01 June, 2005

Someone's checking up on you -ZdNet

Before you join an IT company, your past life will be probed thoroughly. V Narayan (name changed), 30, returned from the US and applied for a job at a Fortune 500 IT company in India. With impeccable credentials, he almost landed a project leader's post. But he had not told his future employer that he had been arrested for child molestation in the US. Narayan had assumed that the Indian company would never find this out. But it did. It had entrusted the task of screening him to Mumbai-based background screening company Quest Research.

What is checked...
  • Your general education background. Companies call up the university where you studied for your bachelor's or master's degree and check the records.

  • Your professional degree or certificates. Ditto, but this relates to your MBA degree or any certificates you may have obtained. The first point that's checked is whether your university is a recognised one.

  • Employment history. Companies call up all the companies you had worked for. Companies don't call the people you have given as references because these may be your friends. Instead, they call the HR department or others.

  • Criminal check. Companies check with the local police station and so on.

  • Address. Companies check whether you are staying at the address you mentioned in your application. They talk to your neighbours and so on.

The large IT companies now spend anywhere between Rs 3,000 and Rs 6,000 per candidate, while mid size companies shell out between Rs 1,000 and Rs 2,000 per candidate

Investigations in India can take anywhere between 4 and 15 days per candidate. That's because information on individuals is not available at one place in India, unlike in the US where the social security number can provide leads on a person. 7 separate documents, ranging from the passport and driving licence to the ration card, identify an individual in India. Except for the passport, every document can be easily bought.

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