The Changing Face of Indian Innovation A Closer Look with Sandeep Singh

Technology holds all the Aces

Technology today is all pervasive. It is difficult to think of many moments in our day, professional or personal, when technology is not aiding us in accomplishing the things we want. Take cabs. Technology has made finding a cab to reach your destination amazingly simple. For years I have been travelling to various places in the country, especially Mumbai and Bangalore, and until even two years ago finding a taxi was a struggle. For timely attendance of back-to-back business meetings the only option was to hire private taxis.

Not today. All I have to do is pick up my smartphone and book myself a cab in a matter of minutes. It’s easy, convenient and cost effective and it’s technology at work. Or take e-commerce. I confess I used to be a sceptic when it came to making purchases online. No longer. Flipkart, Amazon and

Why-Background-Verification-is-First-Step-to-Building-Trust

TRUST – It All Begins with Background Verification

In the highly digitized sharing economy of today, it is safe to say that one of the most important element is trust. Without trust, a lot of businesses that cater to our needs on a daily basis would be useless. People we don’t know drive us to our destinations, and we sleep in houses of people we have never met before. This speaks volumes about how the modern economy is greatly dependant on Trust On Demand. The HR industry too has evolved and employee background verification processes have never been made simpler and faster. Before digitization, this was a long process of collecting all pertinent records of the potential employee and going through them manually to make sure there were no discrepancies. Not surprisingly, building trust took a long time and required extensive work. However, with new technologies and innovations, pre-employment checks can now be conducted with just a few clicks. This allows you, as an employer, to make sure that the person you are offering a position to in your company is someone reliable and trustworthy.

 

Employee screening made easy with new HR technology

There is no doubt that digital technology is the driving force of trust and transparency today in every industry. For example, companies can track their supply chain using RFID technology and remote sensors to not only ensure safety but quality too. Moreover, social media sites give more power to consumers by providing them with a global platform to review poor customer services and the likes. In the same way, Talent Acquisition for organisations is faster, simpler and more reliable due to innovations in digital technology. Hiring a new employee may have been a lengthy, even risky process before. But today, building trust with potential employees does not have to be implicit anymore. Besides, other technologies like advanced and user-friendly APIs, other tech-enabled platforms and sophisticated algorithms make it possible to verify information and establish trust with a potential employee. Not only can you verify their identity, you can also make sure that the information they present to you is indeed true by running a profile and reputation check

 

Why background verification for employees is the first step for building trust

As much as we would like to believe that every human being is a fair and honest individual, that is not always the case. In fact, 1 in every 6 candidates were found to lie on their resume in 2017- 48% increase from the previous year (Ref: AuthBridge’s Annual Trend Report 2017) This clearly shows that the number of people lying about their background and other information is on the rise. But luckily, the number of ways to verify such information is also increasing. As a result, you, as an employer, has more power over who becomes a part of your organisation. You have the ability to make sure that you are hiring someone who is exactly who he or she says they are, and that they won’t be a threat to the company or to other employees. Before a job offer, you can first build trust with them through fact-driven processes. It is this new technology of Trust-On-Demand that is changing the way employers and potential employees interact across various industries.

Mandatory appointment letters_ ‘Building the base’ for employment verification

Mandatory appointment letters: ‘Building the base’ for employment verification

“Appointment letters become a starting point for industrial disputes in many cases”. In extreme cases, the companies’ even try to deny that the worker was appointed by them said a senior labour ministry official.’’ According to The Hindu,’ appointment letters will be made mandatory soon for companies with more than 10 workers’. Companies in the manufacturing, construction, plantation, mining and a few more sectors will have to issue a letter of appointment at the time of hiring. It shall be a good way to build relationship and commitment beyond verbal job assurances. The unorganized sector shall be greatly benefited from this much needed step.

As it is, employment verification is a pre-requisite to exhaustive background verification. To start with, previous employments can be checked with last authorized appointment letters, to confirm last held positions. Granting appointment letters at all levels will not only remain as an evidence of employment but also ease out verification of past employment credentials. The letters will help bridge gaps between the employer and the employee, clearly stating the entitlements.

