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We lines up some of the country’s top hiring executives and find out what they look for while selecting a candidate for a corporate role
Talent spotters now regard potential as one of the key employee attributes for hiring. How do you spot potential and passion during a job interview?
The traditional and obvious indicators of potential are a candidate’s academic record and past successes. Personality traits are strong indicators of key attributes like passion and potential. A discussion reveals their thought process, approach and ethics. Body language, confidence and even voice modulation tell us about what drives them. If a candidate is high on learning, they have potential.
What are some of the other essential attributes you look for in a job applicant?
I look for a combination of three things: Clarity of thought — How a person approaches a problem and how clearly can he/she explain her past work/ achievements/ struggles? The ability to break each into smaller parts while explaining and then building it up as a sum is important.
A strong, functional skill set — What are they bringing in terms of functionality and skills?
Academic and professional Journey — Not as a rejection criterion but as a reflection of choices and influences in their professional life. It is also a benchmark of their performance.
However, I’ve made a gut-based decision in contradiction to this criterion.
What are some of the common issues, which you confront in graduates while hiring?
Despite being bright, graduates lack vision and are impatient. Sometimes the sense of entitlement and disconnect with reality make them set unrealistic goals. They should invest more time in making themselves better suited to the dynamic world.
How crucial is a candidate’s domain knowledge when it comes to hiring and what is your experience on this front from campuses?
When hiring from campus it can be theoretical know-how of subjects. We can’t expect working knowledge from them.
What is the transitional change which a candidate has to be prepared for when entering the job market?
Unlike education, life is not compartmentalised into classes, subjects, exams, ranks etc. Candidates must be prepared that it is not just one exam but an ongoing performance at a functional and team level that matters.
The role of social media in hiring candidates
Social media can work in tandem with traditional hiring practices and not replace them.
How can a candidate make himself/herself valuable in their line of work?
Employees can add tremendous value by impacting the bottom line and by striving to be an irreplaceable spoke in the wheel of an organisation’s success.
How severe can the cost of making mistakes be on a professional level, as opposed to academics, where it can end with a little red circle?
You bear the consequences of academic mistakes but in the professional world, these can cost you, your company and your team members heavily. There is a difference between a mistake and a wrongdoing. Mistakes are pardonable whereas deliberately doing it to hurt the interest of employers is not.
The kind of technological, digital, and human revolution that we all envisaged for workplaces in the next 5-7 years is happening now. The future of work is here, and it has validated that employees are the most valued resource of a business.
The COVID-19 crisis has truly ushered us into VUCA times. Businesses across the world seem to have fallen off a cliff, collectively. In addition to the sudden nature of this crisis, the global togetherness in it is quite unprecedented. And as different in size, scale, and sector these businesses are, COVID 19 has been a great equalizer. It leaves every impacted business with only one choice – innovate your way out or cease to exist.
The good news is that humans are resilient beings, and we are slowly but surely making our way back up the cliff. Businesses have quickly put in innovative measures and new ways of operating in line with the changing world around us. These involve adapting to technology-based solutions facilitating remote work as well as to tech-powered platforms to operate, communicate, engage, and track performance remotely. The kind of technological, digital, and human revolution that we all envisaged for workplaces in the next 5-7 years is happening now. The future of work is here, and it has validated that employees are the most valued resource of a business.
Read Also:- Leveraging AI for verification and onboarding
With an increased clarity on the importance of employees must come to the acceptance that as businesses sail into unchartered waters, employees too will witness the biggest workplace transformation of their lifetimes. If, as employers, there’s a trait to have at this hour, it is empathy. Consistent and clear communication -what’s really happening, how we are all in this together and the efforts we are taking to overcome this situation -has worked equally well for us with employees as it has with clients.
New expectations and protocols have to be clearly laid down and the guidelines to follow them must be shared extensively. To prevent social distancing from turning into social isolation, HR teams must prioritize mental and physical well-being of their employees through virtual means. The post-pandemic world will see a low tolerance for businesses that are unwilling to invest in the health of their employees. Top talent, especially in profiles not tied to a place or machinery, could even look at gig-based employment or renegotiate working hours, work profile, payment terms etc. As new-age employers, we must be cognisant of these needs and empower and trust the talent to do right by the business.
What you then need is a completely digital infrastructure that can support such needs. Businesses must build tech-readiness in IT, HR support, payrolls, administration, and other departments. Everything that can be, should be moved online.
Preparing for a post-pandemic world
For businesses, I believe that the COVID 19 crisis is a push to finally move away from the ideal of a “disembodied and universal worker” whose needs are same across the spectrum and whose personal life is irrelevant to work.
