The ultimate guide to background verification process

The Ultimate Guide to Improve Your Background Verification Process

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What is background verification process?​

Background verification process is to get information about a candidate’s past work history, criminal records, educational credentials, and residential proof. Hiring and onboarding a candidate is a lengthy and tedious process. And a critical aspect of this is conducting a thorough background verification check.


It just means a longer wait for the excited candidates as the company is most likely scanning your career history right. On average, it takes 3-5 days to go from background verification to “good to hire” for onboarding.



In 2020, the world shifted to working remotely. Online degrees became the norm leading to multitudes of fake degrees from unknown foreign universities to certificate courses wrapped as full-time degrees.


According to EconomicTimes, the Telecom sector displays the highest discrepancy percentage in employee background verification in Q1 of 2021.


Now, more than ever, it is pivotal for companies to screen their employees since everyone is monitoring and managing workers remotely. 


A candidate might wonder, ‘Why are they taking so long when I don’t have anything to hide!’


But the reality is, candidate bgv check requires a minimum of 3-5 days. And as a company, you don’t want to skip this critical step. 

What all does background verification process include?

The HR may work in sync with the background verification services to scrutinise the authenticity of a candidate’s profile.


The process usually takes between 3-10 days. In rare cases or in case of doubt, a particular company may seek an in-depth look at your history (mostly done for senior-level hires).There are about 6 critical components involved in the process:

Identity Verification

Identity verification authenticates the identity of an individual. It is defined as a unique set of traits and characteristics that pertain to the individual. Considering remote working and a digital work environment, identifying theft is a more common phenomenon than we think. 

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Court Record Check

A part of the comprehensive background verification, court record checks are conducted before hiring a candidate. Court record checks reveal the legal history, if applicable, of the candidate.

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Police Record Check

Police record check is another critical verification tool that many employers opt for. With access to local, provincial and national databases, police record check offers the employer with insightful information about an applicant and is not restricted to just criminal records.

Education Verification

One of the most important criteria for hiring an employee is education. And considering the increased number of frauds, education verification is mandatory as part of background checks. It ensures that the candidate has a formal level of education, irrespective of the industry or the collar colour that designates a worker.

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Address Verification

Address verification is done to check if the candidate is actually a legal citizen of the country and resides at the provided location. It is an effective tool for limiting fraud and protecting the company from any mishaps when done efficiently.

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Employment Verification

Employment verification is not a single step but actually involves the pre-employment screening process. The very reason for doing this is to check if the candidate is trustworthy and a good fit for the role. 


Some aspects that are checked here include the candidate’s title, employment dates (start and end), and occasionally salary history and job duties.


Generally, the hiring company conducts a background check once a candidate qualifies for all interview rounds.


It’s a way of reinforcing that thorough checks are conducted and candidates shouldn’t risk lying in their resumes or during the interview.

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Importance of Background Verification

Talent acquisition and talent management require a bounty of resources to be dedicated so that your company finds the right talent not just for the job, but also for the overall productivity of your workplace. 


But how do you ensure that the candidate is actually what they claim to be on their résumé? Well, it’s simple – perform a thorough background verification of your potential hire. 


Background verifications are a near-perfect solution to making a well-informed hire. In the long run, it makes good business sense, improves employee morale, and creates a safe working environment. 


The resultant – you get to steer clear of toxic hires and the workforce concentrates solely on the growth and productivity of the business. Plus, it wipes out the headaches of lost time and resources spent on a bad hire. 


Hiring the right talent 

Hiring the right people influences multiple factors. Firstly, it impacts the efficiency of the company. Secondly, it enhances the perception of the company in the eyes of an outsider. Every employee who is committed to working with utmost integrity is an asset to the company. But this can only be gauged upon a thorough understanding of a background check.


Mitigating the problem of “Negligent hiring lawsuits” 

“Negligent hiring” is a legal term that describes an employer’s liability for an incident caused by an employee when the employer knew (or should have known) that the employee posed a risk. When companies run a thorough background check for all their employees – as the employer – they are in a better position to defend themselves legally and may end up avoiding such scenarios altogether.


Minimizing losses incurred due to theft, fraud, workplace violence, etc. 

