11,700 state government employees sacked

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ImagAs appalling as it’s to read the above, it shocked me beyond words while I was reading up on this! It’s unimaginable to fathom – 11,700 state government employees submitted fake SC/ST caste certificates. Why was this done? It was done to get employment under the Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) quotas. 11,700 fake caste certificates were made, submitted and these rogues were availing salary and perks of the state government, meant for the underprivileged.

Thankfully, the scam was unearthed after a probe was initiated as someone in the system got suspicious that thousands of jobs reserved for STs maybe going to those who have got their certificates forged without fulfilling the required eligible criteria. This was done after many years of the fraudsters’ employment. We have heard of frauds being done to secure government jobs. However the above mentioned figure is an eye opener for the concerned authorities and shocking for the general public like us. This industry-level dimension of the con has shaken the whole system and the country. Many of the beneficiaries, an overwhelming majority of them posing as tribal’s, have worked as government employees for over two decades.

Recruited as clerks, many of them now have risen to the position of deputy secretary in the state government. The Supreme Court has directed punitive action against these employees irrespective of their tenure of service. The Supreme Court has ruled that anyone posing as a member of the Schedule Caste (SC), Schedule Tribe (ST) or the Other Backward Classes (OBC) will lose their educational degree or job if their caste certificate is found to be forged.

This is sheer wastage of money, resources, precious training time, all down the drain. If the concerned authorities had only vetted these certificates for their genuity, this fiasco would have been averted. A simple certificate verification would have averted this unpleasant and embarrassing situation for the authorities.

Going forward all state authorities should put in place a process to vet within a definite time frame genuineness of caste certificates issued to those belonging to reserved class in order to prevent unscrupulous elements from taking jobs not meant for them. Professional background verification vendors should be empanelled to ensure the veracity of caste certificates so that unscrupulous non-SC, ST or OBC candidates are prevented from securing jobs meant for SCs, STs and OBCs by producing false certificates.

Employee background verification is a risk-mitigation tool that allows you to verify the accuracy of information provided by new or existing employees. If you’re ready to start verifying, give us a call or send us an email.

Choose your own road!

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There was a Mr. X. He was going through a road. On the side walk there was a hole.

Mr. X was unaware of the hole and he fell into it. He was not looking and walking, he didn’t expect any such thing to happen. We can say it was not his mistake. It took a lot of time to come out of the hole.

He went and spoke about the hole with Mr. Y and Mr. Z.

Next day, Mr. Y was walking the same road. He knew about the hole. But he ignored the thought and went ahead without looking. He fell into the hole. It was his mistake. Obviously, it took a lot of time to come out of the hole.

He went and spoke about it to Mr. X and Mr. Z.

The very next day Mr. Z had to take the same road. He knew about the hole and he even saw it. But he in a hurry for he was getting late for his meeting and assumed that he won’t fall in it. He took another step ahead, and he fell. It took a lot of time to come out of the hole. Yes, he was very late for his meeting.

130218He went and spoke about it with his friends, Mr. X and Mr. Y.

Next day Mr. X had to take the same road, he was extremely careful. He walked around the road. He reached his destination on time.

Mr. Y took an alternate road out of fear of falling again. Mr. Z followed an alternate road too.

Putting the story in today scenario, this is what happens to us – Some Mr. X, falsifies his information in his resume, he gets that job. Post background verification, he ends up losing the same. He takes a lot of time to find another job.

He shared his horrific experience with his friends too.

They took the matter lightly and they beautify their resumes too, to get a job faster and in the best organizations. No suspense, post background verification, they were shown doors.

1 out of 6 resumes have some or the other lie. Are we all going to fall in the hole and go through a really hard time getting out of it? Or are we going to take a better road, without any fallout? It may take more time to get a job with your credentials, but at least it won’t be short lived.

Let’s not become Mr Z, who knows and sees the danger and yet assumes that he, is smart enough to escape the same. With the advent of a new year, hoping that we will have less of fallouts and more of truthful resumes on the job tables, after all honesty is still the best policy. What say!

 

Employee Background Verification – Discrepancy Statistics for January 2018

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Here are the high level monthly discrepancy statistics for January 2018.

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We observed that 1.1% of the overall number of cases had discrepancies (could be major or minor).

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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 employment verification (accounting for 100% of the total discrepancy).

