Background Verification – Why and Where

The human factor drives business. The credibility of this crucial factor comes from the delivery in producing what has been promised by the company. When a business is delivering to a client, certain standards need to be maintained. This emphasises the premium returns as agreed in the service level agreement. Here the SLA defines the kind of talent required to deliver the job. Defining capabilities is followed by the verification of standards of the talent joining the organization. Here begins the background verification process. This process is structurally designed to add credibility to the professionals. The checks begin when the individuals apply for a new job or join an institution. The lowest level to qualify is mentioned and the documents provided by the individual are checked against the standard set. The benchmark is decided on the following parameters

  1. Educational: This includes all the details of the education and certifications done by the employees. This legally starts with the class 10 board exams. Yet differs as it depends on the role to be hired .
  2. Professional: Here the data including where the employee had worked previously, every employer the employee had worked with and data including date of joining, date of leaving, designations, reason for leaving etc.
  3. Personal: Information including the complete name, date of birth, pancard number, passport and other details are grouped under the personal file. The information related to parents’ name, address and contact number is considered in case the new-hire is unmarried. The policy for no-encroachment is strictly followed and data such as religious choice or any other such information related to the fundamental rights is not reviewed. The bank account information is held as private.

This process holds several functional challenges, if not mitigated, might defeat the purpose of this process.

  • Timely data collection: Often the data required to complete a background verification may not be received from the ex-employer. This may leave several gaps in the report.
  • Objectivity: The relevance of this report holds when it is drawn on the basis of the data, objectively. The opinions collected may not be true. Human emotions such as a scorn by a former colleague and a negative feedback by a boss needs to be avoided. The behavioural feedback is often substantiated by incidental evidence, such as low score on anger management is substantiated by incidences where the employee may have lost control over their behaviour and misbehaved. But such incidents need to be considered independently. The factors contributing to them are to be taken into serious consideration.
  • Non-adherence to the complete process: When a lot of background verification reports are required to be generated that too, within a short span of time, certain steps get over-looked or are even surpassed. The significance of those audits is ignored causing an irreparable damage to the ultimate report drawn
  • Validation done superficially: When the process is followed for namesake, most of the gaps remain in the checking. Often when a former employer is contacted for a reference check, there is a laggardness towards providing feedback. Here the feedback provided on an ex-employee may not have any evidence to support the performance. Open ended words provided as an answer affect the final report generation.
  • Unavailability of the information: At certain times, the records of ex-employees are poorly managed. This results with virtually little or no data sharing. Such gaps in the reports can’t vouch for the levels of performance delivered by the employees in the company. This creates a room for doubt.
  • Unavailability of the source: Some educational institutes close down. Certifications completed from such places remains dubious. Hence, it becomes very difficult to prove their validity.
  • Structural disputes: At times there can be cases where the company had not paid the salaries, resulting in employees filing a case on the employer. The case might take a longer duration to pass a verdict. In the meantime, if the employees apply for a job in other companies, they run into the risk of negative results during the reference check.

Corrective measures:

Few measures that can be taken in order to ensure that the process remains unaffected by the interferences are as shared below:

  • Identify the core data required to prepare the analogies for an employee. If the basic details are in place, this can be taken as the first parameter.
  • Avoid subjective comments. The report generated from the reference check decides on the continuity of the employment for the new hire. Hence it is quintessential to identify it objectively and not let the co-workers from former employers settle scores with the new-hire
  • Follow the guideline. National Skill Registry has designed a fail safe method. This is followed by most of the background verification companies. Uniformity in maintaining the process would vouch for the integrity of the candidate in the long run.

The lines get drawn to keep the personal information safe. The process needs to refine the actual information from the inflated if any. Supporting the logical data from the report will make it valid in the long run. Respecting individuals irrespective of the results from the report drawn will make the process accepted by all.

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