Employee Background Verification – Discrepancy Statistics for November 2017

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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).

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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 (accounting for 100% of the total discrepancy).

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Background Verification – the complete picture!

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Once upon a time, there lived six blind men in a village. One day the villagers told them, “Hey, there is an elephant in the village today.”

They had no idea what an elephant is. They decided, “Even though we would not be able to see it, let us go and feel it anyway.” All of them went where the elephant was. Every one of them touched the elephant.

First one touched the elephant’s leg, he said, “Hey, the elephant is a pillar.”

Second one touched the elephant’s tail, he said, “Oh, no! It is like a rope.”

Third one touched the trunk and he said, “Oh, no! It is like a thick branch of a tree.”

Fourth man touched the elephant’s ear and said, “It is like a big hand fan.”

Fifth one touched the belly and said, “It is like a huge wall.”

Sixth man touched the tusk and said, “It is like a solid pipe.”

All were partially correct and incorrect at the same time. They all stood by their words and kept fighting till another wise man came and placed the complete picture in front of them. He said, “All of you are right. Each one of you touched different part of the elephant and so your description doesn’t match. If you put all the parts together, that makes a complete elephant.”

Whenever there is any job opening in any organization, what all does an organization look for in the aspirant? Is it only the technical know how? Or it is just the behavioral competency? Or is the picture larger than our assumption, just like a complete elephant!

Well, not just one or two competencies are an essential for getting a job, but the complete picture looks quite different. There are two layered-verification most organizations follow – the foreground and the background. Let’s take an elaborate look at the same: 29th nov

We all go through the technical round and HR round – the foreground check, which decides whether we will get the job.

After a candidate clears the foreground check and is considered for the job, the next question is – whether he would be able to keep the job or not! The deciding factor is – background check.

In background check, the following checks are quite known to all – address, criminal, education, employment and reference verification. Social media scan has also been added to the background check to understand the applicant’s behavior on social media.

CIBIL Score and Report – This is another part of the elephant, hidden to the eyes of most applicants! We often relate CIBIL score with financial score which is essential for getting loans. Now, even if one a has good or bad credit history how is it going to affect the person in getting a job?

Well, the score speaks very loudly of the two most important characteristic of an individual – trustworthiness and reliability. If the applicant has a good score, it means he has been doing what he was expected to. He is trustworthy and reliable.

On the other hand, if the score is bad, that individual has somewhere breached a trust and hence, more likely, he will break the organization’s trust too. He is not considered reliable and the job offers slip out of that individual’s hand.

Technical knowledge is as important as the personal characteristic of an individual. The information in an organization is confidential and is not to be shared by anyone to anyone. Hence, personal attributes are given a lot of importance. One wrong recruit may turn out to be very costly. So, every organization wants to be extra careful while recruiting and is giving equal importance to background checks also.

As a job applicant, we all should be aware of the entire recruitment process. Not just one or two factors decide whether we will get the job and keep it as well, but there are many. Be aware, be smart, get, set and go towards your dream job!

 

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

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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

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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!

Higher the position, greater the loss!

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With great power, comes great responsibility!

Mr X and Mr Y are at different levels in an organization. Mr. X is an employee in an organization which is headed by Mr Y. Mr X’s jurisdiction is very small as compared to Mr Y’s. When it comes to invigilation, Mr. X has to report to his manager and accordingly to the next higher positions which eventually goes up to Mr Y. While Mr Y has to report to the auditors and to the shareholders/owners of the organizations – Mr Y has very less supervision as compared to Mr X.

If Mr X takes a wrong turn and does a fraud of course, it is going to harm the organization and its goodwill but to what extent?

If Mr Y does any fraud, can you imagine the extent of harm which the organization is going to face?

According to a study, the number of frauds done by employees at base level and at managerial positions is very high, and the number of frauds done by higher level (executives/owner) is very less.

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Although, the loss which happens collectively by huge numbered employee group and managerial group versus small numbered owner/executive group says it all:

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The financial loss is huge when it comes to executive/owner frauds. Not only the financial loss, the goodwill is also shattered if the head of the organization or a higher management executive does any fraud.

Westar CEO David Wittig was convicted in September 2005 for having taken millions of unaccounted dollars from his company. 

Ramlinga Raju, the chairman and founder of software service giant Satyam, admitted that he had fiddled with the firm’s account and that led to major financial crisis in that organization.

In a recent multi-crore Temple Rose fraud case, Ramesh Aghicha (57), who was heading the Pune branch of the company, was nabbed.

