Author: Akansha

Employee Background Verification – Discrepancy Statistics for December 2017

Published On Published By

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).

Image 1

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%).

Image2

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

Published On Published By

Blog Image

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’

Employee Background Verification – Discrepancy Statistics for November 2017

Published On Published By

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

We observed that 0.4% of the overall number of cases had discrepancies (could be major or minor).

Blog 1

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 (accounting for 100% of the total discrepancy).

Blog 2

Plugging the holes in India’s ‘Independent Contractor’ setup

Published On Published By

Blog Image

The recent terror attack in Manhattan, US is another incident that highlights the sharing economy’s rising crisis. In Manhattan, the suspect was an Uber driver who had passed the company’s background checks despite having several infractions on his record. Why go that far, let’s look at our home front! The most recent incident in Hyderabad was where a driver was accused of impropriety and allegedly driving under an alias.

We have to give it to most app-based services, that they have outsourced their candidate screening process. At least they’re doing it! But is that enough? The problem is that the emphasis is still on a quantitative churn out of service providers rather than a qualitative investigation into their history. Getting a stamped paper in the contractors file is more important for HR, than actually vetting whether there are any loopholes in the candidates claimed history. In countries like ours, in the absence of a national database of criminal records, it becomes even more imperative for us to get thorough and comprehensive checks done.

Another friction at work in this setup is that these pools of independent contractors aren’t the employers, employee pool/workers. It’s this relationship, that excludes PF, ESIC, Gratuity, Hospitalization expense, etc., that makes this pool a cheap source of workforce. This independent contractor model is not restricted to the shared economy alone. This labor structure can be found across industries such as textile manufacturing, sales and brokerage. However, the employers aren’t liable free to the actions and consequences of this pool of workers. Here, is the scary part, in terms of vetting them, there isn’t much of an imperative for these corporations to scrutinize an operator’s past. Little do they realize, till things are going smooth, it’s definitely a cost saver for them! The day something goes wrong, which in most cases does happen, that day they’re in a soup. Rather, in quicksand! It’s the lack of accountability that is scary and leads to transgressions by this worker pool.

Now coming to those institutions, which follow the norms and get their contractors vetted! Should we applaud them! No! They just do the bare minimum, which is police verification. This alone is not sufficient. We need to employ more comprehensive checks, which encompass varied aspects. Some of the checks that we recommend to you are:-

• Criminal verification
• Drug Screening
• Employment Verification
• Education Verification
• Reference check
• License Verification

As an imperative practice, we at JantaKhoj suggest all those companies/institutions that employ contractors to conduct comprehensive background checks. This should be made an SOP and implemented consistently for employees, candidates for employment, independent contractors, consultants and other contingent workers. This will help you protect your customers’ safety and maintain your company’s reputation.

Like the age old adage goes – better be safe than sorry!

Financial Hygiene – Credit score added to list of employee background checks

Published On Published By

Blog Image
24 year old Shravan Gupta (name changed) had it all going for him. With stellar grades in his b-school and some experience in a brokerage firm, he applied for his dream job in a well known private sector bank, headquartered in Mumbai. Brimming with confidence, he was in for a rude shock, when he learnt that he was not selected for the job on account of a CIBIL score that was below the satisfactory level of 750. He thus, had to work hard to rectify his score for a good six months, before he made a fresh application to the same employer and now hopes that he will soon get an interview call soon.

You may wonder how and why your credit score is related to your job application.

We had heard of financial institutions mentioning ‘credit scores’ with regard to credit cards, home loans, personal loans, car loans, etc. Most people think it stops at that! A bad credit history would not only reduce your chances of getting a loan but also a job. If you are a regular credit payer and you don’t have your name on the defaulters’ list then your company can easily trust you in future. A bad credit report or a low CIBIL score certainly proves that you borrowed money from an organization but you are not paying it back on time. This actually leads on the employer to think that you might be reckless, irresponsible or may even have bad intentions. Borrowing money and not repaying it on time reflects how careless the borrower is. This makes the employer think twice before hiring you.

A standard practice internationally, it is now gaining ground among companies in India. Some leading private and foreign companies have started checking credit scores of their prospective employees as part of their pre-employment screening process.