Employee theft, workplace violence, fraud, and forgery, etc. are some of the many problems faced that are a threat to the professionalism and goodwill of the company. For instance, the registered cases for workplace violence increased 54% from 371 in 2014 to 570 in 2017 according to a report published by Legal service India. Some of these issues may seem inevitable however they can be mitigated to an extent by thorough background verification of each and every employee.

Challenges of Background Verification

The COVID-19 outbreak has changed lives in unimaginable unique solutions to cater to the challenges and ensure continued pr. Every day is an opportunity for companies to do things differently and enhance their efficiency while reducing any margin of error that can be caused.


Time-consuming: Delays from screening providers, government bodies, educational institutions, and laboratories are forcing companies to hire the employees before getting a thorough BGV report thus putting at stake the company’s safety and reputation. For instance, the new hire who is now exposed to the company’s sensitive data might have a questionable past that the company might only get familiar with on completion of a full-fledged background check.


Hiring Hurdles: In today’s climate of Work From Home and remote hiring, a lot of factors are muted. With reduced face-to-face interactions, it is difficult to measure the credibility and authenticity of an applicant, which makes it difficult to fast-track the screening process, interview process, paperwork, etc.


Address Verification delays: Given the active role played by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is extremely risky for companies to send out their executives for verification checks as it might increase their chances of contracting the virus. Additionally, people being on the move and residing on temporary addresses during current times is a challenge.


Delay in criminal checks : There are significant delays on criminal checks due to two main reasons. Firstly due to a number of sources being closed and secondly due to scarce workforce.These checks are crucial to any screening process and thus must be done to ensure the company’s security. Furthermore, few courts have closed while few have placed restrictions on access to records.


Employment and education checks: The pandemic has led to shutting down of various companies permanently. This leads to a lack of vital information in checking a candidate’s employment history. And with educational institutions working remotely, it becomes a herculean task for them to dig into their records and verify the educational qualifications of potential employees, causing inevident delays for recruitment.

Police clearance delays : Lengthy delays in obtaining clearances from the police can lead to applicants missing out on opportunities.These delays can be caused due to lack of technology infrastructure or other logistical constraints. Besides, lack of centralized repositories of information is emerging as an additional challenge.

How background verification is done?

In most cases, companies start the background verification by calling your previous employer. During the ordeal, details provided are checked against data from the last company of the candidate.

It also includes scrutiny of public databases (criminal records) for any illegal activity. Verification of education records like degrees and certificates takes place.

And lastly, companies will verify your address. Physical inspection and verification of the candidate’s address is a part of the same too.

However, in India, there is no standardised norm yet and a lot of ambiguity in the area persists. Here’s how most companies do it:

  • Big private companies hire third-party agencies such as IDfy to do everything  mentioned above.
  • The smaller & medium-sized firms usually have their HR team do all the work.
  • Government firms or PSUs run comprehensive background checks before offering the job.

Background verification efforts by the government

To stop you from committing fraud, the government is also pushing it in high gear. Mentioned below are some of the new tools it’s using to help companies check your history –



  • Aadhaar verification – With Aadhar offering the convenience of biometrics, it has become the go-to document for background checks and verifications. All possible information is accessed from here.
  • National Academics Depository (NAD) – Initiated by the government, NAD digitally stores your education records. It has the authority to issue reliable certificates with most education boards and institutions in India onboard the platform.
  • National Skills Registry (NSR) – India’s largest database of working professionals aids companies in fact-checking employees’ information (if they are registered).

Don’t have any bad history yet? Think again.

How does background verification via social media work?

All companies scrutinize social feeds. With social media, employers can map their interests, activities, and affiliations in no time. A hiring manager can picture your personality just via your Tweets or LinkedIn posts.


Companies do background verification scrutiny for:

  • Inappropriate photographs, videos, or information
  • Discriminatory comments pertaining to race, gender, religion, etc.
  • Criminal behavior
  • Fake qualification details
  • Negative or defamatory remarks
  • False information about the previous employer

Have you got an objectionable pic on Facebook? They caught it!


A raging political comment on Twitter? Yeah, that too!


Employers today reject you for any odd activity that doesn’t make you a good fit. Yeah, online verification sucks!

