Swiftness and Thoroughness – Will the Twain Meet?

Background Screening

Being practical while seeking what is desirable – that for me exemplifies the increasing demand on the background screening industry for being swift in doing their checks. The need for speed and the need for accuracy can often be in conflict and there could be a tradeoff involved. So, the question that must be keeping background screeners awake at night – and it should if it isn’t – is: does instant verification necessarily come at the cost of quality?

There is an argument to be made that instant background screening comes at a price and in their quest for speed companies may not be getting the protection that they need from erroneous information being doled out by opportunistic employees. And the backbone of background screening is the integrity of the check. That integrity must never be called to question; it is sacrosanct..

Weighing the pros and cons of the issue and after careful deliberation, my view is that instant verification and quality check may not be antithetical. A wise man once said that there is no decision in life that doesn’t come with some sort of balance or sacrifice. But in my view this industry may be standing at the threshold of achieving a perfect balance between swiftness and thoroughness.

Let me elaborate that point. Instant verification is the principal driver of the speed that the on-demand economy seeks and this instantaneity is currently made possible by identity checks. At least that’s the case here in India.

We announced at the start of this year that AuthBridge has built the capability of instantly verifying the identity of Indian citizens using government-issued documents, such as a passport, PAN or Aadhar card. This first level ID verification caters to the need for speed sought by on-demand services but can companies risk their reputation on a quick but less than thorough background check? Do they need to?

The answer is no, they don’t. Next in line for instant verification could be a litigation check. Companies big and small would like a very clear view that the person they are hiring has no criminal record. Hence next checks to go instant would be criminality, litigation, reputation and credit default.

Instant verification of address, education and employment still in the realms of fantasy? Or is it likely to appear on the horizon any time soon?

Intriguing, exciting question. Right? I am going to defer the answering of that question to another day. Another blog.

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