Impact Of Technology On Background Screening Industry

Ajay Trehan, Founder & CEO, AuthBridge Research ServicesTechnology continues to revolutionize and empower various aspects of businesses across industries. In the Indian context of Background Screening Industry where the market penetration is still low, technology is playing a critical role in expanding the horizons. With increasing awareness of the potential risks involved in hiring people without a back-ground check, more companies are demanding employee background screening.

To cope-up with increased demand and capitalize un-tapped market, background verification companies must innovate to change the way background data is handled and processed. Technology has also changed the pace at which we conduct business and enabled consumers to expect and demand instant gratification. For background verification, this means to shed the conventional ways and develop new methods to turn around faster & reliable results.

Though at our disposal, technology best serves those with an instinctive vision towards the future. With the changing landscape of public & private information, thanks to on-going digitization efforts across the country, technology is playing a major role in this space. Few data intelligence company has developed cutting-edge platforms that combine deep search algorithms, AI & Machine Learning to dig and aggregate data scattered over various databases to deliver reliable, efficient, and fastest results.

The digitization of public records (under the Digital India Program) like Identity, PAN, Voter ID, Aadhaar & DL, and many more, along with Court records, Police records and Educational records has facilitated a great deal in fastening the verification process. Background Verification firms today have capabilities to verify identity, criminal background, and employment re-cords in a matter of seconds, which allow employers to take their hiring decisions quickly and with confidence. The impact of technology in this space is only going to increase with more & more government bodies, educational institutes, and businesses moving towards digitizing their databases. Some key areas where technology is making an impact in the background screening industry are:
• Operations: Companies have developed a platform that has automated the back-end operations much like an assembly line, where different credentials of a candidate are authenticated in-parallel by different teams and mapped on the platform to compile the results and generate the re-port at the end. It saves time, avoids manual errors, and allows easy tracking & data analytics for business intelligence. In addition, it prevents misuse of data as no single person controls complete data of a candidate. The same has also been published as a case study by Cornell University in 2012.

• Data Security: Enhanced firewall and access control technology enable better storage, processing, and management of data and allow implication of high security and privacy policies. It help us to adhere to ISO standards of Quality & Information.

Background Verification, though at a nascent stage in India, is gaining momentum, especially considering many unfortunate incidents, more so in the recent past where companies have had to face financial and reputational loss due to frauds or misbehaviour of their employees

• Criminal Background: With access to over 200 million court records (litigation data-bases- criminal and civil) across the country, few companies have developed state-of-the-art search algorithm powered by AI & Machine Learning, which is capable of precision to an extent of picking a needle from a haystack. It can search for the criminal history of a candidate across India in a matter of seconds.

• Ex-Employee Verification: Companies have developed a solution to automate Ex-employee Verification Process for employers, called Work Attest. It allows the HR departments of the partnered companies to do away with the unproductive work of replying to ex-employee verification requests and saves time & resources.

• APIs: Technology has enabled us to provide APIs of our platforms to companies using HRMS system that allows raising verification requests, submit relevant documents, track the progress of background verification for each candidate, and enrol the selected candidates to other systems (payroll, attendance, and others) with ease.

Background Verification, though at a nascent stage in India, is gaining momentum, especially considering many unfortunate incidents, more so in the recent past where companies have had to face financial and reputational loss due to frauds or misbehaviour of their employees. Plenty of examples are available for employee frauds and fake credentials of even the senior-most candidates, where proper authentication of candidate's credentials could have prevented loss of face for the companies.

In a country without proper regulations and mandates around background verification, it becomes an intrinsic responsibility of service providers to handle the data responsibly and any good background verification company would take this up with utmost seriousness. Nowadays firms with its technology, delivery platforms, and proprietary databases are building a trust infrastructure which allow companies to operate in an environment of trust and transact with individuals with confidence. Going for-ward, technology will keep improving the Background Data Intelligence to help employers filter-out people who may prove to be disloyal, inefficient, potential litigators and who may put a company's productivity or reputation at risk by indulging in racism, sexual, emotional, and verbal harassment.