Deconstructing Employment and Reference checks.

More often than not, most Indian companies are in a mad rush to hire candidates. Be it the tight turnaround timelines for replacing a position or employers skimping approach on spending and curbing costs that often make recruiters go easy on vital checks and employee verifications.

In India, it’s a prevalent norm for low ranking Admin or Human Resources employees to call a new joinees previous employer to conduct both a reference and employment check. This is done based on the information provided orally by the candidate. The feedback too is taken in orally and a few mere scribbles thereon on the resume, complete the checks successfully.

You would be alarmed to learn that as per published statistics, 90% of organized sector companies undertake a basic form of background check while a whopping 95% of companies in the unorganized sector are still hiring without any form of background checks on the new joinee.

However, certain industries like IT, ITES, BFSI and FMCG sector are aware of the significance of employee background screening and invest heavily in it. IT companies like TCS (Tata Consultancy Services), Infosys and Wipro show zero-tolerance towards deceitful employees. Strict disciplinary action is taken against employees including termination of services and blacklisting of the concerned candidates.

Among the companies that do conduct background screening employment discrepancy is a notable chunk in the pie. We would like to put forth some in-house data. Mentioned below is the % of employment discrepancy from the total discrepancy %, year-wise.

2019 YTD – 49% of the total discrepancy Click To Tweet
2018 - 49.8% of the total discrepancy Click To Tweet2017 – 35.8% of the total discrepancy Click To Tweet

Employment checks are carried out by professional verification agencies, like ours, verifying the candidates employment history by getting in touch with the concerned HR/Payroll department. At JantaKhoj, an email is sent to the previous employer to verify the credentials. Feedback is solicited on a variety of aspects such as duration of employment, designation, salary, reporting manager’s details, performance and professionalism, reasons for leaving, eligibility for rehiring and any issues encountered during tenure.

Similarly, for reference checks, an email is sent to the previous reporting manager asking him/her to outline the candidate’s strengths, weaknesses, and qualifications for a particular job. At JantaKhoj a detailed questionnaire is sent via email to the previous supervisor. We have a comprehensive set of questions covering the nature and duration of association, candidate’s skills, attitude, performance, result orientation, strengths and weaknesses, behaviour and character and if any issues were encountered during the professional interaction.

Employers need to consciously change their perception of these checks as a cost and need to start viewing them as an investment. An investment, that will help in safeguarding organizational assets, promoting safety at workplace, reducing turnover, safeguarding the companies valuable reputation, avoid legal hassle and in turn build the brand value, thereby inspiring confidence in customers and shareholders.

The lack of a centralized repository of employee information makes it mandatory for employers to take employee background screening more seriously. Looking for an ISO 27001 certification? It’s mandatory for Indian companies applying for an ISO 27001 certification to be conducting background screening for employment.

To all the prospective candidates out there, don’t lie on your employment application, because if it’s us on your company’s panel, we’re pretty good at digging up dirt. Click To Tweet

To all the employers, don’t be penny-wise, pound foolish. Make the right choice. Choose wisely. Click To Tweet

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