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COVID- 19 Impact: Discrepancy in Employee Verification Soars Across Sectors in 2020

In Business
February 04, 2021

The discrepancy in employee verification across sectors increased significantly in 2020. Sectors like banking, BPO, FMCG, Retail, Manufacturing, Pharma & Healthcare displayed background screening discrepancy percentages higher than the industry average of 9.4 % in Q3, 2020.

According to the Trends Report quantifying the hiring trends and qualifying the nature of discrepancy patterns in India, curated by First Advantage India, a leading background screening firm headquartered in the US, the increase in discrepancy percentages were higher in Q3 as compared to Q2. Out of these, discrepancy percentage in male were higher at 10% as against 8% in female verified cases.

“Since companies actively employing during this time are working directly with people in remote locations, conducting background checks becomes an important task in the hiring process for organizations. At First Advantage India we have embarked on a digital journey that is driven by modern technology and alternate screening solutions,” explains Amit Singh, Head- Commercial, First Advantage India.

Discrepancies across age, sector, zones
The highest number of discrepancies have been detected in the >=22 to 30 years age bracket candidates. 92 % of the fraudulent occurrences have transpired in the 22 to 40 years bracket in both the quarters, says the report.

30 out of every 100 candidates screened in the Telecom sector were discrepant which is in line with the usual high trends obtained in the Telecom sector. However, the Healthcare industry surprisingly showed a high discrepancy percentage of 27.4% in July – September 2020 way above than 14.6% in the previous quarter of 2020.

The discrepancy trend across zones in India have also displayed an interesting pattern. The discrepancy rate for education checks is the highest in the Northern Zone of India whereas the Southern zone of India displayed significantly higher discrepancy rate for employment & address checks.

A study of Education discrepancies shows that suspect institution forms the highest chunk in this quarter at 44%. Suspect institution includes a miniscule percent of fake institution also. Fake document is at 40%. Discrepancies like ‘Other False Education includes ‘Did not officially complete the course, Registration or Credential or membership expired etc’

Period of stay forms the biggest chunk of discrepancies at 96%. In the third quarter of 2020- Associate level discrepancy continues to top the graph at 65% followed by middle management at 18% and First Level Supervisor at 12%. The graph depicts the Senior Management employee level discrepancies at just 3%.

“When an extraordinary crisis brought the entire world to a complete standstill, we at First Advantage responded swiftly by transforming our operations & processes to provide innovative solutions which helped companies make hiring decisions and proceed with candidate on-boarding. While many companies have reduced hiring or implemented a hiring freeze, there are organizations hiring as usual and, in some industries, many are even ramping up,” adds Amit Singh.

To complete the hiring needs, companies transferred the verification process from standard to digital mode of verification particularly for address and employment checks, he explains.

Recovery levels
Though the pandemic has played havoc on overall markets and all businesses big or small have been hit, the quarter of July- Sep 2020 has shown a recovery of 32% as compared to previous quarter. Almost all industries like IT, Insurance, Consulting, E Commerce & Logistics, Financial Services, FMCG, BPO, Manufacturing, Pharma, Retail & Staffing have shown a hike in volumes.

Digital services companies like Online Education, Online Food Delivery, Over the Top Media Services and Medical Devices smartly diversified their operations to catch up on new trends.

The study also shows a sharp V shaped recovery when we see all the three quarters of 2020 with a bird’s eye view.