The pandemic has shown us how to be more humane and how to trust and empower employees to work with minimal supervision. At AuthBridge , only 30% of our 1000+ workforce had laptops before COVID -19. Today, 100% of our workforce has been enabled to work remotely. And we achieved this within 2 weeks! As we continue to serve our clients seamlessly with the help of self-sufficient digital products and platforms built and deployed by our teams over the years, we have realized we were always ready. Could this leap have come under less dire circumstances? Maybe. The good news for us is that when we finally took it, we hit the ground running.
As we are discovering, the new world of work is not without its merits for employers. As they say, never waste a good crisis. This is the best time to build new capabilities, infuse grit and resilience in organizations and really identify processes, people, and systems essential for growth. It’s the best time to build a lean and mean organization – while hacking your way to growth. Do you really need that much of office space? What is the best way to evaluate virtual employee performance? Do you need new collaboration tools? How do you make remote working more secure? How do you serve your clients as effectively as before? Can some employees be reskilled or repositioned to contribute better? These are some of the questions that you must address before the world returns to normal.
COVID-19 will change our world drastically and irrevocably. Things will become worse, before becoming better. Some businesses with limited cash flow or cushioning will bite the dust. There will be job losses. Some industries might change forever. But amidst all that, I am convinced that we will discover humane workplaces, maverick leaders, self-driven employees, and innovation and growth that won’t leave employees behind. The new world of work is here.
Source: People Matters
BW people in interaction with Ajay Trehan, CEO, and Founder, AuthBridge throwing light on how "New-normal" would look like in terms of technology, hiring, and HR functions and how leaders need to adapt the changes to be the new leader in the new normal.
As of now, what is your definition of "New-Normal"?
Much is being said about the “new normal” these days. I have not seen a phrase become so popular, so quickly. To be honest, it is hard to define this ‘new-normal’ just yet. But we do have some indicators that point to what it will be like. For instance, work-from-home will be enforced and accepted by many organizations. Those who were reluctant earlier, either due to a mindset or technology roadblock, have now experienced it. In addition to tangible benefits like less expenditure on physical infrastructure, many organizations are also seeing an uptick in productivity. Some client-facing functions, like sales, will have to completely unlearn and learn newer ways of functioning. Physical office spaces, where they exist, will take additional measures for hygiene and social distancing – cafeteria spaces will be a lot different. Meetings will be different. Coffee breaks will be different. Most importantly, employees will ask for greater flexibility, more trust, and empathy from employers. Employee policies around engagement, commute, health, and more will need a fresher perspective in this light. Whatever final shape it takes, one thing is certain - the new normal will change the way we live, socialize and work.
Are you foreseeing automation coming into the industry?
Our clients are now feeling the need for technology and solutions and our recent conversations and interactions are pointing to a huge shift in the way we will operate going forward. At AuthBridge, we already have products for digital onboarding of employees, customers, vendors, agents, etc. Automating these processes not only helps save time, money, and resources and also increases accuracy and overall efficiency. Processes involved in onboarding and verification can be complex, especially due to the amount of customization involved. As I said before, for us, automation has been part of the system for some time. Our tech stack, powered by AI, ML, deep learning algorithms, E-sign, image recognition, geocoordinate mapping, and more make these processes simpler, faster, and more robust, efficient, and reliable. With the current situation, more players are expected to follow suit while industry adoption accelerates further.
Are we totally moving towards a contact-less world? How would the leaders in the industry manage Virtual verification processes?
I believe we were always moving towards a world where technology was increasingly reducing the barriers of distance, location, and time. COVID 19 has only accelerated the process. An unprecedented crisis, this pandemic has put the spotlight on the need to not only survive but thrive in a contact-less world, and it is no different for the verification industry. Fortunately for us, we, at AuthBridge, have long adopted a tech DNA that has led to automation across products, processes, and systems. To give you a few examples, an HR manager using our product, can verify and onboard a candidate without ever meeting them. Our end-to-end automated workflow solution for authentication iBridge™- makes this possible. Identifying a candidate, choosing aspects of the background to verify, collecting information and documents, actual validation and sharing of reports – activities that usually take weeks, sometimes even months to complete - are completed on iBridge in a few hours, digitally and without any physical contact at all. OCR, E-sign, image and facial recognition, geo-coordinate based digital address verification – All are part of our robust tech stack that empowers a modern recruiter to remain contact-less, and still, build trust with candidates.
How is the hiring industry taking shape? Is technology or AI playing a crucial role?
