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Common Overlooks during Background Screening- What HR must ensure!

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Businesses saw a significant rise in fraud and risk incidents during the past year, especially in most gulf countries. According to a recent survey, 82% of executives surveyed worldwide experienced a fraud incident in the past year compared to 75% in the previous year. Background screening is an indispensable step for preventing such fraud within organizations and also ensuring secure workplaces today. The ripple effect of corporate fraud runs down the whole organizational structure with an overarching impact on company goals, hence background screening is important to ensure quality employees.

Below are some critical steps to mitigate corporate risks. Let’s have a quick glance.

  1. Appropriate compliance and screening functions, before any regulatory action is taken
  2. Clear whistleblowing channels and policies that not only raise awareness of background checks but encourage employees to report misconduct
  3. Periodic risk assessments at all levels

An employee background check is capable of uncovering irregularities and discrepancies, bringing out real information, as well as affirming a person’s personal and professional integrity. As a part of the talent acquisition strategy, employee screening ensures that not only the right kind of talent is selected and hired but also that an individual is checked for authenticity of documents and facts. Considering the pros, companies are giving higher importance to employee background check.

A good recruitment strategy should be capable of identifying the ‘fake’ education credentials to ensure the right skills have been chosen for the job profile at offer. All aspects of a job candidate’s background on the basis of the hierarchical level and job role should be rigorously checked. For an effective background screening, a powerful background screening policy should be set in place and organisation should focus on the best practices for greater efficiency.

Considering the above discussed, there are some must do’s for effective background screening:

  1. An organisation should define a comprehensive Background Screening Policy with checks for each function and level of hierarchy in the organisation. Also, that the polices are well communicated to all employees and prospective hires with uniformity.
  2. Organisation should take authorisation from the concerned candidate before conducting background checks.
  3. The HR department of the organisation must ensure that candidate has completed the Background Verification Form accurately and fills up all the required details. Also, they should ensure that all the facts represented in the form are provided in totality and are attached with documentary proofs.
  4. An organisation should strive to streamline their background screening policy. In order to do that they should finalise the severity grid for discrepancies, to clearly define what can lead to ‘termination’ or ‘offer-drop’.
  5. The recruitment team should communicate to all new hires about the importance of the verification procedure during the time of application, especially with reference to documentary evidence and various other requirements for identity, address, education and past employments with the timeframe permitted.
  6. It is important to check the accuracy and completeness of submitted information and documents before forwarding to the screening partner as it will save time of both the parties. The organisation must initiate background verification of new hires within the timeline so that the completed report is filed before candidate is on-boarded.
  7. All reports which have discrepancy and impact the employees should be shared with them for rebuttals. Data of all employees terminated due to background screening failure should be maintained for future reference.

 An organisation should follow the above pointers to ensure a robust background screening programme for effective hiring.

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