With the outbreak of COVID-19, employees today are inducted remotely and even deliver work in a completely remote and distributed work environment. It has enabled the organizations to be flexible and scale up rapidly but has significantly increased recruitment fraud avenues. As a result, conducting background verification, a tried and tested tool, has become even more critical for organizations to mitigate the cost incurred on wrong hiring.
Background verification is the process of verifying the details provided by the candidates in their resume or during the interview, which includes their identity, qualification, work history, criminal records, or any other details asked by the hiring organization. It is a process where employers try to determine the actual truth behind the candidates’ “sugar-coated words.” The process is complicated and expensive. Complex because the employer needs to pull out data from universities, other companies, government authorities, and other statutory and legal bodies; expensive both in terms of time invested and money involved to carry out such process. This process should ideally be carried out before the candidate joins the organization but may even be done once the candidate joins. Many organizations offer conditional employment to the candidates, which gets converted to full-time employment only after the candidate’s background verification is satisfactorily completed. The process has been around for many years now, and organizations have adopted it to determine if the candidate’s information is correct.
Candidates provide false information about their educational qualifications and work history to improve their chances of getting selected. They learn essential information about the role and the interview process and fake to get an offer from the organization. As per the Economic Times report, one out of every six candidates were found lying about their credentials in their resume or job application form. The importance of background verification can be understood because, by the year 2018, background verification discrepancies rose to 48% compared to 10.29% in 2016 (according to a study by AuthBridge , a background-checking firm).
Many organizations hire third-party background verification organizations to run the prospective employees’ background verification process, while some have their internal HR perform the process. In most cases, the organizations verify the following information through the background verification process –
- The educational qualification including the institute name, year of passing, percentage, or grade;
- The work history which includes companies the candidate has worked in, duration of association with the companies, the designation of the employee in the company, his last drawn salary and benefits;
- Candidate’s residential address (permanent and present);
- The criminal history/record of the candidate, if any;
- Career or qualification gap, if any, and the reason for such gap;
- Reference checks
Pandemic COVID-19 has brought in the “new normal.” From the recruitment process including conducting interviews , completing joining formalities, and then regular meetings, assigning work, all have moved to online mode, reducing face to face interactions to almost none. It has made things difficult for the organizations, and conducting a thorough background verification process has become necessary now more than ever. Organizations have reported candidates’ divulging in unethical practices by asking someone else to appear for the telephonic interviews on their behalf and later even be a proxy to complete the tasks. A properly conducted background verification can help employers deal with all these issues and improve hire quality. Reference checks are also a great way to know about the values and the personality of a candidate.
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