Hiring as we all know has slowed down currently due to this crisis, but a bounce-back is inevitable. We are already seeing a revival in a few major sectors. The big change, however, will be the reduced usage of conventional physical workspaces, which also means a fundamental shift in the interview, verification, and onboarding processes. Earlier, technology was being used as an enabler, assisting the physical process. Now, Technology will be the driving force – replacing the physical process, and AI will be a crucial part of this change. AI is already being used for resume parsing, application sorting, initial assessment, psychometric evaluation, learning & development, and more. Going forward we will see it’s usage in Video Interview processes, facial recognition, feedback, real-time sentiment analysis as well. Our AI-based verification technology has yielded exciting results already. What used to take us weeks, now gets done in a matter of seconds. With the amount of data that is now flowing through systems worldwide, AI, in my opinion, will become a de-facto technology feature in the times to come.
How will technology support HRs to mark the productivity of the employees?
The coming times will lead us to completely new ways around how organizations will operate. We will see adoption & innovation of remote technologies, new workplace designs, new use cases for office spaces, and so on. Work-from-home will become a norm and will demand newer ways to analyze and track employee productivity. There will be two parts to this. One will be the technology that employees will use for their work. Virtual platforms for easy video and audio based communication with and between employees, Time tracking software, cloud-based data & document repositories, virtual collaboration, and sharing tools all will become essential for employee productivity. The second part will be the revised goals and targets. HR teams will need to guide managers to set up revised organizational values, goals, and targets that not only keep the new normal in mind but are also tangible and trackable. Both of these put together will help set and track the productivity of remote employees. Finding ways to establish trust while employees work remotely will be one of the top challenges as well as markers of success for HR going forward.
What is that one powerful quote you keep reminding yourself especially in tough times?
Tough times do not last, tough people do. It is a principle I have tried to build my life on and one that sustained me through the ups and downs of my entrepreneurial journey. Tough times are the best testament of our character and they teach as much about ourselves as about others. This pandemic remains unprecedented and will change the world like never before, but I am certain we will find a way to emerge stronger by harnessing our collective grit. As Churchill famously said, “We have not journeyed all this way because we are made of sugar candy.”
COVID 19 has been an eye-opener for businesses globally. Organizations have been pushed to quickly adopt new ideas and processes while building capabilities at an overwhelming pace. This humongous scale of urgent innovation to remain operational begets an important question for the HR industry – Are we finally amid the fabled Recruitment Technology revolution?
Fortunately, at AuthBridge, we have long worked towards a tech-led future of the HR industry. Over the years, we have consistently invested in AI-backed digital solutions and technology that streamlines verification and onboarding journeys for a modern recruiter. Consequently, as industry leaders, we find ourselves ahead of the curve when it comes to automation of HR functions.
What is the role of AI in verification?
One of the main use cases of AI in recruitment is data-based, intelligent decisioning. The verification industry, dealing in humungous volumes of data, can bring drastic improvements to the quality, speed and efficiency of its solutions using AI in combination with automation.
Here, our approach towards criminal verification in India makes for an interesting example. Earlier, the only way to know about the criminal background of a candidate was through local police and law firms. Apart from it being a slow process, the risk of a candidate committing a crime in states other than that of residence and domicile was a gaping hole in the process. The only foolproof solution – checking publicly available court records for a criminal record of a candidate – also fell short of resolving issues like inconsistent structuring of records, name and address formats as well as linguistic barriers. This is how Vault™, our proprietary database of negative records and the core of our criminal verification solution, came into being.
Vault™ incorporates data mining, supervised learning, regression analysis and deep search algorithms to look for matches of criminal history at a pan India level. How does it do so? After a candidate’s name and address are entered on Vault™, our proprietary AI engine searches for various sets of permutations and combinations of that name and address against datasets from 3500+ courts, Police FIRs, Crime Watchlists and thousands of tribunals across India. It scans 200+ million records and comes up with the best possible matches (along with a probability score) in just a few seconds. Without AI, this search would have been impossible to conduct! Our AI engine helps us makes sense of an extremely unstructured and non-standardized dataset while providing instant results. And as Vault™ is being exposed to new data sets, our Machine Learning algorithms are making our probability scores increasingly accurate.
Our suite of AI and ML tech also includes OCR, which we use for document classification, tampering and counterfeiting detection and variations in manufacturing. We also use facial recognition technology to instantly verify the identity of a candidate. These technologies work behind the scenes, and our clients are delivered comprehensible workflows for each check and detailed reports on our easy-to-use web platform iBridge™. This seamless interaction for clients further translates into a great onboarding experience for their candidates.
