Month: January 2017

The Unverified house helps

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India, a place where, if not every but majority of houses have one thing in common – House helps. House helps are not only the ones who do the monotonous house work, but in a way, they also help Indian women to get back to the work, even when they have little ones back home.

There are many families which prefer live-in house-helps. Others prefer to have part time helps.
Considering the case of live-in house-helps, there have been a lot of unpleasant incidents. In some cases the live-in house help stole money and disappeared in thin air. In other cases it was worse, they tried to kidnap the child for money. Not to forgot the worst, few well-planned murders.

People have become aware of the various nuisances which are created due to lack of background verification of live-in maids. So, people who want to keep live-in house helps are becoming smarter and getting a background check done. But one sector which still lacks awakening for the need of background verification and that area is of part-time house helps.

I can recollect a recent incident, when my friend lost her two rings worth Rs 2 lakhs and 65 thousand. She came back from a party pretty late and kept her rings on the side table. Next morning she completely forgot about the rings. The maid came, cleaned EVERYTHING and went. About lunch time, she remembered her rings and thought of keeping it at a safe place. To her surprise, both her rings were not there.

30janShe immediately called the house help and enquired about the rings. The help said she had not seen any rings over there in the morning when she came. My friend went ahead and immediately filed a police compliant. The police did their investigation and some background checks of the house help.

That house help had a very scary background. There were two other FIRs lodged against her in other police station.
After just half an hour interrogation, the house help confessed her crime and the rings were recovered.

That house help was working at my friend’s place for more than a year. She was also working in nearby houses for even longer period. None of the families had even an iota of doubt about her background. They were all very happy with her work. The fact was different. That maid could have easily vanished and it would have been difficult for my friend to find her. But she was quick in contacting the right help and the police also hit the iron while it was still hot. The maid didn’t get time to escape.

For the part-time house helps, we generally think, it’s just a matter of few hours and somebody would be home when they come. But it could lead to danger. And it is about time to change our mind set and take background verification more seriously. Every maid should be verified for our own and our family’s safety. What do you say?

Domestic helper’s verification – a must for safer homes

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Image2Every day when I skim through the news, it’s so disheartening to see articles of crimes ranging from burglaries, robberies, murders, rapes and abductions. It seems our city, our state, our country, the world is no longer a safe place. Every year countless innocents are harmed/killed due to the above mentioned crimes. It’s heart wrenching to read of the ghastly and dastardly side of us humans. It seems to me the moral fibre of our country has deteriorated. As a society, we have gone to the dogs! In such a scenario what can we do to make a change? Various measures are being taken at macro and micro levels to nip crime from the bud. However this change will be sluggish!

If we analyse the data we will be shocked to know that the burglaries, robberies, murders, rapes and abductions we read of, have the hand of people in close proximity to us. A sizeable chunk of these cases occur either because of our domestic helpers or due to their connivance.

Now we come to the questions that who all come under the umbrella of domestic helpers? Are they just our domestics helps i.e. aya? No, when we speak of domestic helpers here we are talking about – domestic helps (aya), maidservants, manservants, nannies, housekeepers, cooks, drivers, gardeners, guards, medical attendants, etc.

While various steps are being undertaken to curb the crime rate, we have to be proactive and safeguard ourselves as well. The first and foremost step towards that is, verifying the people who work in close proximity with us in our homes.

In this day and age we hire helps to lessen our burden but practically it can be doing more harm than help if they are not verified. We so easily let unknown people into our homes, lives and around our families as nannies, maids, servants and watchmen. Do we know of their backgrounds? We hire helps through trusted references or somebody who has been employed in many households in the neighbourhood. A bad hire at work costs companies few thousands however a bad hire at home can cost us much more.

In most of the unfortunate cases, the loss and tragedy can be traced back to the ignorance of the homeowners who recruit these unscrupulous so-called domestic helpers. Failure to take due caution while going through the hiring process can be lethal. We hire helps based on verbal references and pay sometimes in the form of loss of valuables, abused children, broken bones, trauma, rape and even death.

