Above all, proper background screening ensures the safety of the employees and customers while minimising the risk of damage to the company’s brand.
WHAT INFORMATION CAN COME UP IN A BACKGROUND CHECK?
Now, if you are outsourcing a background check/ verification process to a trusted company, they will look for following details during background verification:
- Candidate’s public records – The employee background verification companies can easily access a candidate’s court records and criminal history from any law enforcement agency.
- Candidates work history – The employee background verification companies hold the power to dig up a person’s past employers, dates they worked with them, their role in each company, the pay, performance history, and the conduct in the company and so on.
- Education records – The verification companies will reach out to the universities to match the credentials. It is a crucial step because forging degrees, fake certificates and bogus grades are actually the most common types of corporate frauds.
- Address verification – People who tend hide up their past usually end up lying about their address and hence it is one of the key reasons a background verification is done to ensure that each of the information about a person is true.
HOW IS BACKGROUND VERIFICATION DONE IN INDIA?
A typical background verification process initiates when a company starts calling the previous employer for the reference or to get any information about the candidate’s personality, performance, skills, and other things like the information that one has provided. They can also dig up in your past to offer information like any negative behaviour. The companies also have access to public databases (criminal records) for any illegal activity. Next, they dig education records to verify the degrees and certificates.
At last, the companies verify the address provided. Sometimes they even send people to physical locations to check out a candidate’s address. As we discussed earlier that every background check is different and each of it depends on different factors and the different companies in India run background checks in different ways. Here’s how they do it:
The big companies that have established a name in the industry do verification by hiring the third-party agencies to do everything. While the small and medium firms usually have their HR team do all the work. The government firms or PSUs run an extensive verification before offering the job.
BACKGROUND VERIFICATION EFFORTS BY THE GOVERNMENT
Well, the Indian government has also taken various initiatives to boost the process of verification done in various parts of the country. Most of them are used as a tool to ensure that a brand is in power to choose the right candidate. To reduce the cases of frauds and restrict the people from committing frauds, the government is also pushing it in high gear. the novel tools it’s using to help companies check a candidate’s history are:
- Aadhaar verification – Well, a card that is required all around India as a basic identity proof does more job than that. It is equipped with the biometrics and other information like the residence to allow people to have an insight into a person’s authenticity.
- National Academics Depository (NAD) – Another shift towards digital India is the NAD which practically has every education record of every student. Now, the NAD and issue reliable certificates to verified users since they plan to have every education board and institution in India onboard the platform.
- National Skills Registry (NSR) – The largest database of working professionals, NSD helps companies fact-check employees’ information if they are registered. NSR is associated with 200 companies, 21, 87,635 registered professionals, and a total of 14,77,518 biometrics submitted.
FINALLY, ARE BACKGROUND CHECKS LEGAL IN INDIA?
Well, every brand is India holds the legal right to have a verification done on their employee or prospective employees. Yes, they are legal irrespective of the fact that the employment history checks in India are largely unregulated. With no specific rules regulating it, many third party agencies have no problem ignoring the vague laws.
Employers do not need permission from the employees before digging in their previous records resulted in job and personal information as well and they can successfully go on doing the same.