Centre of Indian Trade Unions President A.K. Padmanabhan said only a handful of labour laws such as the Sales Promotion Employees (Conditions of Service) Act, 1976 specifically talk about the need to issue an appointment letters. The letter includes critical data like designation, tenure, benefits etc. “Appointment letter is the only authoritative proof that a person is employed and all the statutory benefits including Employees’ State Insurance, provident fund are passed on to her or him,” Mr. Padmanabhan said. There have been instances where employees are removed, amidst on-going contacts leaving no evidence of employment.

Any kind of employment or work engagement including contingent and temporary contracts require to be well-documented to be presented, when needed during verification processes. To avoid any administrative and compliance hassles, employers avoid handing out formal letters. But then the letter can pave way for the next best job for the candidate.

Importance and Value of Pre-Employment Background Checks

Importance and Value of Pre-Employment Background Checks

Time and again, we hear about how small little steps can contribute towards a big success. Substantial knowledge about a candidate’s background can help in their further pursuance. But evidently enough, employers either do not have the awareness or owing to negligence, fail to pin down robust screening practices. As an employer, the responsibility lies with him to check and verify the background of their prospective hires and save consequences of hiring mistakes.

The number of jobs available to the number of candidates is small anyway, clearly meaning candidates will turn to anything to have a job in hand. This is why pre-employment background checks are critical in a volatile hiring scenario, keeping in view the fairness and honesty required to perform in a job. Think it over on how much time effort and money goes into hiring a person! This decision cannot be ordinarily taken, without the right screening mechanism in place.

An employer inevitably needs to ask oneself the following set of questions: · Is the candidate the right fit for the organization? · Does he have a criminal background or any past convictions? What are his qualifications and credentials? It is always difficult to gauge whether a person will have the motive to commit a crime in the future, but a person’s past can unveil different layers of his character.

Pre-employment background check is more or less, an honesty check on the candidate to find out if the resume has been fudged. There should not be any scope for suspicion, confusion or wrong treatment later on. Background screening helps to take legally responsible and fairly straightforward decisions as a good practice, at the time of hiring.

Let us have a quick glance at the a few reasons that make background screening, a mandate for companies: 1. Protect the company and promote safe working environment- A bad candidate could be harmful to the organizational safety and security. In addition, it could also spoil co-workers. 2. Enhance the organizational repute- An organization with good quality candidates has a better market reputation over others. 3. Protect the candidate- Background screening works in the favour of the candidate itself. It will test and ensure genuineness of their degrees and other credentials too. 4. Fail to hit/ bypass good candidates- With thorough background screening, the wrong candidates are filtered out and the right ones are kept.

As known already, the ripple effect of corporate fraud runs down the whole organizational structure with an overarching impact on company goals. Hence, remember one bad apple rots the whole bunch. Stay alert and protected with robust background screening processes.

 

Hiring the ‘Right Fit’ you Trust! What does ‘Fit’ mean_

Hiring the ‘Right Fit’ you Trust! What does ‘Fit’ mean?

Corporates operate on a ‘Trust’ equation with their employees. From access, responsibilities, powers to privileges, employees and leaders across corporates are empowered to achieve business objectives. HR plays an instrumental role in the process. This starts right from hiring till the time an employee serves the organization. It is imperative for corporates to ensure that the hire is the right fit. The right fit is assessed through systematic evaluations including interviews, employee background verification, psychometric tests and multiple other tools.

But what’s the intent? What does the right ‘fit’ mean? The right fit essentially means ensuring you hire individual with the right Identity, right Profile and right Reputation in line with the position and roles & responsibilities.

  • RIGHT ‘IDENTITY’

Identity thefts and fraud cases are on the rise! Cases of Insider thefts, tailgating and multiple instances of fake identities at workplace make organizations vulnerable! In one such case, a girl joined an organization in place of her twin sister and served her responsibilities without the employer’s knowledge for 2 long months- disguised as her sister! It is important to ascertain an individual’s identity before hiring him/her. A basic Aadhaar-enabled identity verification can validate an individual in real-time using biometrics/OTP (Read about Aadhaar based eKYC and verifications here). Multiple government issued ID cards can be used for instant identity checks. Identity checks ensure that the person you are interacting with is the same as who he/she claims to be!