When you are going for a job interview the first thing you update is your resume. You check your marks, job history, performance score, abilities, references, etc. These are the familiar ones. Every applicant knows this! But do you know along with your performance score and job history you also need another score to be perfect that is your CIBIL Score.

What is CIBIL Score? CIBIL score, also known as the CIBIL TransUnion Score, is a 3-digit whole number ranging from 300 to 900. The credit score reflects how well or how poorly a person has dealt with loans or credit cards in the past. The higher your CIBIL score, the better your chances of getting a loan or credit card application approved in future.

The CIBIL report is a financial report that has details of your borrowings from banks and financial institutions. It keeps a track of details related to your loans and credit cards history. It also keeps a track of your payments, late payments, duration of the loan, etc. So can a report like this actually affect your employment? Many companies feel that the financial health of an individual is indicative of many personal attributes such as honesty, reliability and organization skills.

Why would an organization actually check for this report?

1. Gaining trust: If an organization asks for your credit report and find out that you have a good credit score, they may consider you trustworthy. It indicates integrity and shows that you’re willing to pay your dues and that you are building a good relationship with your bank. Banks and financial institutions require their employees to have honesty and integrity, when it comes to handling sensitive data like the financial information of their clients.

2. Bad performance and reckless nature: If an employee has financial issues and is unable to make repayments towards their loans or credit cards, it may have an adverse effect on their performance. While this may not be the sole cause of poor performance, this can be a causative factor. The bad score may also indicate that an employee is quite reckless, when it comes to repayments towards his or her loans or credit cards and may give employers a sense that the person may struggle to take responsibility or maintain their performance at optimum levels.

We at JantaKhoj identified the need of employers and hence, launched this service. We are offering two services – Individual Credit Report and Business Credit Report

We are a direct partner of CIBIL – India’s premier and oldest credit information bureau. We do not use any intermediaries and get the information directly from CIBIL. We can carry out employee credit score verification for you, which helps you make the right decisions while hiring. We provide a comprehensive 360 degree report for B2B customers – including credit report verification, employee credit score verification and other verification reports. This gives a full picture about a candidate and helps employers check fraudulent activity. We provide you with important credit score data which helps you analyze credit histories of potential employees and enables you to hire with more confidence.

So before you apply for a new job, check your credit score and clean up your financial mess, if any. If you’re an employer, get that prospective candidate’s CIBIL score.

Let’s maintain financial hygiene!

Employee Background Verification – Discrepancy Statistics for October 2017

Published On Published By

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

We observed that 1% of the overall number of cases had discrepancies (could be major or minor).

Image 1

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 (accounting for 100% of the total discrepancy).

Image 2

Tempted to lie on your resume?

Published On Published By

Blog ImageIf you have lied on your resume, you have a lot of company in that arena. A CareerBuilder survey reports that more than half of employers (75%) have caught a lie on an applicant’s resume. Think about it, more than half the people you know might be guilty of falsifying details on their CV.

We all, at one time or another have been tempted to lie on our resumes. We may convince ourselves that these are little white lies, not deceitful or with malicious intentions. Irrespective of how harmless we perceive a lie to be, a lie remains a lie.

Desperate times often call for desperate measures and in a brutal employment market; several job seekers may be tempted to falsify their work or education history in order to make themselves more sellable to potential employers.

Not only me but experts also agree that lying on your resume is a bad scheme for many reasons, not least of which is that you’re likely to get caught. From the initial background check to the multiple meetings that lead up to the interview process, there are just too many barricades to reveal that you’ve been less than truthful.

Now if you get lucky, make it through and get hired, you’re not off the hook: times gone by are full of examples of high-level executives who have lost their positions and tarnished their reputations after being caught embellishing their CV.

Most of you reading this already know all this for a fact. Many of you may have already stretched the truth on your resume and now you’re trying to cope with the possible consequences. Maybe you just got a call to schedule an interview for your desired job. However and this is a big ‘however’ you lied on your resume when you applied. We shall touch upon the possible remedies later through the article. Let’s first see what the most common lies in resumes now-a-days are.