Old trends, new goals

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A year has gone by, setting some new trends and breaking few records and throwing some new challenges for us to achieve this year. A new year itself signifies fresh beginnings and new goals. The year that went by, leaves us with so much to work on, that the entire year seems to be very engaging and challenging.

Let’s look into most important things been spoken about in the human resource world –30thjan

1) Ban the box:

Mr. X goes for a job and in that form he sees a check box for – criminal history. Sadly, he had one. Some fifteen years ago. He already served his tenure for the wrongdoing. But this question reappears in front of him every time he applies for a job.

What follows with a tick in that check box is, no further calls. He was reluctant to mention the same. He has little choice.

How much ever one repents for their wrongdoing, they don’t get a fair chance for employment. This check box should be banned. It gained a lot of importance last year. Let’s hope this year we don’t let this great initiative die down and take it forward.

2) Credit report history:

Mr. X was to be hired for a post of technical advisor. He is being hired for core technical work. He will have absolute no relation with financial transactions.

His credit score is checked and the result shows bad scores.

We have read, written on the topic, of how important the credit score is! Given the case, we would, to be on a safer side, not hire the employee; he may be the best for the post.

Can we have credit score history discrimination too – whether to do it for the given job position or not? Are we going to have the credit score history checked for all levels and all platforms is a question we all need to look in, this year!

3) Salary Exemption:

Again, this Mr. X goes for a job. The opening is for a position and the company gives a certain salary  range to the employees in that category. But this Mr. X has worked in small companies and hence his salary was quite low as compared to the minimum of the range of the new company.

Mr. X has a lot of calibre and should be given salary as per his capabilities. The job is offered to him with salary below the minimum range, although higher than his last salary.

Another very common case of salary discrimination is – when a lady leaves a job for some reason and wants to get back to work after a year or two, even after she proves that she is the best-fit for the job, she is asked the last salary she drew. On basis of that, the salary is negotiated and not on basis of the range applicable for that particular position.

This is a normal case of inequality of pay. Of course, the financial start of an employee might not be great or he or she took a break, but he or she should not suffer through this pay disparity all through the employment journey.

Isn’t it!

California is the first one to start this rule – that no employer is allowed to ask about the salary history of the employee. Others are following. Well, to me, this sounds like a great start for the fresh year.

Old trends have given us new goals. Let’s all work on it. What say!

Trends and Insights on Background Screening for 2017

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A new year brings new hopes, new resolutions and newer aspirations. As it’s often said, we should let bygones be bygones. This may work; however, in my opinion times gone by have their share of teachings for us. These teachings could also be called knowledge, experiences they come in the form of data, information, statistics, etc. They teach us a lot about what’s done, what could have been done better and what should be done to avert impending disasters. History is a kind teacher! Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it. We can learn from history, but we can also deceive ourselves when we selectively take evidence from the past to justify what we have already made up our minds to do, that too is a route leading to fiasco.

Let’s take a look at the year gone by and make a resolution of not repeating the follies of others. More and more companies are using the process of verification to ensure that the employee/ potential employee has not exaggerated their role or skills or experience. In most cases, firms are reaching out to specialized verification agencies such as ours to carry out these specialized services.

In the year gone by – 2.6% of the total cases handled by us had major discrepancies. 2.6% of the candidates misrepresented information to employers in 2017. Now this is frightening! To understand this further, let us elaborate the various kinds of discrepancies component wise:-

1. 71.2% of the cases had discrepancies in Education verification. Let’s face it; one of the most common aspects of falsification on a candidate’s resume is their education. Since many employers require job-related degrees or diplomas, many candidates may stretch their educational history in the hope that potential employers won’t check for discrepancies. An education verification check can ascertain not only weather the degree/diploma is fake or not, but also – the candidate’s degree/diploma/credentials, graduation or completion date, marks/percentage/CGPA and confirm the official educational accrediting body. Some candidates may have bought degrees or diplomas from companies commonly known as diploma mills. However, a reputable background screening company should be able to uncover these illegitimate degrees that aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on.

