Why your company should conduct Employee Background Checks!

Why your company should conduct Employee Background Checks!

Author : Abhash Kumar

Background verification (BGV) is one of the most pivotal processes in an organisation, especially when it comes to hiring. It is a method of vetting the candidate who has applied for a job in the organisation and ensuring that he/she is who they say they are.

You might ask why is it so necessary to do a thorough check of the employee’s background? That’s because a CareerBuilder survey says that a wrong hire can cost employers an average of $17,000. Many employees are known to exaggerate more than lie explicitly.

Although we couldn’t find data for the number of candidates who were fired after failing their background checks, one can safely assume that fudging information will likely get a job applicant fired. A lot of aspiring job searchers forget that there is a process called background verification whose sole intention is to find out if they have misrepresented facts. Even a tiny aberration in the details that looks deliberate will lead to being fired on the spot, a call which is usually made by the HR team and management.

Here is why businesses do background research:

Many job aspirants believe that a background verification process will not delve too much into the information that they have given, and resort to adding information to sweeten their resume. It can have serious repercussions with the least punishment meted out being asked to leave the job. Below are some of the details that background verification agencies find:

  • Experience gaps
  • Mismatch in the education received
  • Discrepancies in the compensation
  • Working in various unrelated industries
  • Skill sets varying hugely
  • Fake degrees from unrecognized universities
  • Certificate courses being passed off as degrees

Finding out if they have kept the business in the dark about any court cases or criminal records will help you weed out applications easily (if the business has a policy against it).

Companies will also find out details about an applicant’s previous work, which will include their role, dates that where they have worked with them, performance, memos they have gotten, conduct, and so on.

Many companies even go to the extent of verifying their permanent and current addresses in person, all of this is to ensure that someone with dubious credentials does not enter the organization.

Big companies hire the services of third-party agencies to run background checks while start-ups must make do with the little resources they have at their disposal, usually the HR team.

The HR team which takes care of the background verification process has a powerful tool that they can use to learn a lot about a job applicant- social media handles. Content that borders on racism, homophobic slur, inappropriate pictures, etc, is, and should be, used against the applicant. There are no laws that require companies from scanning social media handles of candidates.

There are times when a business finds discrepancies and the HR team must take a call, either to fire the candidate or give them the opportunity to explain themselves. A face-to-face discussion with the HR team can clear doubts whether a candidate lied or if there was a miscommunication that does not deserve any kind of punishment.

While a computerized verification process may not always be foolproof, it is the exact reason why there needs to be a human connect so that exigencies can be addressed.

Is background check worth the money?

The right background check will be a cost-effective method, the only downside to it is that it might take a few attempts for the business to figure out what works best for them and what doesn’t.

But if you could look at the bigger picture, hiring the wrong candidate is costlier to your reputation than not spending on performing a background check. If a client sues your business because you hired a candidate with fake credentials, then there is not much you can do instead of getting sucked into a vortex of never-ending runs to face the judiciary.

Background verification gives you incredible peace of mind, reduces chances of having to terminate employees, and not having to waste time on correcting poor performance and so on. Remember that a single wrong hire can create a lot of problems for you which you may find difficult to recover from.

There have been innumerable incidents where companies faced financial and reputational loss because of the behavior of its employees. Employers not taking the process of getting to know their employees well has been the problem in many such cases. In a utopian world, it might be normal to take the word of a job aspirant based on the resume alone. But the real world works differently, doesn’t it?

Businesses should realize that verification of employees’ credentials is not because of an inherent lack of trust, but because specific systems like this have been set in place to ensure smooth running of work. You need to be open with your candidate about the background verification exercise that is being done. Taking consent from the candidate for the verification can avert a lot of risks, both financially and reputation wise, for the business.

If the business takes the consent of the employee and handles the data with responsibility, then background verification is a process that reaps a lot of returns for the long term as well as for averting any immediate ‘faux pas.’

A wrong hire will not treat your customers the way they are supposed to be treated. Lack of such a commitment from an employee will reflect poorly on your business. It could also completely lower the morale of the other employees who will take a share of the blame as well.

To sum it up, candidate verification is one of the most effective tools that you should use to build the right ‘infrastructure’ of employees. India is seeing a huge spurt in growth with many a start-up spawning from even tier-2 and tier-3 cities. Make sure candidate verification is a policy that is part of your growing culture and is never side-lined. You might not see tangible benefits to it, but you would’ve averted many an issue just by making sure you only allow candidates who are vetted.

Source from SpringRole

02nd Jul, 2019

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