A CareerBuilder survey reported on what job seekers tried to get away with most often:
• Embellished skill sets: 62%
• Embellished responsibilities: 54%
• Dates of employment: 39%
• Job titles: 31%
• Academic degrees: 28%

Having stated this fact, I would like to highlight that it’s foolish to go through the trouble of applying for a job and going on job interviews, just to lose the offer by making up a degree or a past employer to try and make your resume look impressive. Lying to a prospective employer is one of the worst decisions you can ever make and it’s something that will eventually come back to bite you.

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. These little lies can come back to threaten you career, as was the case of Yahoo’s CEO Scott Thompson’s fake resume.

Now let us look at the options in hand in case you have fibbed in your resume:-

Option 1. Update Your Resume! Unfortunately, there are no guarantees and no sure way to keep yourself in consideration for the job, let alone get an offer, but you could update your resume – fix the dates, edit some of the wording and tell the interviewer that you noticed some errors on your resume and have a revised copy.

Option 2. Come Clean and Tell the Truth. This is an extremely challenging option to exercise which most of us would never do. However, it’s worth a try! Try telling the hiring manager the truth, which will probably knock you out of consideration. Nevertheless, at least you won’t be hired based on a lie and won’t have to worry about someone finding out. Moreover it will leave you with a clean consciousness. Furthermore, if I were the hiring manager, I would still consider your application, as telling the truth upfront is an enormous strength, possessed by a select few.

Option 3. Do Nothing. The third option is to do nothing and hope you don’t get caught. The danger in that is if they have you fill out a job application, you need to be honest, because you can get fired at any point in the future if they find out and/or if they check your references and verify dates of employment. This is something I would never recommend, no matter what the circumstances.

Option 4. Withdraw Your Application. Another alternative is to withdraw your job application. You don’t have to give a reason why. You can simply thank the employer for the invitation and say you’re not interested in the position at this time. You have obviously lost your chance of getting the job, but this is the safest option if you don’t want to explain or to have to deal with the consequences of lying.

Having laid out all the options for you, I would urge all the applicants and candidates to rectify the fibs they’ve made on their resumes or to come out clean to the interviewer. It’s never too late!

Consider the big consequences of the little lies you’ve cooked up. It’s time to make amends!

You jeopardize your future when you lie about your past.

Beware – A small leak can sink a great ship

Published On Published By

Blog Image… Tight timelines for recruitment
… Mad rush to close vacant positions
… Pressure to get the candidate with right fit
… Long process of recruitment
… Hiring a candidate is a tough deal
…One has to take many things into consideration to make a final decision.

These pressures many a times engage a manager, get them entwined, that they miss out on the most crucial aspect of bringing in a new employee – Background Check!

Pre-employment background checks have become increasingly common at most workplaces now. Earlier it was considered an unnecessary expense, now it’s a necessity. This paradigm shift in perception was ushered in post September 11, 2001 and 26/11 back here at home. In India 26/11 shook up the Indian corporate world, who then within days got their entire team’s backgrounds verified.

Ideally, finding and hiring a right candidate is not the end of a recruitment process. Background screening is the final however most crucial step of the recruitment process.

Most managers even now in the mad rush to close open positions disregard this crucial step. That’s why we recommend, that this has to be incorporated in the recruitment SOP. The moment the right candidate has been shortlisted, the offer letter issued, should mention, that a background check shall be initiated and only on a clear report being obtained will the candidate be on-boarded and issued an appointment letter.

In case of a negative background verification report, the offer letter stands null and void. Then the next best candidate can be issued an offer letter. Only once this process has been made a standard practice, will we never fail to get a candidate verified.

A carefully designed application form should include employee background check to get more details about the desired candidate. It is necessary to count upon past work experience, educational qualifications, job records, drug screening, criminal records and other verification parameters to onboard ideal candidates and create a safe working environment.

Considering the increasing cases of fudged job records and fake degrees, employee background screening is a must for small, medium and large business organizations.

There should be a well-defined screening process for all the new candidates. It should be executed in the same manner to avoid discrimination amongst employees at various levels.

Always remember…

Background screening should not be listed like just another task on your to-do list. It should be given the importance that it truly deserves.

Beware – A small leak can sink a great ship.

Employee Background Verification – Discrepancy Statistics for September 2017

Published On Published By

Here are the high level monthly discrepancy statistics for September 2017.
Image 1

We observed that 2% of the overall number of cases had discrepancies (could be major or minor).