2. 25.6% of the candidates fibbed while furnishing their previous employment details. You gave a candidate the current profile on the basis of the previous employment. Now picture, a major discrepancy comes up in that! It’s going to be a mess! Confirming a job candidate’s past work experience is one of the most important background checks an employer can conduct. Looking into a candidate’s past work history can reveal insight into their job stability and loyalty to an employer. Employers should compare what a candidate claims on their resume with the actual information reported by a background screening company. Employment verification can confirm: Job start and end dates, titles held, salary, job duties, completion of exit formalities and rehire eligibility. Working with a leading background screening provider can help employers vet candidates that match the employer’s required work experience for the position.

3. 1.9% of the cases had major discrepancies in address verification – This is scary! Just imagine, the address a potential employee claims to be residing at, turns out to be false. The physical address is usually the first place an organization would look for an employee in case of any adverse happenings. Now visualize, in such a scenario, you realize the address furnished to you is incorrect! Deliberately, an incorrect address was furnished! What a soup you and your company could be in. Therefore, it’s important that the address related information of employees stored in your records is accurate, more so in context of countries like ours where there is no address repository per se.

4. 1.3% candidates fudged their references – Many employers check references as part of the hiring process. A reference check is when an employer contacts a job applicant’s previous employers/ supervisor, colleges and other sources to learn more about his or her employment history, educational background, temperament, efficiency and job fit. It involves talking to references to gain insight into an applicant’s skills, qualifications and abilities to do the job. The employer wants to confirm that the candidate has the right skills for the job and if he/she will fit in well within the organization.

The above mentioned data clearly reflects the areas of concern. So you as an employer/HR head/ recruiting manager or a supervisor need to learn from the year gone by and without fail get the above verification checks done. These checks are not only to be done for new hires by also for the existing workforce, contractors, trainees and vendors.

After all, one bad fish can spoil the whole pond and one rotten apple can upset the apple cart. One bad, overripe or mouldy apple really can cause all the other apples around it to spoil.

“What can I say? I hired the wrong guy and he destroyed everything I’d spent 10 years working for.”

These are the words of Steve Jobs, commenting on how he wrongfully recruited John Sculley as the CEO of Apple, which eventually caused Steve Job’s ouster from the very company he had started.

How much does a bad apple cost? Well I don’t know, but it sure upsets the apple cart! Not all damages are obvious and quantifiable. There are also some hard-to-quantify costs such as lower employee morale, productivity and customer dissatisfaction. Unsurprisingly, it is the ripple effect from these consequences that brings upon the most lethal damage.

So beware and play it safe!

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Resume Lies – Who loses more?

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In today’s world, small or big, an established or a start-up, all the organizations are moving towards – a stringent background verification process. Still, 87% discrepancies are found between the information supplied and information verified.

Story time-

Akbar was very fond of birds. One day a bird catcher came to his kingdom. He had a very colourful bird. The bird catcher informed Emperor Akbar about qualities of the colourful bird, who looked so beautiful and danced like a peacock and flew like an eagle. The emperor was very happy and the bird catcher was immediately rewarded with 50 gold coins. The bird catcher left the kingdom in a hurry.

When the bird catcher left Birbal said to the Emperor – “This bird is not dancing like a peacock. Maybe it needs a bath.” He asked for a glass of water.

When Birbal gave a bath to the bird, everybody was shocked to see that it wasn’t any special bird; it was just a pigeon. The bird catcher had fooled everybody.

Birbal saw colors on the bird catcher’s fingers and hence knew that it was no special bird. The bird catcher was caught and given a punishment.

Today’s background verification process is no less than Birbal’s sharp mind. Resume beautification of any sort is decoloured within no time. Who is the real loser in the entire process – the organization or the prospective candidate?

Of course, the organization loses on money and the most valuable resource – time, but eventually they find a suitable candidate who is apt for the role and has a resume which is correct – word by word. But what about the prospective candidate?

Candidate resigns from his current job to get the new one, which he got on basis of his embellished resume. After the bathing of the resume, that is, after the background verification, if there are any added colors, they are washed off.
In turn, firstly, the prospective candidate is shown the door on an immediate note. Secondly, his name is added in the blacklisted candidates list – which means he will never get a job in that organization, ever!

16th janWho is the bigger loser?

Of course, the prospective candidate! His both hands are empty – without this job and without that job, plus he will never get job in the company and its sister concerns.

There is a beautiful saying – “the wise learn from mistake of others!” Many have lost their jobs because of small or big lies in their resume. It’s better, we all pledge not to lie on the resume and get a job on basis of truthful information. It may be a painful search but when you finally land up on a job, you will have it, without any doubt. Let the colors be for fun!