As a homeowner or a tenant, you already have a number of things to worry about regarding the upkeep of your home. Having a major issue like a theft because of an employee with an unverified background can be an unnecessary headache that can easily be avoided by doing background verification on any potential or existing domestic help to make sure that they are, in fact, who they claim to be. Here are a few kinds of background checks that a homeowner can avail of:

Domestic help verification – Home staff, popularly called domestic helpers, work in close proximity to the family, and are therefore the employees who need to undergo the most comprehensive background verification. JantaKhoj provides a background verification option tailored specifically for domestic helpers, like maidservants and manservant’s, nannies, gardeners, or security guards, which includes an address check, criminal verification and reference verification (by checking with the person’s previous employers).

Driver verification – Surprisingly, your driver can be a big threat to your family’s security, for the simple reason that he (or she) is in charge of your means of transport. Recently, there have been reports of incidents where drivers – even those enlisted by security agencies – gave their employers the slip and escaped with a large sum of money. The driver verification process is therefore focused on minimising these risks and includes driving license verification in addition to the basics (address verification, criminal record check and reference check).

Tenant Verification – In today’s world, one’s word or a handshake has no value, as tenants renege on their promises without a care. If you are thinking of renting your home to a tenant, make use of this service provided by JantaKhoj that is targeted specifically at tenants seeking possession. Things factored into the tenant background verification are a permanent address verification (including the family’s reputation in that area) and the basic criminal record and reference verification.

Customised Verification – For the homeowners seeking a middle path, there is an option where you can put together your own made-to-order background verification package from the options of address verification, criminal record check, previous employment verification and a reference check. This is particularly useful if you want to go above and beyond the other packages and do a thorough check.

Although the government and state agencies try their best to ensure the safety of citizens, these perpetrators still manage to strike. You are also responsible to play an active role in ensuring the safety of your family and home. With crime rates on the rise in recent years, it has become imperative to check up on employees in your home both when you recruit them and periodically while they are working under you for maximum security and minimum worry.

We are always there at your service – JantaKhoj InfoServices: Your candidate. Our verification!

Borderless Background Verification

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‘Responsible screening is same for the shop room floor as for the executive suite’

We have seen the great technological revolution and advent of the information age. We are still evolving! Talking about background verification in the information age, the entire process of background verification has become easier and faster. Looking back at the analogue era, the background verification was a lengthy task. Fax or post used to reach the previous employer and the response also took the same mode in weeks or months. It was quite time-consuming.

In this information era, everything is digitalized. Getting background information for a particular person is rather easier and faster. Be it educational information, previous job verification or criminal check, within a few days, data can be retrieved.

The next challenge for background verification is having a seamless-system, where the borders do not matter. Globalization has made the world a smaller place. Companies are functioning across the border and people are moving out from their land to a foreign land or sometimes coming back to their land, for good. Monster India had even launched a platform back in 2010, for expatriates seeking jobs in India. According to their internal survey, Monster India found that its NRI job seeker traffic had suddenly risen by 65% in 2010 and that it had received around 250,000 such resumes in areas ranging from information technology, banking and finance, construction and oil and gas sectors, during this period.

worldLet’s say a person, either an NRI or a resident of a foreign land, moves to India and takes up a job in an Indian company; doing background verification for that person is time-consuming. First of all, different countries have different norms of background verification. Let’s see the norms of different countries:

Canada: You need to have consent of the applicant to conduct background verification

Germany: For Germans, you should avoid the term – background check, because it’s culturally not appreciated. You should call it – ‘information verification’ and they should be informed that the information they gave will be verified.

Mexico: Consent from the applicant is a must. Also, the criminal records are maintained at state level, so having a correct postal address of the applicant is important.

Likewise, different cultures have different processes. Having said that, having a seamless-society where the background verification becomes easier and faster is the hope for the New Year. So let’s bring in 2017, with new hopes for a better and border less background verification process.

Looking behind the curtain: Background checks

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Blog ImageFaced with escalating instances of forged data from job applicants, organisations are hiring professional background verifiers to salvage the situation. The awareness about the significance of verification has increased among organisations.

