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Employee Screening - Reasons for Background Check Failure

Nov 28, 2019

Nearly seven out of ten businesses have been affected by bad hires, according to a CareerBuilder report. Identity thefts claimed more than fifteen million victims in the past two years. Injuries at the workplace, theft, data and security breach are just some of the concerns that prompt companies across the world to take up employee screening or employee background verification.

Why is employee screening critical?

In the U.S., one out of five employees face a threatening or hostile environment at the workplace, and on an average, close to sixty billion dollars are spent annually on serious injuries at the workplace.

Employee screening is conducted by 96 percent of the U.S. organisations while 89 percent of companies conduct employee verification to make the workplace safer for customers and other employees.

There has been a 500 percent increase in Employee background verification on the social media in the past decade.

Employee background verification helps employers make the right hiring decisions which can go a long way towards mitigating workplace thefts, violence resulting in injuries, data or material theft and sexual harassment incidents.

Competitive employment market compounding the problem

In India, initiatives such as Digital India and Make in India are raising the demand for a talented workforce but the competitive market is also giving rise to resume frauds. The emergence of new technologies and low investment from the private sector has compounded the problem. In the Railways sector, two crore people sent applications for one lakh posted job vacancies in 2018 while at least fourteen thousand applied for a peon’s post in Haryana. Given the stiff competition, many candidates resort to glorifying their resumes to increase their chances of being hired. Many candidates inflate their salary slips in the hopes of bagging a lucrative offer, while others claim false designations to jump up the corporate ladder.

The recent spate of frauds in some reputed financial institutions and the safety concerns in shared economy models have highlighted the need for employment verification and a thorough background check. Organisations are increasingly investing in background screening to protect the corporate reputation and to ensure financial security.

Main reasons why background checks fail or have discrepancies

According to the report released by AuthBridge, India’s leading employee background verification company, the overall background verification failer or discrepancy levels significantly increased to 15.21% in 2017 from 10.29% in FY 2015. The report highlights that in 2017, 15 out of 100 cases had an element of mismatch between the information supplied on the resume versus what was verified. The resume discrepancy levels have considerably risen to the tune of 48% as compared to 2016. Among all categories of personal information, employment-related information was the most misrepresented at 12 percent in 2017. This is followed by a misrepresentation of address which stands at 6.67 percent, while reference check frauds were at 3.35%. Many people produced fake addresses that could not be traced while others listed an address where they were not residing.

Employee background verification and reference checks conducted by AuthBridge revealed that most people lied about their previous employment tenure and provided referees who did not respond. As compared to 2015 where 2.25 percent of referees did not respond, in 2017, the figure increased to 2.99%. The other major discrepancies in reference checks relate to incorrect tenure mentioned and non-availability of documents. Forged or fake education documents were also common as revealed during the employment checks or education checks. Significantly, the financial services industry encountered maximum levels of discrepancy and this is the industry that is most prone to data and material thefts as has been witnessed in the recent times.

Also Read:Top 5 Checks to Consider for Conducting Background Verification

Due diligence with employee background verification can weed out potential wrong hires while helping companies make evidence-based information when it comes to promotions or partnerships.