  • RIGHT ‘PROFILE’

Ensuring that the individual you hire has the right skills is the most important aspect in the hiring process. This includes assessing the candidate’s pedigree/education, experience with past employers, accessibility and skills gained through trainings. It is hence important to conduct background verification including employment verification, education verification and address verification. With employment verification, one can verify if the candidate has worked with the stated employers, the role the candidate has served, the tenure of services and the reference from the reporting manager. (Read how employment checks can help you here) There have been multiple instances where candidates pursue distance learning courses and state that they have pursued full time education for a different course from the same institute.

 Education verification can quickly validate if the candidate has provided the right degree; if the candidate studied in the same college, passed the course successfully and attended the course stated. Similarly, address verification of a candidate ensures that the person is accessible in terms of emergency.

  • RIGHT ‘REPUTATION’

The most important aspect during hiring is to assess a person for his/her values and their character.  Alignment to organization values is a must! Conducting reference checks helps in ensuring that the candidate has the right skills and right approach to work. It is also important to create a safe working environment at workplace.

Police working to ensure safety of Tirupati pilgrims

Police working to ensure safety of Tirupati pilgrims

Urban police recently initiated a process aimed at verification of the occupants of hotels, lodges and rented flats and houses in Tirupati. The decision was inspired by the 2015 bomb blast at Tirupati bus stand. During the investigation, it was found that the bombs were made in India. Ever since a dire need was felt to beef up security measures. The process of verification comes as a follow-up action for ensuring complete security in Tirupati and Tirumala.

A disciplined approach to verification of individuals is much called for. Checking identity and background for the genuineness of occupants staying in the pilgrim city is a necessity. A blindfolded approach could be risky to the extent of being fatal for the people hopping into the city in numbers for darshan. Thorough background verification can help uncover past problems that may signal future set of actions, thereby, preventing a future catastrophe.

Obviously, just one check alone is not enough to make the right judgment. There is a need to screen an individual for identity, criminal activities including pending criminal cases, arrests, charges etc. Criminal check including police verification combined with an exhaustive background check can ensure safety.

3 Benefits of Self-Verification

3 Benefits of Self-Verification

Background screening is the conventional way of validating educational information furnished by a candidate. There have been cases where an employee has lost a job opportunity because of an inaccurate employee background check even when his background antecedents are, in reality, correct. This is mainly attributed to the fact that the previous organization, or the educational institution gives out misleading or incorrect information which makes the verification go awry. With self-education verification, one can make sure that all the educational details about the person are recorded correctly by the source.

 

What is “Self-Education Verification” or “Self Verification”?

The process of getting one’s own educational documents verified through a third party background verification agency is known as ‘self-education verification’ or self verification. Getting one’s own education documents verified speaks for all the efforts a person puts into attaining those degrees and diplomas. There are couple of benefits of getting self-education verified which each one of us should consider.

1) Command over Career Data- Human errors can occur anywhere, including records. Anybody can make a mistake in recording your particulars in their records, be it your previous employer or one of the educational institutions you studied in. Since it has now become an industry norm to get employee background check done on the new-hires, it is always better to be proactive about it. With a verification conducted on yourself, you will become aware of what information will go in the background verification report when your employer decides to screen you.

2) Display of positive personality traits- Going to an interview equipped with a self-education verification report can be looked at quite impressively by the interviewers. Your readiness to share your details with the ones hiring you shows them that you are providing them with true information. Also, the verification of facts being provided by you is taken on face value.

3) Stand out among other candidates- Getting self-education verification done provides a candidate with a specialised report. A self-verified candidate always has an edge over the other job applicants who are not self-verified. It would be appreciated by the company if the person saves the company’s cost to an extent by sharing his verification report with the employer. After all, a proactive and honest approach is always welcomed by any employer.

Thus, taking the prudent step of self-education verification a candidate can be reassured about the future of his or her career.

Hire in haste, repent at leisure

Hire in haste, repent at leisure

The arrest of an impersonator who used stolen documents to land jobs in well-known companies just exposes how lightly we take Employee verification. What makes this point even more glaring in this case is that the imposter was known in his neighbourhood by his real identity but his organizations had no clue that he was parading as a different person. If only the organizations had undertaken thorough background verification they wouldn’t have been caught napping, thus exposing themselves to a great risk. A fraudster in an organization is like a bomb ticking to go off. An unscrupulous employee can resort to forgery, financial impropriety, steal data and/or commit other criminal activities.