Towards the future
AI-based verification and onboarding solutions are the future and we all can look towards the BFSI sector for inspiration. At AuthBridge, we are increasingly seeing our BFSI clients relying heavily on OCR and facial recognition to generate face match scores, Digital KYC and Video KYC for customer verification. We’ve been able to reduce the TAT for these clients from five days to real-time. With COVID 19, the age of remote work, contact-less processes and virtual workplaces is here. Our clients in the HR fraternity are already stepping up their game and I am quite sure that as the threat of COVID 19 recedes, many of these AI-led processes and systems will become the norm.
In the times when workplaces are being pushed harder than ever to innovate, learn and unlearn to both win customers and to protect their interest inability to trust your own employees shouldn’t be baggage.
Can you trust every employee who works for and with you? If you are being honest, you might find it difficult to answer in absolute affirmation. You are neither alone in this conundrum nor is your uncertainty baseless. The number of frauds, thefts, and cases of embezzlement of funds by employees across the world are on a rise so much so that more than half of all financial frauds are driven by insiders. A global risk consulting firm revealed that 75% of companies where fraud was discovered, at least one perpetrator was an insider.
When the very people entrusted with protection, growth, and support of your organization turn their back on you, it can hurt in more than one way. The financial repercussions aside, insider fraud can strike hard at your company’s reputation as well as the morale of your employees. Raising its head out of the most unexpected corners, it can make you question everyone and everything. And that’s not pleasant either as you risk alienating honest and loyal employees.
In the times when workplaces are being pushed harder than ever to innovate, learn and unlearn to both win customers and to protect their interest; inability to trust your own employees shouldn’t be baggage that you should be carrying around. Yet, that’s exactly what modern-day organizations are dealing with – mopping up the latest fraud under the carpet and crossing their fingers that the next one doesn’t happen at their organization.
This brings me to the important question – if employee frauds are this common and have such disastrous implications, why is that so many employers don’t seem to be doing anything about it? The matter of the fact is that they have been doing what they thought works – mitigating risk by conducting pre-employment verification of employees to authenticate identity, education, professional experience, criminal background, etc. The problem is that this practices, passed on from one generation of recruiters to another, has two fundamental loopholes that leave room for frauds and scams to creep in:
- Pre-employment screening verifies a candidate’s credentials only up till that moment in life and fails to keep a check on future developments. It cannot trace changes in motivation or incentivization to commit fraud in the future.
- Many public records are still in the process of getting digitized, especially criminal records. This means that all the best efforts may still leave a tiny chance of incomplete verification due to the limitations of the verifying source.
Moreover, pre-hiring authentication cannot address the three elements of the Fraud Triangle that forms the basis of every major fraud as American sociologist and criminologist Donal R. Cressey suggests. These elements are financial or personal pressure, the perfect opportunity to commit a crime and the rationalization of fraud. With any of these elements missing, chances of fraud reduce significantly. Even when the elements of the Fraud Triangle come together for employees, what emboldens the decision to commit these frauds is the belief that one can get away with them. A Reddit thread is worth mentioning here. An innocuous question had been asked – ‘What would be the very first thing you would do if there were no consequences for your actions?’ The answers to this question had been eye-openers. Most people responding had hinted towards a desire to commit a crime or felony (driving without a speed belt, hacking into accounts, stealing, even killing) that they couldn’t commit in real life because there would be consequences.
If Mr. Cressey was right about the three elements that constitute the fraud triangle, then organizations have limited options. They neither have much control over financial and personal ‘pressures’ of employees nor their moral compass that would allow or disallow for the ‘rationalization’ of fraud. What they can do is to put better controls in place to curb ‘opportunity’. If fear of getting caught and penalized keeps the elements of the Fraud Triangle in check, conventional verification at hiring must be complemented with a solution that can keep that fear looming as often as employers needed.
At AuthBridge, through extensive research and many client interactions, we arrived at the realization that we needed to empower our clients with a periodic screening solution. This solution would verify the dynamic credentials (criminal record, credit history, drug abuse, etc.) of their employees at critical roles or at key transitions in their career where the opportunity to commit a fraud feels tangible. This solution would establish accountability for employees which would be a legit resistance against incentive to commit fraud, and a framework for clients to further mitigate the risk of employee frauds. This is how AuthXtend™, a Post-Employment Risk Watch solution, came into being.
AuthXtend™ is supported by our proprietary database of negative records -VAULTTM- that enables it to access the latest criminal and civil records, some of which have only recently been made available in the public domain. These records are a goldmine for detecting major and minor crimes that might have gone unnoticed in the past even with the best verification partner due to the sheer unavailability of digital records. State-of-the-art technologies like AI and ML that power our product portfolio also support AuthXtend™, making it not only fast but intuitive, ensuring the results generated from search are accurate and conclusive.
