According to Business Dictionary: Verification is “the practice of verifying the employment eligibility and past work history of current or potential employees. Employers often verify employees prior to hiring or promoting them, to ensure that the employee’s employment history, education, and other details match the information provided by the employee.”
Why is Verification necessary?
Verification has become absolutely essential nowadays. As the job market becomes more and more competitive, resume falsification has become commonplace. There are many examples of falsifications out there which range from cunning to outrageous. As Anne Fisher reports in her article for Fortune:
“One applicant put experience on his resume that was actually his father’s. (They both had the same name — one Senior, the other Junior.) Another claimed to have been a construction supervisor, but further digging revealed that his only construction experience was building a backyard doghouse. And then there was the candidate who claimed to have been the assistant to the prime minister, in a country that has no prime minister.”
Numbers don’t lie, and a study by CareerBuilder shows the true depth of the problem. 2000 hiring managers were part of the case study, and this is what was discovered:
- 58% of the managers have spotted exaggerations and falsifications on the resume.
- 33% of the managers said that the problem has worsened since the recession.
Having seen these numbers, you might be thinking that companies are probably investing a significant amount of money in verification services. Unfortunately, that is not so.
Why aren’t companies investing more in Verification?
Most companies, especially BPOs, Retail and Labor-Intensive manufacturing companies don’t usually pay that much attention to verification. This is mainly because of two reasons:
- The increasing demand for man-power means that the companies are usually in a hurry to hire people.
- Most companies simply don’t want to pay a lot of money for verification.
As a senior recruitment consultant was quoted as saying:
“A majority of companies are not very comfortable with the additional expense of verifying past employment. What they do not realize is that it is not money going down the drain. The process of verifying employees can help one make the best possible hiring decision”
Let’s look at each of the issues — Time and Money more closely:
How much time does Verification take?
As ChoiceScreening says, employment verification can be time-consuming and test one’s patience. This is why most companies usually just stick to rudimentary reference checks via people nominated by the candidate in the first place.
The problem with employee verification checks is that there are a lot of different types of checks that need to be done. It is not a “one size fits all”.
Within employment verification, you have checks like:
- Address checks: To verify the residence of the candidate.
- Employment checks: To check up on past employment records.
- Education checks: To check whether the candidate really is as qualified as they say they are.
- Criminal Checks: To check whether the candidate has any criminal history.
All these things add up and end up costing the company a lot of time. In fact, it can take weeks to verify one single candidate!
How much money does Verification cost?
As you may have already gathered from the previous section, verification is not really the most cost-effective process. According to Criminal Watch Dog, a nation wide criminal background check alone costs $25-$45 per candidate.
Depending on a company’s requirements, one check may not be enough, they may have to go for multiple checks. Eg. if a candidate has mentioned that they have changed residence three times, then a company may want to go for 3 address checks to validate that claim.
On top of that, the verification service provider used also adds up to the cost. Eg. a more expensive service provider will produce better results than a cheaper alternative.
All these things add up and discourage a company from doing extensive verification checks. However, this may lead to a lot of risks.
What are the risks of non-verification?
As Greenhouse.io states, there are four major risks of not conducting verification checks on your candidates.
- Creating distrust: If you want your company to function properly then you will need to find employees you can completely trust to do their job. How can you even hope to do that if you are unsure about the credentials of the people that you have employed?
- Fraud & Cybercrime: In 2014, the Associate of Certified Fraud Examiners discovered that a $3.7 trillion is stolen annually via fraud! Verizon noted that 20% of the recent cybercrime breaches have happened because of insider misconduct. This just goes to show how critical it is for companies to do thorough background checks of their potential employees.
- Putting end users at risk: When an Uber driver was convicted of rape and sexual assault in India, there was an uproar when it was discovered that the company didn’t bother to do a background check of the driver in question.
If your employee is directly interacting with the end customer and is caught indulging some form of misconduct, then one of the first questions that will be asked is if you did a verification check or not.
- Unsafe Workspace: An employer must make sure that they provide a healthy and safe workspace for their employees. Workspace related violence can not only cause physical damage to their employees, it can cause tremendous mental harm as well.
Unfortunately, SHRM has mentioned that 36% of the employees have noted some form of workplace violence. This is something that could be easily avoided by a background check of the employees. A simple criminal record check can show whether the given candidate is prone to violence or not.
How SpringRole solves the verification problem.
SpringRole is a platform where people can view, share and get attestations on their professional profile, thereby creating a verified resume that they can others can trust. A user’s professional profile contains three parts:
- Educational qualifications.
- Work experience.
Each of these three will have their own flows to get attested and once they are verified, we write them to the blockchain. These claims, once verified, will not have to be re-verified in the future and can be relied upon. Because of the immutable nature of the blockchain, once data has been entered into the chain it cannot be tampered with.
Any claims that are related to education and work can easily verified and resolved by the organizations involved. However, things get tricky when it comes to judging one’s skills. Most organizations have started incorporating tests and exams to judge one’s expertise — however they are mostly lacking for the following reasons:
- Exams can be gamed and must be maintained and standardized by a central authority.
- Exams suffer from narrow scope and are only able to capture facets of the skill-set that are objective in nature.
We realized that a more exact method was required to judge the proficiency of a user’s skillset. Our solution was to crowdsource a user’s reputation on a particular skill.
People in the user’s network endorse his/her proficiency in a skill, independently or at the user’s request. The number of people endorsing it and their individual scores in the particular skill that they are endorsing lets us compute a score for each user per skill and is a way to assess the skill level of a person. In appropriate situations, examinations are easily incorporated in this approach; but it can capture much more nuance in skill level.
Hence the platform will have two key facets:
- Crowd-sourcing your reputation in a particular skill via endorsements.
- Verifying and validating your professional details via organizational attestations.
So, to summarize, this method will create a platform wherein it is nearly impossible for an employee to get away with bogus attestations AND it will create a verification system for employers where:
- Verification will be cost effective. (re-usable)
- Verification will be a small matter of checking a candidate’s entry instead of going through an entire multi-level process and hence will be extremely cost-effective.
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