Most employers conduct background checks on job applicants as part of the hiring process. A background check can uncover important information such as criminal records, any lacuna in education records put forth, discrepancy in employment details submitted, it also helps us ascertain an applicant’s cultural fit via social media scans.

Today background verification is not limited to sectors like IT, ITES/BPO, BFSI, and it has shown rapid growth in e-commerce, hospitality, healthcare, travel, educational institutes, automobile sector, manufacturing sector, security and staffing.

We would like to put some background verification growth rate data forth : ITES/BPO have topped the graph at 29%, followed by IT at 12% being the second highest, followed by BFSI, Security, Staffing at 11%, e-commerce at 9%, automobile, engineering and manufacturing at 7%, healthcare at 3%, education institutes and travel sector at 1%.

Here are some more details to further my case:-

• There are approximately around 7500 companies operating just to provide counterfeit education certificates, so it is not very hard to get a forged certificate/degree.
• No platform for companies where information of fraudulent candidates can be found.
• Many candidate’s cover their gaps by extending their employment duration.
• Some also falsify lofty titles to leverage higher pay.

Let’s take a look at the most harrowing problem plaguing human resources managers at work – The common discrepancies found in resumes. Some of the common discrepancies we find are:-

Dates of employment – Candidates think they’re smart and try and cover up/omit potentially negative employment situations like gaps between jobs, short-term employment or gaps after graduation.

Education – As stated above there are agencies specialising in providing counterfeit degrees and certificates. So next time you see a fancy college name stated in a resume and the candidates profile doesn’t reflect the pedigree, the alarm bells should ring in your head, it could be a fake degree. The candidate may have never attended the college or maybe did attend college, however never completed the mentioned course.

Experience, accomplishments and job titles – People often inflate previous experience, undertakings and job titles when they apply for jobs where they aren’t qualified or feel they will face hard-hitting competition.

Remuneration – Candidates pump up their stated salaries in an effort to increase their starting offers. Unfortunately, upon verification, the employers discover the exaggeration, if any.

Criminal history – Some people lie through omission of facts regarding their criminal history and background. This is a very sensitive aspect of unearthing candidates past.

In the age of an intensely competitive job market, you can no longer literally rely on visual checks of your candidate’s qualification certificates or do email reference checks on your own. Many surveys have revealed that educational qualification and work experience are one of the credentials most commonly manipulated by job applicants.

As for potential candidates reading this, who feel a little exaggeration or a little lie won’t hurt anyone! Watch out – fudging the facts can backfire! A little fibbing on your resume might not seem like a big deal when you’re applying for a low-ranking position, but you never know where your professional career will end up. A perfect example of the same is Yahoo’s ex CEO, Scott Thompson; he was under heavy fire for apparently stating in his resume to the board that he had a computer science degree from Stonehill College when he actually had an accounting degree.

An ounce of prevention is worth much more than a pound of cure! So all the managers out there, outrun these fibbers, liars and fraudsters by getting a verification done on each and every candidate you hire without fail. Minimise the adverse effects of fibbing candidates by undertaking proper candidate due diligence.

Employee Background Verification – Discrepancy Statistics for December 2016

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Here are the high level monthly discrepancy statistics for December 2016.
We observed that 1.22% of the overall number of cases had discrepancies (could be major or minor).

Dec16-Case

Next, let us look at the breakup of the discrepancies to identify further which types of components (checks) were the source of these discrepancies. These discrepancies were in education and employment checks, with employment discrepancies being the most significant and accounting for 75% of all discrepancies.

Dec16-Component

Adieu 2016! The BGV vow for 2017!

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ImageSeason’s Greetings readers!

The year 2016 has been quite eventful with the launch of the budget, rebate in income tax for resident individuals, changes in Provident Fund, turmoil in Kashmir, insurgency strikes on our army camps in the valley, Prime Minister Modi’s demonetisation wave, etc. The beauty is, we sailed through it all!

