Indian employers may be the most stringent globally when it comes to conducting background verification for job candidates, however, it is being done less extensively, as per a global survey of 4,000 HR professionals (10% comprised Indians) by HireRight.
Almost 80% of Indian organizations conducted checks on job candidates and 75% reported that the screening helped them secure better talent. This is higher than the global average of 60% and the Asia-Pacific average of 72%.
However, when it comes to the nature of checks, employers are still sticking to the basic ones with employment (88%) and education verifications (83%) being the most common. When it came to identity verifications and criminal checks, they stood at third and fourth among Indian enterprises, in contrast to global markets that prioritize these two.
Similarly, social media footprint checks were down 52% in 2019, credit checks down 36% and professional license checks (down by 9% as per the report.
“Considering that reducing time-to-hire is a key concern, the temptation may be to reduce the number of checks that need to be conducted in the first place in order to speed up the process,” the report said.
Similarly, when it came to the gig economy, large gaps existed in the background-screening processes when it comes to contractors and temporary workers. Only 61% of respondents screen independent contractors, while 59% check temporary workers. The number further drops to 30% for vendor representatives and is just 26% for interns. However, this is no different than the APAC average.
There is no doubt that with increased background screening, the Indian job market has been able to achieve the lowest discrepancy rates across the APAC region. From a discrepancy rate of 15.8% in 2017, India had the least discrepancies in the region in 2018 at 12.5%. While this is a welcome change, Indian employers need to step up rescreening efforts — critical tasks when employee circumstances change or if additional responsibilities are offered to them. Only 14% of Indian organizations conduct any form of rescreening, while globally the figure stood at 29%. This low rate along with that of identity verifications and criminal checks potentially exposes organizations to significant risks and is something that employers need to prioritize given that it affects the quality of hires and the company reputation.