Background Verification (BGV): A Mandatory Step in Any Organization Today

Lavina Lobo, HR & Director, Fujitsu IndiaSumalatha and Santhosh, house-owners in Bangalore, had put-up a to-let board outside their home. Finally, among a stream of folks who came into see the house over a weekend, Suma had arranged for a couple of families to meet her husband, once he got back home in the evening. They met, exchanged pleasantries, but it was more of a negotiation session, where rent, rental advance, and terms were negotiated. At night, during their discussion, Santhosh was letting-out feelers that he wanted the family that agreed to the highest rent. `They won the auction,' he said. However, Sumalatha had her own point of view. She wanted to go with the other party, a family of four who had come-in. A typical nuclear family with two school going kids, working mother & father. `They both have been working with top IT organizations in Bangalore for a while now,' she said. It means both of them would have gone through a vigorous background verification. I think we should go with them. Santhosh smiled quietly and accepted once again to himself that Sumalatha, a simple homemaker, was definitely the smarter one in their couple.

Background Verification (BGV) is a mandatory step in any organization today. Checks on education, employment, any open litigation against the person, addresses and so on, get verified as a part of this. Organizations invest in background verifications and typically have a zero tolerance policy towards any BGV, where fake documents, certificates

and others are produced by the new joiner.

Most organizations employ third-party BGV vendors who get these checks done for them. In fact, global organizations also insist on their contract staff to be BGV compliant. BGV is a way to mitigate any future risks by checking past records. Integrity & transparency is the key to getting that dream job and retaining it too. "It is important that we verify the skilled & unskilled employees, including those on contract, of any organization. They could be janitors to CEOs - vet them all to be safe," says Sivasubramanian Venkatasubramanian, Head - Compliance, Fujitsu India.

According to a report published by AuthBridge, one of the background verification companies in India, the discrepancies in BGV increased to a whopping 15.21 percent in FY 2017-18, which is quite a jump from 10.29 percent in FY 2014-15. Considering the current news, media & social media sensationalism, even a single employee who is either malicious or corrupt or criminal could lead to severe and irreparable brand damage. Needless to say, it is also a cause for financial loss.

So what are the BGV checks done?

• Identity check, wherein a candidate's identity is verified
• Education check
• Any past criminal records of the candidate is verified too
• Financial check, which is mainly done in Banking & Financial sector point to any debt that the candidate might have accumulated that might lead to him/her embezzling funds or commit fraud
• Past work history check is done to see if the candidate has really worked in the organizations as claimed in his resume and if his work history is legit.

With the current digital world, BGV processes have also upped their game. Intelligent screening solutions have led to an efficient & faster way of closing BGVs and more & more organizations are looking at comprehensive BGV checks for their employees in an effort to mitigate risk.

Ranjith, a retired government employee, was trying to look for an alliance for his daughter. He went with an alliance from an IT major, since he felt confident about their BGV/vetting process. During their daughter's wedding reception, he met the HR of the groom's organization and said, `You made my job quite easy,' and they exchanged a hearty laugh.