Growing Need For Online Background Screening Companies During The WFH Era

December 28, 2020
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Online Background Screening Companies During The WFH Era

Verifying the authenticity of details furnished by the candidate is the first step in establishing trust between the employer and the employee. But, the traditional BGV methods are tedious, expensive and time-taking processes. ValidateMe resolves the shortcomings of traditional BGV processes by connecting all employers, employees and certifying institutions, in a single digital platform.  This reduces the time involved to conduct BGV as the documents can be shared by the candidates at the click of a button.

The background screening process involves storage, exchange and validation of sensitive information like education documents, experience certificates, payslip and other personal details of candidates.  ValidateMe uses cutting edge Blockchain technology to store your documents in a repository with impenetrable security. Usage of a distributed ledger allows access to information on demand, while simultaneously securing it through an encryption key and stores it in a form that cannot be altered and is impossible to hack.

The current pandemic has accelerated the digital transformation across all industries including the recruitment processes. Interviews and onboarding have already become remote activities and it is high time to switch to a quick, secure digital solution for your background verification needs. 

The on-going pandemic has changed every aspect of our lives and employment background checks are no different. With WFH touted as the new normal and being followed worldwide, employee recruitment processes like interviews, background screening etc., are badly affected. Today widespread closures have negatively affected the ability of background screening companies to procure employee-related necessary and important information.

However, despite the pandemic, businesses still have continued globally keeping the economies of the countries in mind. While some industries have taken a financial hit and stopped hiring temporarily, there are some for whom hiring is business as usual.

Need for Background Screening in Pandemic Times

Background screening was always considered a necessity for employee selection. It has gained more relevance now where a touch factor totally needs to be transitioned to the virtual factor. Shifting to WFH and remote work is presenting unprecedented HR risks to prospective employers. Ensuring that new employees hired do not present a risk to the company, it has now become a legal duty of the stakeholders to protect their professional family from exposure to risk. Once a candidate is hired, the company becomes responsible for all his actions at work. Employers who opt for negligent hiring become liable for such actions. The repercussions are huge and can lead to a financial and a legal disaster,  if left unchecked.

Background screening companies with their expertise and experience are reasonably able to predict potential employees future actions based on their past behaviour. Thus the need for employee background screening stems from the need to access current and future employee risk.

Background Screening Challenges in Pandemic Times

This process is typically divided into 3 important and unavoidable components. They are:

  • Public records searching
  • Document verification
  • Drug screening

COVID 19 has affected each of these components in similar yet different ways like:

  • Limited access to public records: In places where these records are digitised, the turnaround times may or may not be affected. If the records are regularly updated, then information can be accurately gathered. However, most places require human interaction in some form or the other. Additionally, it is always better to authenticate digitised information with people connected to the relevant departments. But with WFH in place, this is a remote possibility and thus conducting criminal background checks, Motor Vehicle Record or MVR checks etc., become difficult.
  • Drug screening and lab availability issue: Most drug screening laboratories operational during this pandemic times are largely associated with COVID 19 testing. Thus there is always a risk of contracting the contagion. However, those with sample collection services provide a good alternative for the same. Small scale labs may have simply closed down or are operating with reduced staff. Thus the current state of drug testing is a cause of concern for most companies that need to hire new employees.
  • Verification of education and employment status: The education industry where institutes and colleges have been largely shut down due to the high risk are now operational mostly via online classes. Herein, the verification of academic performance data of the candidate was taking a much longer time. In some instances, however, complete verification was also not possible due to the limited access to this data. In such situations, there is a potential threat to falsify educational diplomas and transcripts.

Employment status checking has become time-consuming since the sudden implementation of WFH has made it difficult for background screening companies to access employment records kept in the offices. As long as employers keep updating employee record repositories, they remain operative and information can be accurately gathered. But most SMBs still use traditional methods of employment and employee record keeping. Thus they offer no scope for employee verification with their offices closed and the absence of physical presence of employees. While all employees provide documentary evidence of their previous work histories, employers still need to authenticate them to mitigate all potential risks.

  • International checks: With all countries across the world struggling to contain the pandemic, conducting an international verification check is next to impossible looking at the present scenario and for years to come.

Additionally, most employment rules state that inaccurate or incomplete background screening conducted by background screening companies cannot be used as a reason to deny employment. If denied, the applicant has the right to move the courts of law against such a move.

Importance of Background Screening Companies

In such a scenario where every aspect of background screening is facing some challenge or the other, there is another important point that needs to be looked into. This involves the need for remote hiring; herein, there is no face to face interview and hence background screening forms the deciding factor of such a hire. The importance of companies associated with background screening can be easily understood from the fact that:

  • A bad hire costs the company dearly: There are several costs associated with employee hire like:
    • Advertising
    • Interviews
    • Selection and training
    • Employee remuneration
    • Fringe benefits
    • Substandard performance
    • Period of no or lost output

In case of a bad hire, wherein the organisations are making several financial compromises to survive, this would severely have a financial impact on the organisation since at times there can be bulk hirings as well. Engaging the services of background screening companies might not mitigate all the risks but it will give better odds and provide better ROI.

  • Virtual recruitment hassles: Remote hirings during the pandemic times can cause a lot of other issues as well. The main problem is to get employees to understand the exact scope and distribution of work responsibilities to new recruits and the output of the employees to a full capacity from their homes. Thus trust is the main factor that rules virtual recruitment. To ensure not losing the trust of the employer, the employees need to undergo a thorough background check conducted by background screening companies. Thus these companies help connect the potential candidates to employees and lay the foundation of trust between the two.
  • Reduction of COVID 19 challenges: Companies associated with background screening have the expertise to overcome most of the COVID 19 challenges mentioned above. They maintain and manage good relations with people they interact within their line of work. Consequently getting a little extra information even in these COVID 19 times becomes easy. Thus they can be counted upon for providing accurate background check information even in the times of the on-going pandemic since this is totally digitised and does not require the data to move one desk to the other and in terms of safety of the data it is well versed.
  • Taking over company liability: Today, ensuring profitability of core competencies is a struggle. WFH is fraught with circumstantial difficulties like poor internet connectivity at times, unavailability of updated data etc. Companies have to work and ensure profitability despite these challenges. Thus taking on an extra hassle of recruiting an eligible and able candidate can prove to be a costly proposition both in terms of money and time. Handing over this responsibility to background screening companies who are better equipped, both in terms of manpower and other resources, to take on and complete this responsibility successfully is a much better alternative.

Background screening is a criticality that no company can do away with. Companies exclusively associated with it have become almost indispensable in the current times of an on-going pandemic. 

Finally last but not the least, technology now allows people to connect anytime, anywhere, to anyone in the world, from almost any device. This is dramatically changing the way people work, facilitating 24/7 collaboration with colleagues who are dispersed across time zones, countries, and continents.