2018 – HRM trends to look out for!

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Almost a whole year has passed by and a new year is soon to set in. The new year always brings a lot of new hopes and wishes with its dawn. Human resources teams are also geared up with new hopes of advancement with the advent of the new year, 2018.

Human resources have come a long way from being just a department for salary-dispersal and recruitment-station to handling complex grievances and doing in-depth background verification and strict training solutions, through the year, for all the employees. From being just another department to a strategic business development unit.

Progress takes time and those who make progress look easy, have worked extremely hard for the same. Here’s a small story for all of us:

A rich man, fond of felines, asked a famous Zen ink painter to draw him a cat. The master agreed and asked the man to come back in three months. When the man returned, he was put off, again and again, until a year passed.

Finally, after a year, the master drew out his brush and without any effort, within few seconds and in just a few strokes of brush, he drew the most amazing picture of a cat. That picture was unique and was marvellous.

More the rich man was astonished at the beauty of the picture, angrier and cheated he felt. “That drawing hardly took you few seconds! Why did you make me wait for an entire year?” he demanded.

Without saying even, a word, the master opened up a cabinet, and out fell thousands of drawings – of cats.

A pat on a back for entire community of HR. We still have miles to cover. 2018 is setting in and is going to bring in more transforms and advancements. Let’s see few key changes which are going to be new highlights of the next year –

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1) Enhanced training and development process: Training is one of the most essential part of human resources. After all, if your axe is not sharp, it will take ages to cut down a tree.

The main focus would be on the way the training is imparted – for the employees, at their convenience and at their availability.

2) Advancing to employee experience: Today’s employee is already at the top most level of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. It’s time to upgrade the experience of working in an organization and keeping the priciest asset shining for the organization.

Technology should help us map personalized career advancement graph and tailored training & development and engagement technique, for his best experience.

3) Flexible job timings: A piece of work should be done within the time frame with full secrecy maintained, but the place where the employee chooses to work and the time which suits him, should be valued. Permanent to contract jobs or part time jobs, are just a few changes which are going to be main trends for the year to come.

4) Digitalizing HR: Human resources have tremendous paper work. The challenge would be to reduce the load by used of technology, fasten the process of recruitment, assessing the training needs and imparting training and integrating all these for every individual, with help of technology.

The main focus would be to make a better world for the employees and human resource has to take up this challenge to make this come true. The best way to predict future is to create it and I guess we are on the right way!

Happy New Year!!

Employee Background Verification – Discrepancy Statistics for December 2017

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Here are the high level monthly discrepancy statistics for December 2017.

We observed that 1.5% of the overall number of cases had discrepancies (could be major or minor).

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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 verification (50%) and employment verification (50%).

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The 2018 HRM trends to keep on your company’s radar

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Season’s greetings to all our readers! Festivity is in the air and we are enveloped by the Xmas cheer. As customary, we all look forward to welcoming the New Year and have high hopes for the year – 2018!

Keeping our personal wish lists aside, let’s try and foresee what could be the major HR trends that may emerge in 2018. In the upcoming year HR has to engage itself as a Strategic Business Partner in the system. The tide is changing course and HR as a function is now being given its due place as a Business partner and not just as another money draining department, most view it as.

2018 will also witness greater emphasize on productivity. The last few years have seen HR leaders harp about and focus on productivity. We see a slow change at the horizon. Traditionally, recruiting fresh blood was the solution to most problems. Going forward harnessing the potential of existing employees and tapping in house resources will gain momentum.

Over the years we have seen a steady decline in the Tayloristic organization model, wherein everybody has a clearly defined and assigned job. With changing times and assignment based jobs, flexibility is the need of the hour. The jobs have become more flexible and employees are getting the opportunity to craft their own job, to make the best fit with their competence, needs and capabilities. Teams now are not built of people with specific fixed jobs, but of people who have specific skills that are needed to deliver the assignment. Employees with broad skill sets can use certain skills in Team 1 and another set of their skills in Team 2 in their next assignment.

Learning and development has also been evolving over the years. Traditional classroom training has been left behind and learning ‘Real time’ has come to the forefront. A lot of time and resources have been and are still being wasted on classroom training for groups of employees on very broad subjects, often not directed at immediate application, but for possible future use. 2018 should see a rise in real time learning. Going forward big chunks of material should be divided in more digestible small pieces (micro learning). Employees should have easy access to learning material when they need it (just in time). Knowledge and skills can be learnt in a playful manner (gamification) and learning solutions should be made more fun.

