Over the past few years, the business ecosystem has been characterised by the swell-up of the remote work model, wherein businesses have made proactive shifts to hire remote workers. This burgeoning rise in remote hiring has been instrumental in mitigating operational costs. At the same time, it has positioned enterprises at the crossroads of limited face-to-face interaction and reduced physical proximity, leaving them vulnerable to fraudulent activities.
Rooted in a model of distant working, this paradigm shift towards digital nomadism has necessitated the need to adopt robust verification solutions for the hiring cycle. A report by ACFE to the nations, in 2022, showcased that 21% of the organisations that fell victim to fraud were the ones that onboarded candidates ignoring the red flags raised during the employment screening process. Thus, in the age of remote work with fraudsters exploiting the loopholes of virtual hiring, integrating background checks in the hiring process has become pivotal.
Addressing the ‘WHY’ of background checks
In recent times, duplicitous activities have been on an upward trajectory with an overwhelming 95% of Indian companies experiencing new waves of fraud. With global giants undergoing fraud experiences, wherein we keep hearing news of employees duping their organisations, employing robust background check mechanisms has become the need of the hour.
At the same time, it’s essential to note that fraudulent activities have evolved beyond economic crimes, elevating to a stage wherein they are rooted in misconduct and misdemeanours, incurring organisations not only long-term reputational damage but also increasing occupational fraud vulnerabilities. In light of the evolved fraud landscape, HR tech solutions are emerging to streamline and enhance the background check process, revolutionising remote hiring practices.
Uncovering new trends in background verification processes
As we foray into 2024, background checks are undoubtedly poised to become more comprehensive and crystallised. Previously, background checks involved exhaustive manual procedures, like getting in touch with former employers. But thanks to the advent of technology, AI, and ML algorithms, holistic background checks from employment to education can now be automated (for some organisations at least to begin with!), significantly reducing the overall turnaround time (TAT).
Apart from leveraging cutting-edge technologies, background check platforms are actively expanding their verification bandwidth, allowing for a more detailed and global overview of identity, criminal, and credit history checks. Additionally, to help organisations effectively navigate the risks of remote hiring, background checks have evolved to include digital address verification, which allows easy and convenient verification of the candidates’ address details, ensuring reliability in the digital hiring process.
Beyond the space of checks and verifications
Undoubtedly, background checks will form the foundations of virtual remote hiring, ensuring organisations hire candidates that pass comprehensive checks effortlessly. But to cultivate a culture of efficient background checks and reliable remote hiring, it’s pivotal to immerse employee monitoring in the checks mix, which will bolster trust-building, whilst respecting privacy rights.
Further, enterprises need to extend the hiring process to incorporate regular feedback loops and performance evaluations which will help employers assess remote employees' productivity, engagement, and adherence to the company’s policies.
Trust and authenticity are the pillars of the modern workplace, especially in the realm of remote work environments. With robust background checks in place, enterprises stand an excellent chance to master the skills of remote hiring and management. Going forward, digital background checks will become more than just onboarding and fraud mitigation tools, but strategic assets laying the foundations of trust, reliability, and security in a remote workplace.