The past few years have been instrumental in making us see its true potential, especially in industries like retail, healthcare and sharing economy where either there is an overwhelming risk of theft or endangerment to a brand’s customers by employees. Additionally, high-risk executive or leadership positions that directly impact an organization’s culture, its reputation or finances deserve timely screening not just for identifying the black sheep but also making informed retention and promotion decisions. This is perhaps why talent acquisition editor Roy Maurer at Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) included periodic employee screening as one of the top three employment screening trends for 2019.
SHRM has also released data on the average monetary impact of the hiring process. It was an exorbitant $4,425 in 2017. Want to guess the cost of firing a bad hire? It is $840,000. Periodic screening solutions like AuthXtend™ can not only help organizations save this huge cost but also add value by creating safe workplaces of the future where trust-flows naturally. By adopting periodic screening solutions that treat the consent of employees as fundamental, employers might be able to create a transparent work culture where integrity is appreciated and rewarded.
Urban Company (formerly known as UrbanClap), a soonicorn with its last round of valuation at around $935 million, is investing a substantial portion of the capital it has raised till date towards training and safety of the 30,000 service professionals who work for its platform.
Abhiraj Singh Bhal, Co-founder of Urban Company, told YourStory that the company will be investing Rs 150-200 crore ($20-27 million) towards training, quality control, and safety-related efforts over the next three years.
Abhiraj Bhal, Co-Founder of Urban Company with one of the home service professional
Meet the Mavericks: Abhiraj Singh Bhal, Co-Founder CEO of Urban Clap, India's home services startup
Launched in 2014 by Abhiraj Bhal, Varun Khaitan, and Raghav Chandra, the startup today operates more than 100 classroom training centres across 22 cities in India and has presence in a few international markets.
It has built an in-house team of 150 full-time trainers, who train between 3,000 to 5,000 professionals a month. These training programmes focus on both core skills and soft skills, and can last anywhere from one week to two months. The company is also working closely with the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) and the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) to certify its fleet of service professionals.
When it comes to maintaining trust and safety (T&S) on the platform, the company has adopted 10 key initiatives to enhance the same. These initiatives broadly fall into three buckets – before the service, during the service, and after the service.
As part of before the service at the time of onboarding, Urban Company has partnered with government accredited third-party platforms like AuthBridge to verify the background of every service professional.
Each professional is interviewed in person by a category manager to check for behavioural traits. The professionals will have to also undergo an upfront “skill test” or “skill interview”, typically administered by the trainers themselves.
“These processes ensure that on an average, only 25-30 percent of the professionals who apply are selected. Coupled with a strong referral programme, this ensures a strong upfront gate, through which only the best professionals are onboarded,” says Abhiraj.
The Gurugram-based home service company said it has also partnered with Microsoft Azure to leverage its cognitive services to verify the identity of each professional before the start of the job, ensuring that jobs are not passed onto someone else.
Abhiraj tells that the company recently launched its safety centre and SOS helpline on both the customer and the partner app. This helpline is powered by a third-party company, trained to administer quick response and provide emergency help.
Sharing an example, Abhiraj tells that a professional had met with a road accident some time back, and a bystander called the SOS helpline using her UC app on the professional’s phone. “The SOS helpline was able to detect the precise location of the accident and ensure the ambulance was at the spot in five minutes,” he adds.
As part of post service delivery on Urban Company, both professionals and customers can rate each other. The minimum requirement for professionals to remain working on the platform varies between 4.2 to 4.5, depending upon the city and the category. The platform also blacklists customers from time-to-time, who do not adhere to its policies or have a low rating, tells Abhiraj. He adds that thecompany has also set up an in-house Trust & Safety (T&S) and Law Enforcement Response Team (LERT), which ensures that any safety-related escalations are properly managed, working in conjunction with the law enforcement authorities of the city.
Apart from the above, Urban Company is also building a robust supply chain of tools, products, and consumables used during the service delivery process, partnering with brands like L'Oréal, O3+, RICA, Man Company, Diversey, Bayer, Kärcher, etc.
Lending on the cards
Further, the company has partnered with many NBFCs to offer upfront kit loans as well as personal loans for its professionals. It has also applied for an NBFC licence. To ensure that professionals have a safety net, the company said it has launched a life and accident insurance cover for all its professionals in India, in partnership with ACKO General Insurance. It is also extending a health insurance cover to select professionals.
In August last year, the Gurugram-based home services startup had raised $75 million in a Series E funding round led by Tiger Global Management, the US-based investment major. Along with Tiger Global, the round also saw participation from existing investors, including Steadview Capital and Vy Capital. In its most recent and major development, the startup rebranded itself as Urban Company from UrbanClap (as it was known earlier), aspiring to be a horizontal gig marketplace with a global footprint. Its ambition is to be a leader across service categories like beauty and wellness and home repairs and maintenance, the home-service firm stated.