Headhunting was limited to HR racking their brains and sifting through resumes on career websites. The penetration of social media has made it easier getting in touch with candidates. Talent pools can now be identified simply by searching hashtags, by posting requirement on Facebook/ LinkedIn. Candidates can be engaged either in groups or individually depending on the platform. 2018 will see a rise in this phenomenon too!

Developing a remote workforce shall work out to be extremely cost effective for organizations. The traditional setup wherein we have all our employees huddled up in a room/building, is going to change. Work from home/ working virtually works out to be cheaper for organizations and is the need of the hour. This now makes it possible to recruit from almost anywhere in the world. It will widen the candidate pool for companies and the job market for prospective candidates. It’s also a way to retain current employees and boost job satisfaction through a better work-life balance.

To sum up, 2018’s focus should be on technology! Technologies to find people, connect people, engage people, enhance learning and even replace people! For years, technology has acted as a tool to help with day-to-day tasks, but the focus in 2018 will be ‘technology as a way of life in the workplace’

What if I don’t lie on my resume?

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Don’t lie on your CV; untrue credentials can land you in a soup. This has been a topic well written on and read by almost all. We have statistics and data proving how lies on resume affects people and how they lose their jobs!

What if I don’t lie on my resume?

Mr. X has a gap of two years. He was working before but eventually lost his job due to recession and didn’t get another one till now. Not even a small one. He somehow survived these two years. Now, when the market is gearing up, he was desperate to get a job.

There is an opening in an organization; it is a dream job for Mr. Y. The job opening is an absolute match to his profile except one thing: the requirement is for a B.tech graduate; he has an MCA degree.

Mr. Z is a very efficient employee of a small organization. He has been waiting to switch to a bigger organization with better career prospect. For most organizations, 10th and 12th percentage cut off is 60%. Unfortunately, his percentage is around 57% for both.

All these situations are quite common. Also, most ideal for fabricating the resume and presenting wrong proofs for the same. Isn’t it!

What is the way out?

Situation 1: Career gaps.

If Mr. X gets tempted to hide this gap, employment verification is enough to bring the truth out. No company’s false documents or no company’s false seal works.

If Mr. X doesn’t lie, what is the best possible way to present the same?

First of all, he should mention these two years gap. He can present it in a positive manner. He can use fancy words like – professional sabbatical. To support this sabbatical, he may explain how he spent these two years – developing new skills, or used this time to follow his passion. Lastly, state how ready he is to get back to the corporate life again, filled with fresh energy.

Remember the three points whenever there is a career gap:

  • Be prepared: If you have mentioned the gap be prepared with your answer.
  • Be honest: Even today, honesty is the best policy. Use it.
  • Be positive: This is the most important part. Whatsoever you say, say it positively. Don’t complain about the bad market or slow growth or anything. Whatever you say, matters. Your positive energy should pull through this gap.

12th decSituation 2: Mismatch of degree for a dream job.

Mr. Y had a mismatch in his degree. So, he followed the best way. He put everything correct on his resume.

In case of degree mismatch, there is one thing which Mr. Y or anyone can add in their resumes:

  • Show your skills with examples: You are well aware of the job opening. You know what skills is a must for the job. If you have that skill and have worked on the same, mention it specifically. State it clearly. Not your degree, but your skills and abilities will get you the interview call.

Situation 3: Percentage cut off mismatch.

Well, most organizations are very stringent about the 10th and 12th marks cut off. So, there is just one way to get the job in those organizations.

  • Be true – If the organization overlooks your marks on basis of your experience, you may get the interview call. If you don’t then you should just wait to gain more experience.

If you lie, you may get the job. But once the result of education verification comes out, you will be shown the door from your dream company, that too for your whole life and will certainly lose the other ones too!

Hard truth is better than a soft lie. No matter how much we color our resume to beautify it, the truth shall be disclosed. Truth is like the sun; one can hide it out for some time, but it will shine when the clouds depart. So let’s play smart. Be courageous enough to face the truth and be prepared to present the same in a positive mode. Let’s all shine bright! Let’ all be true!