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With the expansion of new growth sectors, companies seem to be on a hiring spree. The idea essentially is to boost growth and employment in the country. Increased hiring introduces increased responsibility to keep stringent background screening processes in place.

Unfortunately, the HR department of most companies do not have the time or expertise to conduct detailed background screening and hence, processes remain ineffective.

An expanded employment base adds greater risk to the hiring processes. A surge in the new sectors create more security threats than before, owing to their varying nature of business. In the UAE, as the financial sector grows, companies are moving towards mandatory background checks on job applicants with greater emphasis on compliance, with the increasing list of regulations.

Organisations need to be careful about customer safety and trust, especially at the start. To ensure this, comprehensive background screening cannot be bypassed, along with identity verification. Because if identity is not checked well in time, there is a good chance of the background check not being done on the right person. According to the US Department of Labour, a bad hire can cost employers 30 per cent of the employee’s potential first year earnings.

This would put the cost of a bad hire of an employee who makes, say, Dh 10,000 a month at Dh 36,000, which is huge. ‘’Hiring new employees without having a complete picture is an uncalculated risk that is now becoming even costlier after the recent change in the UAE for businesses to provide mandatory medical insurance to employees”, said Annalinde Nickisch, an HR consultant at The Thought Factor in Dubai. She added that many companies have few HR personnel handling everything from payroll to recruitment, meaning reference checks are often not thorough enough and are undocumented. In such a scenario, outsourcing background screening to experts would be a prudent decision. There is a pressing need to scale up processes to meet demands for instant checks.

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