What is a new year all about? For me, it’s about new beginnings, a clean new slate, a brand new chapter of life. Which is why, we all make personal resolutions for a new year. Although we struggle to cope with the string of new resolutions and for most of us they usually fizzle out before they even begin. I too make a string of resolutions for myself, which do not even see through the month of January. Nevertheless, we should not discontinue this age-old tradition of making ‘Resolutions’.

As we bid farewell to the year 2016 and bring in 2017, let’s make a workplace resolution for ourselves – Let us take the BGV vow! (BGV – Background Verification)

The background screening process involves carrying out checks at different levels in the organisation like employee education check, previous employment check, address check, criminal record checks to reference checks, identity checks, drug testing, etc. The employee screening industry has been growing at a rate of 25% to 30% ever since 2007. Has your company been a part of this growth?

As per a recent background check trends report:

• Overall 10% of cases were closed as ‘Discrepancies’.
• Discrepancies in employment verification has been the highest at 43%
• Verification of education, address and employment checks are way higher in South India, followed by North India, West India and East India.
• Criminal Checks are high in North India, followed by South India, West India and East India
• In employment verification – exit formalities not being completed/staff absconding/disciplinary issues have topped the graph at 38% followed by fake documents submitted and mismatch in employment details.
• Under education check discrepancies – fake documents submitted have topped the graph with 55% followed by degrees from fake universities and degrees from unapproved institutes.

Today background verification is not restricted to sectors like IT, ITES/BPO, BFSI, it has also shown rapid growth in Ecommerce, Hospitality and Manufacturing as well.

A background check on a potential candidate and also on existing employees can yield only good news for any employer, be it from IT / Pharmaceutical / BFSI/ FMCG or Manufacturing. If the prospective screening is clear, it’s great news. If an employer has already invested time, money and resources on an employee/ candidate and the screening reports come up with discrepancies, sweat not, it’s better now than later. The more you delay, the more damage it will lead to later on. Either way, a background screening proves to be a Win – Win situation for the employer/ human resources.

So take the BGV vow for 2017!

Wishing you and your families a very Happy New Year!

Warm regards
Team JantaKhoj

Time for Action – Background Verification

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Once a frog fell in a vessel full of hot water. The vessel was on a gas stove. The frog still did not try to jump out of the vessel, instead it just stayed in it. As the temperature of the water started to rise, the frog managed to adjust its body temperature accordingly. As the water started to reach the boiling point, the frog was no longer able to keep up and manage its body temperature.

The frog tried to jump out of the vessel but with water reaching its boiling point, the frog was not able to bear it and couldn’t make it out.

The latest fad for home-based business is – crèches’ and day care centres. There are many people, who are earning well, with just few changes in their home set up and others by setting up a proper day care centre. With slogans such as – “Home away from home”, “Mom’s Care”, “Home Care”, it has become a way out for women to get back to their work. With hope that their children would be taken care of, they drop their little ones, expecting to pick their children in the same happy state.

There are many other mothers who are ready to let go of their career but daycares are not an option for them. Looking at the current scenario, where we very often hear horrifying stories of day cares/crèches – where a small girl is raped or children are given medicines to fall asleep, little kids are beaten up brutally and what not, are these mothers right in a way? Is there any way out for all of us – to send our kids to safe and happy day care centres/crèches?

The answer to this lies in one and only solution – Background Verification!

Background verification must be done for all the staff that are employed at all the day care centres/crèches, irrespective of the size of the centre.

2nd janAnother very important step towards safety of kids should be done from the side of the parents – verification of the day care centres. Parent should go ahead and get the centres verified. Verification to be done on the following points:

  1. Background verification of the centre owner,
  2. If the child-staff ratio is maintained by the centre, as stated by them and if they follow all the rules.
  3. If the centre has any complains registered in the past.

Getting back to the above mentioned story of the – frog – what was the reason that the frog couldn’t make it?

Well, the water was extremely hot, isn’t it!

Not really. The frog couldn’t make it due to its own inability to decide when it had to jump out.

With various disturbing news about treatment of children in day care centres, all I can say is that the water temperature is getting higher. Before we get affected, we need to take action. There is a way out – Background Verification. Precaution is always better than cure – what do you think?