Technology 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 background check, more companies are demanding employee background screening.
To cope up with increased demand and capitalize untapped 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 and reliable results.
Though at our disposal, technology best serves those with an instinctive vision towards the future. With the changing landscape of public and 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 and 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 and DL, etc. along with Court records, Police records & Educational records has facilitated a great deal in fastening the verification process. Background Verification firms today has capabilities to verify identity, criminal background and employment records in a matter of seconds, which allows employers to take their hiring decisions quickly and with confidence. The impact of technology in this space is only going to increase with more and 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 has 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 report at the end. It saves time, avoids manual errors, and allows easy tracking and 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 enables better storage, processing and management of data and allows implication of high security and privacy policies. It helps us to adhere to ISO standards of Quality and Information.
- Criminal background: With access to over 200 million court records (litigation databases- criminal and civil) across the country, few companies has developed state-of-the-art search algorithm powered by AI and 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 has 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 and resources.
- APIs: Technology has enabled us to provide APIs of our platforms to companies using HRMS system that allows to raise verification requests, submit relevant documents, track the progress of background verification for each candidate and enrol the selected candidates to other systems (payroll, attendance etc.) 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. Now a days firms with its technology, delivery platforms and proprietary databases, are building a trust infrastructure which allows companies to operate in an environment of trust and transact with individuals with confidence. Going forward, technology will keep improving the Background Data Intelligence to help employers filter out people who may prove to be disloyal, inefficient, potential litigators & who may put a company’s productivity or reputation at risk by indulging in racism, sexual, emotional and verbal harassment.
(Ajay Trehan is Founder and CEO, AuthBridge Research Services Pvt. Ltd)