These frauds could have been brought to light at an early stage also. The most important thing is – being extra vigilant. Various ways of being vigilant and combating frauds can be:

  • Regular Internal and external audits
  • Constant Surveillance/Monitoring
  • Repeated Management Review
  • Strict Documentation Examination
  • IT Control
  • Complete Account Reconciliation

Every organization needs to be aware of what is going on at all level of its ladder, be it at the junior level or the senior management level. Frauds happen at the top and along with the organization; many have to pay a price for the same. Plus, there is no harm in being extra vigilant, even employees should understand that if they don’t have anything to hide, then let there be more transparency. After all, true prevention is not waiting for frauds to happen; rather it’s preventing frauds from happening in the first place. So, let’s be more vigilant.

 

Small Lie – Big trouble: Resume Lies

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A single lie discovered is enough to create a doubt in every truth.

In 1981, Janet Cooke lost American journalism’s highest honour, the Pulitzer Prize and her job when her work was exposed as a hoax. The revelation surfaced after it was discovered that she had lied on her resume´ and her biographical record.

Twenty years later, football coach George O’Leary resigned from one of the most coveted jobs in college sports when it was discovered that he had falsified his academic and athletic accomplishments decades earlier.

Enhancing one’s resume and presenting it for a particular job opening – is it really lying?

A job applicant had embellished his resume with an experience in a particular skill/domain, of which he hardly had any knowledge about. He was looking forward for a switch and this position was quiet luring. He really wanted to get, at least, an interview call. Sadly, for that particular job, a mandatory condition was some work experience in that skill/domain. Hence, he manipulated his resume and updated his job description, from just a known skill/domain; he included it as good experience in the same.

Another job applicant included a language as known. He couldn’t read, write or speak that language. He knew just a few words.

One of the job applicants played with his existing position name and added accolades and awards.

Are all these lies or just beautification of resume?

2nd novWell, statistics show that about 75% job applicants lie to beautify their credentials. All these have increased due to a tough job market. Candidates get tempted to lie to score at least an interview for the job opening. But is it right?

Not at all! Beautifying one’s resume is basically lying about his/her own potential, which is as wrong as presenting fake documents. Not any big lies, not any small lies. In today’s world, most of the organizations have reached zero-tolerance towards frauds. About 38% organizations do not consider a candidate if they find out about a candidate lying on their resume! So one misses out a chance to join that organization then and forever!

If at all a person joins that organization by fluke and later he is unable to match the potential he claims in his resume, his job can be terminated. This may happen immediately or after many years. Of course, resume is that sheet of paper which gets you that interview call which you have been waiting for, but it can also work as a fraud proof against you.

A lie is after all a lie. So, let’s get back to our original resume and remove the added filters!

 

Employee Background Verification – Discrepancy Statistics for October 2017

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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?

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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

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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.

Iterative Background verification

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There was a perfect candidate for a vacancy and he was a sought after candidate. A renowned company hired him. His post background verification was all clear and he was hired. Two years passed by and he progressed to higher roles and responsibilities.

It was a good time for him professionally but bad on his personal front. He was in a lot of debt. He was in a lot of stress. To top it all, he took to taking drugs.

His organization was not aware about the recent developments in his life; they were very happy with the way he was progressing. His organization had full faith in him.

He was depressed and needed some extra money. He was not a bad person but the situation was extremely adverse. No one was there for him. So he took an extreme step.

He took a wrong measure to get some extra money a year back, but his organization is still paying the price.

With frauds and crime on a high, can companies take the chance of neglecting background verification during recruitments?

Maybe not.

Most organizations are strictly following background verification process during recruitment. If any candidate fails the background verification check, he is not taken in. On the other hand, the ones who clear the same are brought on-board.

Is it possible that the same employee after joining the organization may fall prey to bad habits like drugs or may commit an unnoticed crime beyond the premises of organization?

Of course, it is.

In the above situation, the employee was a good catch. He was given additional responsibility and a better role. In short, more power. The more powerful an employee, the more vulnerable the organization.

What’s the solution?

Iterative background verification.

12octWhenever there is a promotion, salary is revised. When there is change in address, profile is updated. When there is new addition in employee’s family, his/her insurance card or other benefits are updated.

Now all these are good, but there may be some updates on the personal side as well. Like a home violence complaint against the employee, or a drug addiction or some other kind of criminal complaint. If an employee doesn’t tell, it’s difficult for an organization to know.

Simple solution is – whenever a promotion is granted, repeat the background verification process. Or, like a revised annual salary, have revised background verification as well, every year.

It’s always better to be safe than sorry. Once there is a harm, it takes years together to get back. Let’s not be penny-wise, pound-foolish!