Summarising its efforts across training, safety and quality control, Abhiraj mentioned that from the outside, one only sees the tip of the iceberg, and might not fully appreciate the investments needed to run a platform like Urban Company. He further added that it is a misconception that ecommerce companies spend most of their investments to fund discounts.
For a platform like Urban Company, it claims that less than one percent of the capital raised till date has been used for giving out discounts. On the contrary, it adds, the vast majority of its capital, over 99 percent, has been used to build the backend infrastructure, which ensures consistency and quality on the platform.
Technology is redefining workplaces. A new generation asking for meaningful work and dynamic workplaces is entering the workforce. Real talent is scarce, therefore, demanding.
Welcome to 2020, where skilled employees are the architects of their own destiny. What does that mean for the hiring managers? It means reimagining their strategies, realigning their processes and exploring new platforms that are compatible with the new-age candidate’s habits, preferences, liking and disliking.
As in-demand candidates push employers to reinvent the wheel, employee experience enhancement is bound to become a buzzword that will have a deep resonance across sectors. To hire talent that can make a difference, employers will have to market themselves to the talent pool, look hard for mediums to reach this talent, nurture strategic relationships with lost candidates and woo them back carefully into the fold.
According to a study by AuthBridge on employee hiring trends to watch out in 2020, it is found that technology will be playing a crucial role in hiring, besides recruitment marketing and candidate relationship management that will gain importance. The other trends include social media and data analytics which will take centre stage, while emotional intelligence will become a hot skill and employee experience will be at the heart of hiring. Below are the top measures of employee experience enhancement that will dominate 2020.
The end-to-end automation of the recruitment process—from hiring to verification to on-boarding—will catch up with employers so that all actions associated with hiring are defined, allocated and completed in time to bring all stakeholders involved in the hiring process on the same page. Digital on-boarding will also help organizations in attracting and retaining Gen Z talent by offering seamless pre-boarding and on-boarding experiences that engage them in ways they comprehend and appreciate.
Recruitment Marketing Competition to lure talent is rising and this places candidates in a unique position in the equation where they choose the employer as much as the employer chooses them. In 2020, employer branding will gain focus in order to attract and nurture talented individuals who are the best fit for the organization. Data-based targeting and retargeting of specific talent and employer branding initiatives will gain importance to generate awareness, consideration and interest.
Candidate Relationship Management
Unlike before, a recruiter’s job will not end at discovering a desirable candidate but will focus on developing a relationship cycle for long term engagement. Human resource analytics tools rooted in artificial intelligence and machine learning will help recruiters in better workforce planning, skills gap analysis, assessment, retention and database management for future considerations. This, in turn, will positively impact quality of new hires as well cost and time spent during the hiring process. Automation of ex-employee verification process, a rising trend, will help organizations in saving time and resources as well as generate insights on attrition trends for better retention policies and practices.
Social Media Recruiting
Understanding employees beyond their curriculum vitae and work history will be crucial to build successful workplaces of the future. To this end, employers will come up with structured methods of making use of social media platforms. In addition to posting jobs, social media recruiting will extend to creating positive stories around the brand and gathering insights around emotional intelligence of employees, their passions and their motivations.
Rise of Remote Workplaces and the Gig Economy
The new-age model of remote workplaces and temporary or virtual workforce in gig economy will push employers towards ‘remote workforce management’ that is not bound to time and place constraints. This is especially true for the gig economy where a continuous supply of workforce is mandatory for the economy to hold together. This, in turn, will see huge reliance on technology to ensure quick, efficient and reliable automation of staff on-boarding.
Data Protection and Privacy
A rising concern worldwide, data protection and privacy norms will start impacting organizations’ hiring policies and mechanisms. With impending changes in regulations, be it GDPR or India’s own personal data and privacy bill, employers will have to assess and redefine hiring practices and processes to stay complaint.
Inclusiveness: Cultural Diversity
Cultural diversity will continue to be the key to creating a strong, value-focused brand as Gen Z will place a premium on culturally dynamic workplaces. In the age of surging involvement of technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning for resume shortlisting, candidate assessment and selection, employers will have to be cautious of technology (and algorithmic biases) defining the cultural fabric of their workplace.
