BGV Explained: Answering the Most Common Questions About Background Verification

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If an HR leader or manager is interested in implementing a background check process, they likely have some questions they want answered. This blog aims to address the most frequently asked questions about employee background checks and verifications. 

  1. What information is typically included in a background check?

Background checks can vary depending on the purpose, workforce, and scope of the check, but typically, the following information may be included in a background screening report.

  • Criminal history
  • Identity validation
  • Present and permanent residence check
  • Employment history
  • Education history
  • Drug test report

Did You Know: OnGrid offers 100+ checks and APIs that can be customized to any use case for employee or contractor onboarding or background checks!

  1. What are the legal requirements for conducting background checks on job candidates?

Employers must obtain consent from the respective candidate before conducting a background check and must inform the candidate of the nature and scope of the check. The information obtained through the background check must be kept confidential and used only for the purpose of assessing the candidate’s suitability for the job.

Employers in India are required to comply with data protection and privacy laws when conducting background checks, including the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019, which is currently under consideration by the Indian Parliament.

Did You Know: OnGrid’s BGV platform has empowered over 3,000 organizations, and has conducted over 100 million verifications and checks. 

  1. How long does a background check take, and what is the process?

The timeline for a background check can vary depending on the chosen combination of checks and verifications, the responsiveness of the candidate’s references and previous employers, and the availability of records. In general, a traditional background check can take anywhere from a few days to sea couple of weeks to complete. There are some digital verifications that can happen instantly also. 

Did You Know: OnGrid’s BGV platform allows for a pre-joining, low-footprint background check that allows to verify 8 different parameters in less than 4 hours. This includes identity check, criminal record check, employment history check and an open reference check on eLockr. To get a live demo, click here.

  1. What types of information can be uncovered during a background check, and how is that information used in the hiring process?

A candidate’s background check serves two purposes: to verify the accuracy of information provided by the candidate (such as employment history, education record, and address), and to uncover previously undisclosed information, such as a criminal record, a history of loan defaults, or drug use. When a verification fails to validate information provided by the candidate, it creates a risk. Conversely, the discovery of new information, such as a criminal record, may also pose a risk.

Did You Know: The rate of background verification failures typically falls between 1% and 3%, depending on your industry. Failures can occur when candidates falsify or withhold information during the verification process. 

  1. What happens if negative information is discovered during the background check process?

If the background check reveals a criminal history or discrepancies in any of the checks, the employer may consider the nature and severity of the offense, how long ago it occurred, and how relevant it is to the job. If the discrepancy is relevant to the job and indicates potential risk to the organization, the employer may decide not to hire the candidate. 

However, a lot depends on the employer’s policy! In our view, the employer must follow due process and allow the candidate to explain or dispute the information. The employer must also ensure that they comply with legal requirements and leading practices when using the information obtained.

Conducting a background verification is an essential step in the hiring process for organizations. It helps to ensure that candidates have provided accurate and truthful information, and it can help to mitigate potential risks to the organization. 

By answering some of the most commonly asked questions on background verification, we hope to provide clarity and guidance to both employers and job candidates. Remember, a thorough and fair background verification process can lead to successful and productive hiring decisions for all parties involved!

OnGrid is an ISO certified leading background verification platform with its head office in Gurugram, India. To get a free demo of the OnGrid platform, write to partner@ongrid.in or book a demo now.

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