When large projects come knocking, human resource business partners typically tend to hire in haste to fill job vacancies with competency matching candidates, without rigorous scrutiny of their documents. This is especially true for the Information Technology sector where data shows that a large pool of job aspirants fake their qualification documents. Again, for lower functional positions, companies often dispense with background checks, leading to numerous accounts of junior level employees decamping with company funds, billing for material without delivering, reporting false sales data, passing information to competition etc.

While filling vacancies in time and competency expertise in candidates is much desirable, you cannot afford to shut your eyes to integrity issues. It is time for companies to understand that no expense is greater than the cost of fraud and loss of face. By proper verification, you can save precious reputation and manage operational risk.

Challenges in global background verification

Challenges in global background verification

When is Global Screening required?

When hiring an applicant with international education or multi-country employment experience. When hiring a workforce for offices in other countries. When is Global Screening required?

 

Global screening differs from domestic screening in many ways:

Deeper knowledge of global laws and regulations related to global background checks and data security is much needed. Country or region-wise restrictions in procuring information on criminal and credit records by outside country third parties. Data privacy or data transfer laws with increased cost and turnaround times. Many questions come to mind when talking about global verification:

Do you hire candidates with overseas education/ experience?

Do you hire expats?

Do you have International offices/branches?

Is background verification of overseas candidates a challenge?

Do you need an automated platform for global background verification?

Which global checks would your organization opt for?

 

Why is Global Screening important?

Global screening is turning too relevant owing to the increased hiring from across geographies.The intention is to avoid rising incidents of employment and education fraud, worldwide, protecting global brand reputation, keeping in mind aspects of compliance, candidate competency, physical, legal and financial risk.

 

What are the major challenges of Global Screening, today?

  1. Right vendor selection
  2. Authenticity of verification responses
  3. Uncertainty of risk mitigation
  4. Non-compliance with global laws
  5. High costs
  6. Slow processing

For many businesses, compliance with a myriad of federal, state, and local laws is a challenging task, which is why global background verification needs to be carefully done. Consent of the candidate is equally required in countries as an obligation and is legally enforceable too. Nowadays, it is very well accepted as a best practice everywhere.

Ensure Right Education Verification with background and degree check

Ensure Right Education Verification with background and degree check

In a market where finding a job is a tough thing, people are resorting to unfair means like ‘misrepresentation of facts’ in order to appear more attractive to the recruiters. While some of these actions are fairly obvious to the recruiters, not all falsifications will be easy to find out until the background check takes place. Background check is the valuable tool for selecting right candidate and if it is used consistently and effectively, this simple step can eliminate many future hazards for the company.

Fudging education details is a common attempt among candidates in order to bag a lucrative job. There are cases when candidates hide gap in their education or at times they claim to own degrees from a fake university. A candidate’s educational qualification holds importance because it highlights the credibility and ‘fitment’ of a candidate to a particular role. If a candidate forges his educational certificates it reflects the lack of knowledge possessed. In the background screening process, education verification is one of the most important checks as employers judge the potential of employees on the basis of education and learning.

Background check, a concept becoming increasingly acceptable by companies worldwide, is the best practice to combat falsifications pertaining to education. Employers give utmost importance to the legitimacy of the candidate’s credentials earned throughout their studies.

They keep a close eye on every incumbent by running detailed education background checks as they understand the fact that educational background speaks a lot about the candidate’s credentials and motivation. An organization should always opt for employee’s educational background screening prior to and post-hiring as it helps mitigate the risk of a wrong hire to the maximum extent. Companies conduct educational verification by contacting the educational institution of the candidate who issued the degree or certificate.

There are some educational institutions that outsource the task of responding to verification requests to third-party data repositories which makes the process of education verification more efficient. In such cases, companies seeking educational information of their prospective employees can directly contact these repositories. Once the companies authenticate information about the candidate, they can take an informed hiring decision.

Background verification companies are there to help organizations win the struggle and differentiate between fake and authentic educational details.

It will save the organizations from incurring the cost in hiring a candidate presenting fudged education certificates. Thus, an organization can keep the risk arising out of a wrong hire at bay through educational background checks on their prospective employees.

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