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 16.7% of the total discrepancy) and education verification (accounting for 83.3% of the total discrepancy).

Image 2

Beware of what you post on social media – You are being scanned!

Published On Published By

Have you got an objectionable picture on Facebook?

A furious political comment on Twitter?

Open affiliation to certain ‘questionable’ forums/communities?

Are you flaunting’ socially questionable’ actions on social media?

Hold your horses, before impulsively posting your views on social media platforms!

Today, everyone is on social media! It’s become a norm to be socially active on these platforms. A lot many companies sweep their prospective candidate’s social media posts and feeds. Social media has made it a cakewalk for employers to map your interests, activities and affiliations. The manager hiring you doesn’t need to spend time with you to figure you out, they just need to spend time on your social media handles and bingo and they can picture your personality.

So, for a potential candidate seeking employment, social media provides an opportunity to look up the company and vice versa.

Social media today is literally all over the globe. Recently LinkedIn crossed the 10 million users mark in India and Facebook tops the chart with around 34.6 million active registered users in India. Twitter, though arrived late on the scene, will soon touch 16 million Indian users. These statistics clearly reflect why every company today has its presence on social media. LinkedIn too is slowly catching up.

I would like to share with you a personal experience. A fellow classmate of mine 10 years ago, while we were awaiting our placements, was offered a PPO (Pre placement offer) with the company he interned with. He was hailed a hero in the class! Rightly so, as he was the only one who was given a PPO. Those days Facebook hadn’t really caught up, Orkut was ‘the’ thing then! He had liked a page on Orkut which badmouthed the company. The title of the group was – ‘We Hate XXX’. He also had posted a comment there, putting forth a few things he didn’t like about the company. Within a few days, he received a letter from the companies HR stating, they withdraw the PPO extended to him. Reason cited was, he was inciting hate towards the company and badmouthing the company in public. They had enclosed a print screen shot of his comment and proof that he was a member of that community on Orkut. Even 10 years back, companies would scan social media platforms to keep a track of their employees/ prospective employees. Organizations are right on their part, why would they want to absorb a candidate who at the outset is disengaged and disloyal to the organization. I learnt a lesson of not ever badmouthing my organization on social platforms, early in my career.

While many in my class objected to this ‘unfair decision’, organizations are justified on their part to ascertain a candidate’s fitment for a position determined by his social media posts and pictures. The reality is that social networking handles of candidates talk a lot about their personality, interests and disposition in general. For example: – Using vulgar language, bad mouthing on social media could suggest behavioral issues such as immaturity and inability to resolve conflicts amicably. Similarly, endorsing grapevine about the private affairs of other people is a sign of spreading rumors and gossip that could impact their ability to function in a role that demands confidentiality.

In a recent case, a company hired a candidate after doing a professional background check, but missed out on a social media scan. Later, the employee displayed murderous tendencies by attempting to harm his girlfriend with a knife, following a domestic spat. When the company approached the police for help, they were questioned about whether a background check was conducted. It was then found, when his social media activity was made public, that he had a tendency towards violence. They found violent content on his social media platform.

By extending the verification to include social media, it can aid in gauging any extremist behavior and help avoid problematic incidents. It also serves as an indicator of a candidate’s work ethics and temperament.

Let’s look at few parameters which a company might use to undertake a social media check:

• Companies might easily trace employees who badmouthed their previous employers, based on their comments or status updates.

• Excessive twittering or round the clock activity on social media, might point out an employee’s lack of dedication towards his/her job during office hours.

• Obvious drug use.

• Discussing private company information.

• Comments containing racial slurs and other offensive language. Although it’s a personal profile, conclusions can be drawn on how a particular candidate thinks and reflect his/her sensitivity.

Social networking sites are here to stay and hence it’s necessary for both the employers and employees to ensure that they maintain certain ethical guidelines. We don’t suggest you to be weary of expressing your personal, political, social views. However, ensure, they don’t work against you in the future. It would be prudent to weigh carefully what you post; after all it is a public platform. As employers are increasingly viewing social media pages to evaluate if candidates are worthy of hiring and culturally fit in, it is advised to be careful about what you post online.
Brace yourself for social media scans!

Blog Image