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IN Conversation with Shakil Gour: How to handle compliance while performing Background checks globally?

Which region/ service in your experience has the most complex Employee Screening compliance laws?

Based on my experience in the global verification practice, EU has the most complex landscape with its stringent data security and privacy laws. The most recent and complex regulation is the GDPR compliance established in the EU data security landscape making background checks more rigid.

When it comes to service delivery, the criminal records check is undoubtedly the most complex to verify as information on an individual’s criminal records is considered most sensitive. Criminal checks involve high degrees of complexity and sensitivity as it deals directly with a candidate’s criminal background. Dealing with such sensitive information requires adequate research and understanding as every country has its own data security laws that need to be adhered to.

Could you provide examples of recent updates in Employee Screening compliance in the APAC region?

Many countries in the APAC region are in the process of amending their respective data protection laws. The Cyber Security Law in China is one such recent change that will have a huge impact the Employee Screening process.

NPC ( National Privacy Commission) – regulator of data privacy act in the Philippines is updating the terms of its current data protection laws. This change has imposed a mandate on all organizations processing personal data to register a DPO (Data Protection Officer) by the 9th of Sept 2017. The personal information controller is required to register all personal data processing systems by the 8th of Mar 2018.

India, until the recent supreme court verdict, did not have legislation on privacy or data protection laws. Now with privacy becoming a fundamental right in India, we expect the data protection model will undergo a radical transformation.

The data protection laws in Singapore is also witnessing a change that would impact the compliance programs. Currently, the compliance programs are under public consultation which is expected to witness an impact soon.

What are the key requirements while defining a global compliance strategy for an organization with the global presence?

The key requirement to consider while defining a global compliance strategy is to identify the most appropriate and registered source that keeps you abreast on dynamic compliance norms. Such sources of inputs ensure there is complete adherence to the statutory laws laid by each country.

The other critical factor to consider would be on how organizations interpret compliance updates and adhere to compliance norms with 100% accuracy.

Additionally, a well-defined global compliance strategy includes implementing a cost-effective solution for background checks. And as an employee screening provider, it is important to keep the client updated about the constant changes in compliance.

What is the biggest element that leads to breach in compliance during Employment Screening & how can organizations overcome it?

It is mandatory for organizations to understand, implement and comply with the various privacy laws and to stay abreast of the ongoing changes. Such constant updates on the statutory and legal laws can be received through a Triangulated framework that would involve 1. Research 2. Validation 3. Verification

Research entails analysis & listing of all the compliance & data protection laws specific to every country. The listed laws and compliance information is then validated by an Employee Screening partner before communicating it to the organization. Once validated, the law is verified by global audit firms thereby completing the framework. This framework helps organizations receive the most updated laws & compliance norms for implementation.

According to you, what kind of compliance aspects does a customer consider while assessing a vendor for selection?

  • The foremost requirement that customers consider while assessing a compliance vendor is the implementation of Information Security Controls by the screening provider. With relevant Information Security controls implemented, a majority of data privacy-related risks are eliminated
  • There is an increased emphasis on periodic audits by external parties on the privacy controls of the provider
  • Customers also look for a dedicated data protection officer/ legal department that is responsible for implementing relevant controls

From a compliance perspective, what are the risks of working on cloud vs. on-premise system for Employee Screening?

Working on the cloud requires an in-depth understanding of the compliance norms of the region where data is hosted. Hosting data on the cloud reduces risks related to data backup and increased operational costs.

On the contrary, on-premise models do not have a bearing on compliance norms of various regions as they is hosted locally. However, on-premise models include risks of a single point failure. Availability of data & operational costs is also a concern.

At the outsight, risks involved in on-premise out-weigh those incurred by using cloud-hosted models. Thus, choosing a cloud solution provider complying with compliance norms, data security & backup measures is always the best fit for any organization.

What is the key metrics that an organization should track to measure the effectiveness of the global compliance strategy implemented?

  • Tracking the number of compliance that an organization needs to adhere to
  • Creating a checklist and performing monthly audits to check compliance adherence levels
  • Maintaining consistent and high compliance scores and to identify its relative significance to performance month on month
  • Seeking external professional advice to check adherence to compliance and assess the effectiveness of audits

What would be your advice to organizations who perform screening for their global hires? 

