While Indian employers are screening more talent than ever before, it is being done less extensively, according to a global survey of 4,000 HR professionals (10% comprised Indians) by HireRight. Almost 80% Indian organisations conducted checks on job candidates and 75% reported that the screening helped them secure better talent. This is higher than the global average of 60% and Asia-Pacific average of 72%.
However, when it comes to nature of checks, employers are still sticking to the basic ones with employment (88%) and education verifications (83%) being the most common. Identity verifications and criminal checks stood third and fourth among Indian enterprises, in contrast to global markets that prioritise these.
The biggest losers are social media footprint checks (down 52% in 2019), credit checks (-36%) and professional licence checks (-9%), the report said, adding that it potentially exposes organisations to significant risks. “Considering that reducing time-to-hire is a key concern, the temptation may be to reduce the number of checks that need to be conducted in the first place in order to speed up the process,” the report said.
In a setback for India’s ambitions to mature its gig economy, the survey also found large gaps in the background-screening processes when it comes to contractors and temporary workers. “Only 61% of respondents screen independent contractors, while 59% check temporary workers,” the survey said. The number further drops to 30% for vendor representatives and is just 26% for interns.
However, the country’s performance in screening temporary staff is no different from the APAC average.
As background screening gets more common, it also helped the Indian job market achieve the lowest discrepancy rates across the APAC region. Discrepancies refer to inaccuracies in information candidates supply. From a discrepancy rate of 15.8% in 2017, India had the least discrepancies in the region in 2018 at 12.5%.
“We need to ensure India is able to attract, retain and nurture the best talent. One of the best ways to assure quality of hires, improve company reputation and ensure all candidates are treated fairly in the recruitment process is to leverage a robust and consistent background-screening process,” HireRight general manager (India) Marcellus Solomon said.
However, India Inc scores low in its rescreening efforts — critical tasks when employee circumstances change or if additional responsibilities are offered to them. Only 14% Indian organisations conduct any form of rescreening, while globally the figure stood at 29%.