Study bares PHL employers lax in checking worker background (Business Mirror (Philippines))

EMPLOYERS in the Philippines, China and Malaysia are lax in conducting background checks on employees, a study by First Advantage Corp. (FAC) revealed.

Employees remain the most valuable assets in any organization and with multinational companies expanding their footprints in Asia-Pacific region, the challenges associated with hiring the right candidates have increased, FAC said in a report, titled First Advantage Background Screening Trends Report 2015: Asia Pacific.

The company said more than 67 percent of all candidates last year were subjected to five background checks, as compared to 42 percent in 2013.

According to FAC, this trend is particularly prevalent in Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, Australia and New Zealand, where more than 45 percent of all candidates were subjected to six or more checks. Contrast this to just 28 percent of candidates in China, the Philippines and Malaysia.

The FAC report added: It is worthwhile to note that employers who conducted at least six checks were almost nine times more likely to uncover an alert as compared to those who conducted one or two checks. With the rise in crime, screening for criminal data has become a priority for many employers, although employment and education checks continue to top the list.

The company said that, based on its annual 2 million background checks in Asia Pacific, it found a 6.5-percent increase in candidates misrepresenting their curriculum vitae (CV), one of the many discrepancies in the application.

The Philippines’s discrepancy rate, according to the FAC data, dropped in the second quarter last year to 10.44 percent, from 12.56 percent in the first quarter. However, discrepancy rates consistently rose in the third and fourth quarters.

China exhibited the lowest discrepancy rates among the nine countries, at 9.17 percent. Still, the Philippines’s discrepancy rate was still ahead of Malaysia’s, Singapore’s, Hong Kong’s, Australia’s and New Zealand’s rates, the FAC report bared.

The most common discrepancy in Philippine applicant’s CV is employment, with FAC detecting 64.93 percent of all applications screened. This rate is the second highest among the nine countries.

The lowest discrepancy rate in the Philippines’s applications is financial-related (.49 percent), which may mean salaries or assets in the CV and results of background checks are a mismatch.

In terms of industry, FAC pointed to the energy sector as a standout, where education and database searches currently make up over 74 percent of all discrepancies, while the information technology, manufacturing, consumer products and professional services sectors show comparatively higher levels of employment discrepancies.

In the finance sector, where First Advantage screens heavily, over 94 percent of all discrepancies found came from employment, database and education checks, the FAC report said.

FAC said there are still some Asia-Pacific employers who are limiting their screening process to calling references provided by the candidate. In these cases, employers must take care to implement controls that help ensure the references provided by the candidate are qualified to comment on the candidate’s performance, abilities and attitude.