Background Checks in India: Know Everything About the Employee Screening Process

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The IT industry in India is projected to create 2.9 lakh job opportunities in the tech sector by the end of 2023. However, with the ever-growing possibilities, the recruitment process sees a growing challenge of candidates using fake resumes and experience certificates to get hired. According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) report 2022, 43% of organisations fell prey to employment frauds as they did not conduct background checks prior to hiring. Improper employment verification is the cause for most discrepancies. 

Leading Indian IT companies have reported almost 6% of involuntary attrition within one quarter due to false CVs, impacting the overall growth performance. It highlights the growing emphasis on performing background checks and diligent screening before hiring new employees.

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What is Employee Background Verification?

Employee background verification refers to checking the authenticity of information and documents provided by a potential candidate during the hiring process. A proper background check in India includes verifying the applicant’s identity, address, education qualifications, employment history, financial report and references. It must also include a criminal background check. In current times, given the nature of work, an individual’s social media profiles are also scrutinised to spot any inconsistencies. 

The process of a complete background check with follow-ups with related institutions can span weeks to months, depending on the information provided. Not all companies are willing to invest so much time and end up hiring the wrong talent. But with the help of expert background check companies in India, the process can come down to a few days. Rapid, one of the leading EOR platforms, has partnered with SpringVerify, to provide a three-tiered background check with faster and more accurate results. 

Benefits of Conducting Background Checks in India

Here are some benefits of conducting employee screening:

  • Prevents Fraud:  Tech companies rely on employees with qualified certifications and relevant experience for their programming process. Candidates from dicey backgrounds who could have forged documents may handle company data incorrectly and commit fraud. A background check on educational documents can reduce the possibilities of them committing frauds, thus safeguarding your company. 
  • Maintains Company Reputation: Hiring unqualified employees can cost your company its reputation if there are any legal troubles in the future with respect to unethical behaviour. To build a reliable workforce, background checks in India are necessary. The success of employees results in a positive company reputation.
  • Employee Retention: A 2022 report finds that 34% of employers from the APAC region believe background screening helps with employee retention. These checks demonstrate a company's efforts to create a safe workplace for its employees, a factor to stay within the organisation. 
  • Safe Workplace: A thorough background check avoids negligent hiring of criminals or those with a history of violence. A reference check helps to identify the candidate’s behaviour with their past colleagues or clients. It sheds light on any inappropriate behaviour such as disrespect, disloyalty or compromising of company data. It ensures the safety of the company's assets in the future.  
  • Ensures Compliance: Non-compliance with statutory rules and regulations of a state can attract legal penalties. India has several employment and labour laws such as: Minimum Wages Act 1948, The Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (Prevention and Control) Act 2017, Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Act, 2013 etc., 

These laws ensure no discrimination in the hiring process. Pre-employment screening ensures your company is compliant with all requirements related to hiring.  

Types of Background Checks in India

When conducting employee background checks in India, know what information should be verified. Once hiring employees in India, you need to verify the following  things after they clear all interview rounds: 

  • Identity Verification: Check the candidate’s identity via government-issued ID cards. In India, you can ask for their Aadhar card or driver’s licence. 
  • Address Verification: Ensure the address provided by the candidate is correct, it also assures you of the citizenship of the individual. A citizenship proof confirms the employee’s identity and their employment in the country.  You can check this from the employee’s PAN card, passport or electricity bills. 
  • Educational Qualification Verification: In the year 2023, India’s University Grants Commission listed 20 fake universities in the country. This reinstates the need to check educational qualifications and certifications when hiring employees in India. 
  • Work History:  Checking a candidate’s work history helps to verify if they have worked in the said organisation. Speaking with their previous managers also enables the recruiter/employer to understand in depth about their work performance, strengths and abilities. It helps to gauge whether the candidate will fit the role in your organisation.
  • References Check: An extension of the work history check, this refers to contacting the past employers and enquiring about the candidate’s work performance. 
  • Criminal Record: For safety and security reasons of the company, it is essential to ensure you are not hiring employees charged with criminal records. It helps prevent the negligent hiring of criminals. 
  • Credit Report: This is more prominent in finance sectors, but depending on the industry and role, employers can request the applicant’s credit history to check if they have any outstanding debts or bad credit. You can check the credit score by requesting the candidate’s PAN card and entering the details on an online credit score calculator. Always inform the candidate about this part of the background check because it is sensitive information. 
  • Social Media Profiles: Employers can examine their candidate’s social media profiles such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or even LinkedIn to understand them better. It helps to identify any problematic opinions or attitudes they might’ve expressed in the past, which could impact the work environment. 

Steps to Conduct Background Checks in India

Several background check companies in India or EOR platforms like Rapid also assist you in the seamless verification of all details. Here’s a step-by-step process on how to conduct employee background checks: 

  1. Inform the Candidate:

After finalising a potential candidate, inform them about background verifications. It is important to keep the individual in the loop about this process so they can provide you with all the necessary information and documents. 

Accessing someone’s information without them knowing is a breach of privacy and can attract legal trouble. 

  1. Request the Necessary Information: 

Ask the candidate to share relevant documents to proceed with the verification process. 

Here’s a list of documents you will need for employee background verification in India: 

  • Government-issued ID card with address details (Aadhar card, Voter’s ID or driver’s licence)
  • Final year marksheets 
  • Relevant education certificates
  • Offer letter and experience letter from previous organisations
  • Contact details of references from previous organisation
  • Links to social media profiles 
  1. Verify the Data: 
  • Run a verification by confirming the details with educational institutions. 
  • Contact the previous employers and enquire if the individual worked there. 
  • Search for any mention of the employee’s name in criminal records through publicly available databases and litigation-related information from district and Supreme courts. National Crime Research Bureau, CBI's Most Wanted, SEBI and the RBI defaulters list should also be checked. 
  • Analyse the social media profiles to spot any red flags such as hateful comments, discriminatory behaviour, drug use or badmouthing previous companies. 
  1. Convey Feedback: 

Once you complete the verification process, convey your results to the candidate. If you find any discrepancies, get them cleared. If the background check is successful, you can proceed with the next stage of hiring employees in India. 

Legal Consideration on Background Checks in India 

There are no fixed laws that govern employee background verification in India. But employers should inform and get consent from the employee before requesting and accessing personal data. 

The Right to Privacy is a fundamental right of every citizen and sensitive personal data or information of a person is governed by the Information Technology Act 2000. 

How Can Rapid Help With Background Verification in India? 

HireRight’s 15th Annual Benchmarking Report India 2022 reveals 79% respondents reported a better quality of hires as a direct result of their background screening program. 

If you are hiring employees in India for its high-quality tech talent and want background checks done, consider an EOR platform like Rapid. It offers end-to-end services from HR functions and payroll to background verification with a reliable partner SpringVerify.

We provide three-tier plans: Pro, Power and Premium that cover different checks depending on the requirements of the company. You can verify from a global database or even conduct a 5-panel drug test as a part of these plans. 

Depending on the type of background checks you opt for, the process can take 2-3 days to a couple of weeks. Rapid works in tandem with your requirements and gives you an accurate report of the final results, so you can take the final call regarding the hiring. 

Simplify your hiring and background checks process with Rapid.

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