Any organization should define a global screening policy with the help of an external and certified professional agencies. The policy should also include a global package matrix that details roles of new hires and a listing of background checks that are required to be performed. In addition to defining a well-structured policy, the organization should have a thorough understanding of the different checks that can be legally performed in the country where employees are being hired. Standardizing the employee screening process across the globe provides better & faster results.

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People are not your most important asset. The right people are

by Shivani Dhar BGV

It doesn’t matter what business you are in, as a business owner or manager, you know that separating the wheat from the chaff is always the most important task. One of the smartest make or break business decisions you should make to hire genuine people – Bringing the right people on board could save you millions resulting in efficient operations.

Liars, thieves, bad-news-bear execs, drug addicts, you name it – employers don’t want to hire trouble, as you’re not just recruiting employees, but are sowing the seeds that would guarantee your reputation. The importance of employee background verification cannot be underestimated as it ensures compliance and risk containment.

Are you hiring people you can trust?

Hiring mismatches can result in increased turnover, absenteeism, higher health care costs, workplace violence and theft causing substantial loss to an organisation’s bottom line and reputation. One of the biggest mistakes a small business can make is assuming they would not need to run background checks on potential employees. Whether it’s ten people or 10,000 – in the best interest of your organisation and yourself, it is crucial that you build a trust-worthy workforce. You need to know that you can trust everyone who is selected to be on your team.

So, here is why your company can be in a Risk zone if Background checks are not a part of your hiring process or you fail to run a background check successfully:

The Perilous environment for customers and employees.

According to SHRM over one-third (36%) of organisations reported incidents of workplace violence. These incidents result in physical or emotional harm to employees and customers. A background check can prevent negligent hiring lawsuits and provide a safer work environment.

It is time to seriously consider implementing background checks. Avoid wasting your valuable time, money and efforts on toxic hires.

Fraud, cyber crime and hacking.

KPMG’s recent Fraud, Bribery and Corruption Survey (Australia & New Zealand) reported that 75% of major frauds were committed by insiders.

One of the things that put small companies at greater risk is a lack of adequate anti-fraud controls, such as anonymous tip lines, segregation of duties, etc. In fact, skipping background checks on prospective employees is like opening the door and ushering someone with fraudulent intent.

Fictitious credentials.

Falsified credentials are a growing concern for organisations, job-applicants have gone from “puffing” up their resumes to crossing the boundaries “into the realm of fiction”, making things up to appear more attractive to potential employees.

If employees don’t have the experience or education they say they do, they may not fit the profile for which they were hired for and thereby creating disparity within the team. Running a background check is a sure-fire method to ensure you are hiring a candidate based on facts and not just fiction.

Ignoring differences of compliance’s by countries.

As employers increasingly look beyond their home borders to find talent, they can also face numerous legal challenges when trying to conduct background checks on a candidate who spent time in another country.

Developing an effective background screening program which is both legally compliant and practically effective and is managed by a trusted screening solution provider with proven expertise in the region can ensure a successful hiring program.

So, now here’s the question – how you are going to protect your company from legal repercussions??

 Integrate background checks into your hiring process right away, verifying each detail provided to you by the applicant. Contact all references to ensure applicants have held the positions that they claim. Also confirms that applicants have the academic credentials, military service records and professional licenses stated on their resumes. The benefits of running background checks are numerous, and it can help you build a defence system against possible threats to your organisation.

 OUTSOURCING IS THE KEY

 It’s not always easy or time-efficient to collect background information about prospective employees yourself. A qualified pre-employment screening service would save you time, money and offers you additional benefits to your hiring process. In short, hiring a CRA is a potential solution. Background screening, when conducted by a CRA, is highly regulated including by the Federal Trade Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as well as state and local consumer protection laws. Following the guidelines laid out by The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), will help establish a solid foundation of fair hiring practices by your firm.

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Global Screening: A Business Growth Opportunity for CRAs

by Shakil Gour, August 18, 2016

Today the workforce is more diverse than ever. Most large companies have active programs to promote diversity while hiring.  Major contributor to the professional workforce diversity are foreign nationals. The two main sources that feed immigrants into professional and technical workforce is:

  1. Candidates who come to pursue their education and continue working in United States
  2. Candidates who come to US on a work permit ( for e.g. H1B visa, J1 etc.)

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