Are background verifications legal in India?

Yes, they are. India’s ambiguous bgv processes imply that there are no specific rules governing it. 


Though ALL employers should seek a candidate’s consent to run a background scan, many go ahead without it anyway.


Let’s take a look at 3 things you should know about the reality of backgrounds check –

  • For Indian companies having ISO 27001 certification, conducting background screening for employment is mandatory.
  • They cannot access your medical information, financial background, and biometric data without permission.
  • However, no legal laws restrict companies from scanning your social media.

Industry specific background verification requirement

According to an article in the Harvard Business Review, risks arising from employees can be categorized as ‘preventable risks’. Commonly known as internal risks – these arise from within the organization and can be controlled, avoided, or eliminated altogether with good due diligence. 


Every business and industry is prone to different risks from its employees. Examples of employee-related risks include unauthorised, illegal, unethical, incorrect, or inappropriate actions that disturb the organisation’s operational efficiency. 


A vast majority of such employee-related risks can be mitigated at the recruitment stage by adopting a thorough background check that suits the nature of the industry. 


Additionally, background verifications don’t follow the one-size-fits-all approach, as every industry has different requirements based on the positions they hire for. Therefore, it is highly recommended that organizations specific to the following industries implement background checks in order to make more informed decisions in hiring.

Banking and Financial Services Industry

Pre-employment criminal record checks are vital in the banking, financial services, and insurance industry, where the staff handles sensitive financial and personal data about their customers, stakeholders, and insurers. The sensitive information includes customers’ financial records, passwords needed for the fund transfer, and corporate protocol. An ethical workforce must drive the BFSI industry.

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Healthcare Industry

Healthcare professionals are known to be caregivers – they care for their patient’s health, safety, and privacy.


The requirement for genuine healthcare professionals is at an all-time high currently. They need to be certified, exceptionally well trained, and capable of providing quality care to patients.


Therefore, all healthcare organisations need to carry out background verifications for all their potential employees. This helps employers understand and evaluate whether the candidate is a good fit for the job. 

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Pharmaceutical Industry

Much like healthcare, the pharmaceutical industry is responsible for life care. This puts it in a unique position to engage employees who are genuine, authentic and well qualified.


It is essential to hire a candidate with a life sciences degree and a clean record. Employers are directly liable for the actions of their employees, and pharma is no exception. For example, medical sales reps travel quite a bit to make sales calls and require a valid driver’s license. What if an agent continues to drive on a suspended license? Or worse, on an invalid license causing an accident? Such cases can lead to direct litigation exposure for the company that hired them because they were on official duty at the time.

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Technology Industry

The technology industry consists of various business sectors like automotive, artificial intelligence, biotechnology, etc. The importance of background verifications is amplified as there is a need for highly qualified applicants. This industry is dynamic and will continue to grow and hire extensively in the future. Moreover, access to sensitive information and confidential data makes it important to have background checks.

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Retail Industry

The retail industry is hiring immeasurably; on that account; companies need to ensure that they oversee background checks of the candidates to be employed. Individuals that are willing to align their personal goals with the goals and core values of the company can prove to be resourceful for the organisation. For instance, criminal background checks that disclose any past information related to theft or other questionable acts can be used to screen employees in the retail industry.



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Education Industry

Educational institutions shape a greater part of an individual’s lifetime. Hence it is their responsibility to create and provide their students with a safe space for their growth and development. Background screening of the faculty should comprise verifications like employment and certification checks, and criminal records check to ensure that the applicant being hired is an honest and qualified individual.

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How’s IDfy background verification different?

IDfy, being the leading background verification company offers a unique set of products and services solving the ubiquitous problem of identity and employment fraud. From collecting documents to reviewing the portal for authenticating verification, we do it all!


IDfy is focused on building honest and high performing teams by preventing identity and employment fraud.


From background verification, they are good to go for onboarding. They manage your candidates’ offer-to-onboarding process, assuring a smooth onboarding experience and accurate employee background verifications faster than anybody else. 


And there you go! Our primer on background screening finishes here. Drop your queries or comments below for more info. Also, check out our blog to read more awesome career tips.

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