When a technological advancement is written about, it is either done with an intent to evoke fear or rake reverence. It is rare to come across a restrained account that underscores a historically proven impact. And this holds true in the context of the HR experience at the beginning of a new decade, to be impacted by technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), as well as the emergence of the tech-inspired, Gen Z workforce. The challenge however is that while it is natural to get muddled amidst the chaos that precedes change, there is also a need to want in on the latest trends. For the HR function however, it is key to start from the basics, and bring in hiring and onboarding into mainstream boardroom discussions.
Getting the basics right
The initial experiences of a prospective employee with your organisation can leave a lasting impression as you send vital cues that can influence their enthusiasm about joining or not joining your organisation –the wait time at your office, the number of forms filled, the number of occasions they were called back to complete various processes, and who they interacted with. And when the tech-informed, hypervisual, digital natives of the future, plagued with short attention spans are factored in, it does not take long to realise that hiring and onboarding is awaiting a marvellous makeover.
To add to the recruiters’ woes, the Conference Board’s 2016 survey of global CEOs identified that attracting crème-da-la-crème that comprises only about 5% of the global workforce, but delivers 95% of the results, will remain as the main challenge in the coming days. An increase in the number of insider frauds across industries further highlights what we already know – the current methods of hiring are inefficient, prone to errors, and will not get us very far in our efforts at building a safe workplace and a productive workforce. A comparison of the employee background verification and onboarding technologies at disposal, and their actual adoption in organisationslarge or small reveals a deep chasm that is being deepened with fallacies such as :-
- Laborious and manual document co llection and data gathering
- Poor archiving of data
- Redundant form filling
- One fit all verification procedures for employees at all levels
While lack of resources to manage the verification and onboarding function may be a deterrent for small organisations, large organisations suffer owing to extensive deadlines and the need to process large volumes of applications and data in a limited time frame.
HR Technology in 2020
There is a lot that data solutions, enabled by technologies like AI, ML, and deep search can do for hiring and onboarding functions with respect to technology adoption. End to end automation of verification and digital on boarding can ensure that all key actions are well-defined, assigned, and completed in time for each new hire – providing clarity and consistency across the organisation. The awareness about and access to specific platforms, powered by the latest technologies and leading databases is important to that end. For the tech-savvy, these platforms allow for easy sign up across the web and mobile.
The ability to create customised workflows can aid creation of customised packages. Workflow automation enables activity triggered tasks such as form filling, document submission, sending reminders to candidates, automatic check initiation for verification, and complete visibility over the audit trail of cases through a single dashboard, bringing disparate departments on the same page. Insights on attrition, employee behaviour, and lost talent can serve two ends - simplify and amplify the user experience and contribute to a marked performance efficiency of teams involved in hiring and onboarding processes.
These tech platforms also improve the quality of employees hired, and aid the creation of a safe work environment. Their ability to access leading databases allows employers to authenticate identity, education, past employment history, address, and a lot more in just a few clicks, significantly reducing the time taken to perform this activity. The time thus saved can be the difference that motivates a good candidate to pick you over a competitor with a long onboarding and verification cycle. Real-time identity verification and image matching benefit companies, especially those in the sharing economy or ones that systematically manage gig and part-time workers. The Denver body of the Boy Scouts of America, the largest scouting organisation in the USA, for employing huge numbers of seasonal workers switched to automated onboarding, eliminating the need for workers to be physically present to furnish paperwork. And as a result, they saved 48+ hours in admin efforts in comparison to a paper-driven, manual process that took weeks.
Going a step further
A digital onboarding process makes it easier to keep the hiring manager involved through timely notifications about the actions needed on their part. For the candidate, this creates a seamless pre boarding and on boarding experience wherein they feel connected from the start. Remember, how you hire and onboard can be the best endorsement to a candidate about your company. It is the best opportunity to indicate to them that you care about them, their time, and experience.
Additionally, a digital onboarding process is crucial for the standardisation of hiring processes. A uniform candidate experience is relevant for large organisations, or those eyeing the global markets. In today’s time, some of the most successful organisations are those that take data gathered from their digital onboarding processes to create individualised off boarding strategies focused around wooing back ex-employees and attracting the talent they lost to competitors.
According to the Aberdeen Group, 54% organisations with a formal onboarding process report more productive new hires, and 50% experience greater retention of new workers. These numbers are insightful for organisations sitting on the fence about adopting digital onboarding and making it a part of their hiring process in 2020.
As hiring and retention strategies for a new workforce are put together, it will be valuable to evaluate existing technologies for maximising the impact of HR. The Gen Z is expected to push employers to not just be tech oriented, but to imbibe a tech DNA, which makes it urgent to identify need gaps in hiring and onboarding processes at an organisational level and fill them with care. While a greater spin might take time and consistent effort, it might look overwhelming from where you stand right now, since each day spent contemplating is bound to put you behind the competition. The key is to get started!
