In an era of the worldwide web, efficient search tools and social media, it seems hard to believe there could be a chance for someone to forge away into bagging a job of choice. A look around, and one could find numerous cases of discrepancies in the newly hired employee’s actual background and that what’s presented in the documents provided during the selection process. It’s a matter of concern, that a lot of forgery and miscommunication of facts takes place at the time of selection, and comes to revelation only after a significant time has passed and the consequences have been faced by the organization. It’s even more disturbing to know that there is still a lack of stringent policies around employee background screening. There is a need for organizations to gear up and embrace effective background check methods in order to avoid any discrepancies which could later effect individual or overall performance and productivity.
The fact that, the discrepancies still prevail and need immediate correction, can be validated by the attention-grabbing findings from ‘AuthBridge's Annual Trend Analysis Report 2013 - Employee Background Screening’. Employee background screening- Annual trend report 2013 is the result of an extensive study conducted on the data procured over the last 3 years from more than 500 clients. Top 10 industry sectors in India were brought under the purview of the study. The data collated, was analysed industry-wise, check-wise, region-wise, age-wise, etc. and the industry’s discrepancy trends were compared with the overall discrepancy trends to get a better understanding of the divergences.
This trend analysis brought forward some key findings, the most significant of which, is the overall discrepancy rate in last three financial years being 20.11%. It implies that one in five jobs, the applicant provides incorrect or fake information on his resume or job application. It certainly raises a concern for the recruiters and the employers, hinting towards an urgent need for strict measures to avoid the same. A mention of incorrect tenure is the major contributor to the discrepancy in employment while submission of fake or forged documents, contributes the most to discrepancies in the education sector. Furthermore, it has been observed that the northern region faces highest discrepancy in education followed by the eastern and western region. There are a lot of other findings based on age, industry sectors and areas of discrepancies.
So, what is it that companies and recruiters can do?
Be proactive, bring in a strict policy around background screening as a part of the recruitment process, before the situation gets out of control. A lot of organizations already have a background screening process in place and some are gradually and partially adopting the same. Those with no such process at hand can avoid a lot of trouble with a little foresight. With the screening policies, companies could – lay down guidelines defining the risks to be covered, department or role wise scope of screening and a detailed list of checks. A severity grid can be laid out describing the concluding dispositions for every check type, also including a waiver policy for any deviations. The recruiters or hiring teams could inform the prospective hires of the background screening policy, well in advance, to avoid any kind of delays or waivers. Doing this, could not only save both the parties a good amount of effort and embarrassment, but would also ensure there are no loose ends.
In times, when there are a great deal of HR service providers out there, offering their best services, and organizations responsively outsourcing a lot of their burden to them, background screening could also be delegated to a credible and reputed partner. An external partner for employee background screening could provide unbiased, accurate and reliable information to decide on new hires. Also, when data analytics has gained utmost importance, why not leverage it to implement a background screening process as well and make the best hiring decisions.