Is remote work adding a whole new dimension to background checks?


The verification process is now factoring in a set of additional variables
Sunil (name changed), an engineering director at an IT/ITeS company, found Mohan (name changed), who is on a remote work arrangement, suddenly slipping to the fringes, not showing up “online” as often as he should. When confronted, Mohan blamed it on power cuts, family emergencies and system crashes.

Sunil was wondering if Mohan was moonlighting. As it turned out, Mohan was not, and he got a clean chit from an agency roped in to carry out the check. A similar check run on another senior-level employee did not end on a similarly pleasant note.

Ajay Trehan, CEO and founder, AuthBridge Research Services, who has shared this anecdote, elaborates: The client had sought “a continuous compliance check solution” for employees, particularly those on remote work.

“We did uncover dual employment in one of the cases through a PF check, and this employee was holding a senior job title,” notes Ajay.

Remote work in its various forms is causing organisations to assesses candidates and employees, with a fine-toothed comb.

Though a situation predating the newly-sprung remote-work culture, job-hopping with ridiculously short tenures is reportedly increasing in intensity in some sectors on account of it.

Short tenures

Vidur Gupta, director, Spectrum Talent Management, points out that many candidates take up remote jobs in quick succession.

While this would automatically raise questions around commitment and competence, there is an additional issue to be tackled if the candidate’s CV is silent about most of these stints.

Long innings

The opposite is also true of remote and hybrid work models: When a successful candidate finds a company ticking the boxes for culture and growth in their book, they are likely to stick to it longer than they otherwise would.

Vidur says that with many companies moving to a hybrid model of working, where employees may have to report only once a week, the drop-out percentage has reduced to some extent. So, background verification companies have to factor in a wide range of data, one that focusses not just on the candidate but also on the companies that they have worked in.


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