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How to Choose Your Background Verification Partner?

In the face of technology disruption and initiatives such as “Make in India” and StartUpIndia, there is a focus on job creation. With multiple avenues opening up, recruiting managers are pressurised to make the right hiring decisions in quick time while ensuring the organisational goals for hiring and retaining are met.

The importance of background verification - Risk mitigation and building trust

Given the time and resource crunch in HR teams, many resort to shortcuts in the hiring process. Bad hires have been proven to cost up to five times the annual salary of an employee besides denting the image and reputation of the company. Resume frauds are also common with a 15.21% discrepancy rates in 2017. One in six candidates lie on their resume with a majority of them misrepresenting their employment tenure during background verification. HR companies rely on a background verification partner to conduct due diligence on behalf of the company. Since critical hiring decisions are made based on the information provided by the background verification partner, it is important to select the right background screening company.

Things to consider while selecting a background verification partner

1.     Licensed provider

In the U.S., background verification companies need to obtain accreditation from the National Association of Professional Background Screeners.  Independent audits are conducted to ensure the background verification partner is following the best practices. However, in India, while there is no regulatory body, the background verification partner has to be registered and have the required licenses to conduct background verification. This ensures employers of quality results from approved, genuine provider.  Employers can refer to the list of ‘empanelled background screening agencies’ with National Skills Registry (NSR).

2.     Up-to-date with legislation

While you enlist a background verification partner, check if they are aware of the prevailing laws and regulations with respect to employee background verification in the geography under consideration. This is particularly true if your business operates overseas and hires people from across the globe. Different regional and Federal laws govern background verification across countries and a professional background verification partner needs to be aware of such relevant laws. For instance, it is illegal to conduct criminal records check in the U.S. without the consent of the employee. In India, the consent of employee for drug screening and criminal records check is required.

Background verification partners have to be compliant with:

·   The Indian Penal Code ·   The Indian Contract Act ·   Information technology Acts of 2000 and 2005 which prohibits unauthorized usage of employee data ·   The Right to Privacy ·   ISO standards for information security

3.      Time taken for conducting verification

Ensure the background verification partner have a proven track record of completing the verification processes in defined and efficient turnaround time.

4.     Technology-savvy

Check if the background verification partner is using sophisticated technology to ensure reliability and accuracy of data. Smart platforms such as WorkAttest™, API integrated technologies, Aadhaar-based eKYC and access to national and international databases are some of the factors that work in favour of a background verification partner. These technologies not only cut down the time required to conduct background screening but provide accurate data as well.

 5.     Protocols in place

A professional background verification partner has to follow best practices while having clear protocols in place.

6.     Experience and reputation

As is the norm in selecting any vendor or partner, checking the industry experience and reputation of the background verification partner is critical. A reliable background verification partner has to be open to feedback while being approachable. Also Read: Top 7 Tips to Get Your Employment Background Verification Right Look for online reviews or if not available, request the background verification company to provide some references. Also, check if the company has been top-rated in surveys or opinion polls in independent surveys.  Review also if the company has published whitepapers, case studies and surveys on relevant issues that add to the credibility.