This Article is From May 05, 2013

Companies expand background check on jobseekers

Amid growing risks of staff-driven security threats and corporate frauds, companies have begun conducting regulatory, compliance and criminal record checks of people seeking jobs with them and are also scanning the social media platforms for due diligence, say experts.

Apart from the practiced norm of verifying educational and professional credentials of the job aspirants, companies across all major sectors are now also trying to make sure that their potential employees do not have been party to any regulatory non-compliance, corporate frauds or other unlawful activities.

The hiring process now include criminal record verification, court record checks, regulatory authorities' database check, credit and integrity risk database check, national identity check and substance abuse testing, and regulatory compliance database checks.

These checks are being conducted on national as well as global levels, depending on the profile of the companies and the potential employees, say human resource experts.

These practices help a company hire the most qualified and least risky employees and save them from any unwarranted costs in the future.

According HR consultancy firm Unison International's managing director Udit Mittal, the concerns over identity theft, terrorism, and corporate espionage are becoming widespread and therefore a employment background screening becomes an effective measure that help organisations mitigate risks in their workplace.

"A pre-employment background check can help an employer ensure that the person they are hiring is actually the one he claims to be, doesn't have a criminal record that would disqualify him from being hired, doesn't have his name on an international sanction list as a known terrorist, and has a work history with which you're comfortable," he added.

As per the experts, these parameters are been adopted across various sectors in the country such as FMCG, BPO/KPO, banking and financial services, hospitality, healthcare, government entities, non-profit organisations.

As per executive search firm Lighthouse Partners, such checks are especially stringent in the IT and IT enabled industries.

According to Mr Mittal, the trend started with the MNCs and global giants and gradually small and medium enterprises followed the suit.

He has estimated that a bad candidate could cost a firm anywhere from 20 per cent to 200 per cent (in annual compensation) apart from eating into a lot of invaluable management time.

Experts say that recruiters are also actively accessing social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to check the candidates past behaviour.

"Smart recruiters use their informal network to know more about the person," MANCER Consulting CEO Satya D Sinha said.

"Social media plays an important role in checking candidates past behaviour or reducing the degree of separation from the candidate to do informal reference checks," he added.

Professional networking site ApnaCircle founder and CEO Yogesh Bansal said that recruiters are not only using the social mediums for reference checks but also for viewing a candidate's skills, interests, recommendations and contacts.

"...ApnaCircle and Facebook is being used by HR managers and recruiters over traditional medium for reference check and which helps them to know about the social life and behavior of the individual candidate," he said.

In addition, Lighthouse Partners managing partner Rajiv Burman said, most large firms are also adopting "psychometric tests" which help them evaluate a candidate's personalities, psychology and competencies.

E-grocery portal Nature's Feast Director Tejaswini Kharade feels "it is a must to access the hopping trend of a employee as it shows the credibility and accountability of the person which is indeed important for any organisation as it depicts the commitment level of an employee".