Screening Pitfalls in APAC Region

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Asia and the Pacific is already the leader when it comes to economic growth, emerging business, increasing workforce, digital revolution etc. and according to research conducted by the international Monetary fund, the regional economic outlook for APAC has grown by 6.5 % in 2021 and it is estimated to grow by 5.7% in 2022. (Click here for more details)

With accelerating global growth in Asia and the Pacific, “Pre-employment Screening” has become the major league of all the emerging and existing organization as a focused objective as recruiters are going beyond boundaries for hiring talent. Unfortunately, background screening process in this region has proven to be more complex and challenging associated with diversified laws and cross cultural differences. However, its equally challenging to comply with the laws and ensuring their brand to be safe from paying heavy penalties but also and the danger that can cause from inappropriate hiring. To avoid such instances and ensuring a successfully and fully compliant screening practice, it is paramount for the HRs to know that what challenges may occur and how to handle them.

Here are some pitfalls that an organization faces while performing background check on their applicant:

Rapidly changing legislation regarding screening and data security: This is one of the biggest challenges faced by employers in screening practices, i.e. the changing in local laws and regulations which varies greatly from one country to other and may lead to risks if the screening processes do not comply with local regulations. For example, due to recent development in China’s data protection law third parties are not allowed to perform address check and credit check. Not only China, but there are other countries such as Singapore, Sri Lanka, Philippines, South Korea, India who have strengthened their data protection regulations and are still in the process in strengthening their laws. These changes directly impact while collecting information from the applicants.

Extensive geographical area results into cultural challenges: With a region that is becoming increasingly global, recruiters are bound to go beyond boundaries and hire talents. But there is something that recruiters should always keep in mind. You can’t follow the same process while performing background checks on the applicant. You cannot ask for the information that you have asked the previous candidate who was from the other country. For example, if you are hiring a candidate from China and you want to perform drug test, you are not allowed to do so because Chinese culture finds it discriminatory, whereas in Australia employers are allowed to perform drug test on their applicants. Similarly, in Hong Kong you are not allowed to collect full details of the applicant’s medical information as long it is not important for the position applicant is applying for. So, with this we understand different cultures create different rules and values for the candidate. Bottom-line, ensure your background screening partner align with these rules and values in terms of making your hiring process effective.

Vulnerable employment rate in APAC, urging the candidate to fabricate their information in their resumes: “Employment in Asia-Pacific continues to grow but often remains of poor quality” – statement made by International Labor organization (ILO).Despite of phenomenal progress, it’s found that unemployment rate remains high in some parts of this region, especially in Southern Asia. Due to which, its forcing the candidates to provide false information in their resumes for the sake of getting a job. In that case what should you do?

Employers should research the employment history and check if there is any gap during their past employments. Employers must perform “reference check” and “employment check” where employers will call their previous employers and cross verify the information provided by the applicant. By using that information, employers can collate all information and cross verify if the information is matching with the one that is provided by the applicant. It will help the applicant to know how much of the information is fabricated and if he/she is the right fit for the company.

Increasing number of fake and unrecognized universities: According to the data and the verification conducted by Neeyamo, its found that India and China have the increasing number of fake universities. Recruiters need to be extra careful and should not overlook while checking the educational credentials provided by the candidate. Due to lack of knowledge and information on diploma mills and accreditation mills leads to a serious level of ignorance among employers. To avoid such consequences please check if your background screening provider is following the below step:

– What is the procedure of obtaining the verification? Is it through online or physical visit. If online then what is the source and how to ensure if it is authorized or not

– If they maintain a repository where all the fake and unrecognized universities are listed

– If they have listed the name of the colleges that are fake and sounds very similar to the prestigious institutes?

Remedy for a successful hiring strategy in APAC region

APAC being a prime destination for setting up industries, employers are rigorously looking across all geographies for hiring talents in order to take their business to the next level. With the advancement in technology, geographical boundaries are no more a constraint in hiring a good talent. But employers may put themselves in danger if they don’t screen their candidates appropriately. Hence, employers must keep themselves up to date with dynamically changing local rules and legislations; be aware of the minor details provided by the candidate in their resume as these little things make big things happen.

It’s a suggestion for organizations to partner with trusted background screening providers, making sure their background screening program is in place and ensuring a successful hiring strategy across all regions.

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