The good news for the gaming industry is that it shares most of its challenges- customer-related, regulatory and compliance- with BFSI-a sector where a similar disruption has already happened, and innovative, tech-led solutions around compliance to KYC, AML already been tested.
The online gaming industry in India has been seeing an upward curve for the past few years. What has sparked this growth is the shift in the revenue model, which earlier was dominated by in-app purchases and advertisement but is now moving towards real money games. A report by CXO capital positions the current size of the real money gaming market around Rs 2200 crore with an average rate of growth of users standing at 50 per cent.
As aspirational consumption in India doubles by 2025, along with massive multiplication in the number of people under the age of 45-the biggest consumer base of the gaming industry in India, the market has the potential of emerging as one of the largest in the world, a report by Deloitte states. The recent investments of Sequoia India, Times Internet, and GoVentures and few others in Mobile Premier League- only substantiate the claim.
The Upcoming Challenge
Riding on the support of the law, the real money games have been able to shed the shadow of gambling that surrounded them. This has empowered users to freely embrace these platforms for the possibility of drawing a huge sum from a pool on a small investment. While new to India, the experience of developed countries with gaming platforms has a lot to teach us. The possibility of winning/earning money invariably attracts fraudsters along with threats like money laundering. This is true for any fundamental shift in money transactions like in the case of BFSI when e-banking was first introduced. Data breaches, identity and location spoofing in the online gaming industry have been facilitated by the rise of the dark web that gives easy access to names and email addresses to trick users to fraudulent gaming sites. This has led the regulatory bodies around the world to tighten the noose on compliance and due diligence obligations surrounding KYC/ AML and fraud prevention.
In the Indian context, the varying state laws around skill-based gaming further complicate matters for operators. To give an example, skill-based games, including those played online, are legal in all Indian states except Assam, Orrisa and Telangana whereas in Nagaland these games can only be played online on websites licensed by the State of Nagaland. Chance-based games, on the other hand, are conditionally legal only in Goa, Sikkim and Daman. Age verification is mandatory for almost all types of skill-based games, whether they are played online or offline.
To comply with the stringent laws, the operators must add layers of safety at every stage – from onboarding to the transfer of amount won- to mitigate risks that threaten the player experience.
Consequently, with clunky and lengthy signup processes, exhaustive nature of documents demanded by operators or delay in verifying age, identity and address by operators; the player drop-out at onboarding has become extremely high. Most gamers playing online for entertainment have an account with multiple operators. They are short of patience with elaborate signup processes. In their head, they are constantly, albeit subconsciously, comparing onboarding, deposit and withdrawal procedures of not just immediate rivals in the industry but across industries, also expecting a safe playing environment always. Attracting new players to register/make real-money transactions within the confines of regulatory bodies and enabling those who complete registration to play faster is making the already hard job of operators even harder.
Winning both players and regulatory bodies needs a solid balancing act
Streamlined verification at onboarding presents itself as a potent solution to make the positive first impression on players while also carrying out the larger objective of providing a fraud-free environment. Technology-enabled identity and address verification emerge as one of the most efficient ways to tackle these challenges head-on as they can add speed, efficiency and reliability to every step of the player experience.
Background Verification Screening companies like AuthBridge have built on capabilities like optical character recognition to extract, auto-populate and validate player data from IDs instantly. Rooted in AI, ML and deep search algorithms, our Instant KYC solution for the gaming industry validates identity and age in real-time. Advanced Video KYC and geo-coordinate tracking APIs facilitate liveness detection and fight against location-spoof that plagues the gaming industry in the presence of widely different local laws in different states/countries. Quick bank account verification and PAN verification ensures that the money invested/won/transferred belongs to a genuine user of the playing age and doesn’t have a connection to a money-laundering group.
All roads lead to tech-powered, streamlined onboarding
More than 75 per cent of India’s population is under 45 years and an average Indian gamer falls under the age group of 20-44 years, a study by the World Bank reveals. This, coupled with the surge in smartphone ownership and data usage across India, makes online gaming a ripe segment for the generation of employment, taxes and revenue not just for itself but across industries, specifically IT and related services. The good news for the gaming industry is that it shares most of its challenges- customer-related, regulatory and compliance- with BFSI-a sector where a similar disruption has already happened, and innovative, tech-led solutions around compliance to KYC, AML already been tested. Efficient onboarding is already a norm in BFSI that keeps both customers and regulatory bodies happy. Following high standards of self-governance, transparency and integrity will go a long way in making an impact in the gaming industry as will keeping up with the technology-powered innovation in the space.