As a result of the upsurge rend of the digitization of the personal information, the instance of identity thefts and frauds are also increasing. These increased numbers of identity thefts are a serious concern while hiring suitable candidates. Rescue from such hiring threats can be achieved by the implementation if background checks in the hiring policies. Among all the sources which testifies to the identity of a person, address detail is one of the important factors and unfortunately the most vulnerable one as well as they are easy to fake. According to a recent research on job applicants it was found out that more than 15% of the prospective hires supposedly lied about their address details. Hence it becomes extremely essential to implement a robust background check at the time of hiring.
Every company must know the address of all its employees as it is the easiest, secure and sure-shot way of establishing a contact with any employee both in case of emergencies and in case of frauds. Hence every company must mandatorily maintain exact records of addresses of individuals working for them. Address checks become important in such cases as the address is a vital part of identity verification and shows stability in the life of the candidate.
Components of address checks
One of the most important factors of address checks is physical address verification. There are two types of verifications:
1) Temporary address verification: Job candidates often need to move to different cities and locations for their work. In such cases, they choose temporary accommodation such as guest houses or PGs or rented apartments as their temporary residence. Temporary address checks take into account the current lodgings of the candidate. This not only ensures better identity confirmation, but also ensures that the candidate has been able to settle in the new location.
2) Permanent address check: Apart from confirming the applicant’s current or temporary address, it is important to verify his or her permanent address as a way of confirming identity. Permanent address proofs are a more robust form of checks as they can be traced back to the original residence of the employee. Tracing a permanent address also ensures a proper identity check.
Shocking figures of identity theft in India
In India, a survey highlighted a shocking discrepancy rate of 15.21 percent in 2017. This represents a 48 percent increase from 2016 and is also the highest ever recorded in the past three years.
Physical address verification related discrepancy stood at 6.67 percent in 2017 while it was at 6.8 percent in the previous year. In terms of age groups, the Millennials aged between 20 to 29 years had the maximum physical address related discrepancy, followed by seniors in the age group of 40 to 49.
The top six reasons for physical address related discrepancy include:
- Candidate not residing at the given address
- Untraceable address
- House locked
- Candidate left organisation
- Candidate not responding
- Incomplete or incorrect address
How is physical address verification done?
Performing thorough and rigorous address checks can be a tedious and expensive process. Hence, it is often advised to use professional address verification services. They not only possess software and automated tools for accurate address checks but also come with a repository of knowledge about common fraudulent practices and their safeguards. It is also more economical, especially for small and medium companies, to hire a third-party address verification company instead of spending resources and manpower on developing their own team. Professional address verification services often use advanced technologies like GPS tracking and digital logs of addresses, APIs that return multiple known addresses upon entering the street-name among others. By using effective AVS (address verification service) APIs, companies can reduce delays and errors in their address verification process.
Importance of address checks
Physical address verification conducted as part of a comprehensive background check ensures the candidate is reliable. Candidates, many times have to relocate to a different city or state in their quest for professional growth. While many stay in temporary accommodations including PGs, serviced apartments, rentals or boarding lodges, these also have to be verified to ensure their validity.
Address checks are incredibly important because the address of the employee is an important platform for correspondence both for pre-employment and post-employment proceedings and documentation. Also, if the employee is found to be on the run after stealing a company property or unethical practices, having a record of the address can simplify locating the fugitive. Company executives can also locate a former employee of the company using address records for various purposes.
In cases of suspicious or disturbing employee behaviour such as constant absenteeism or issues with conduct, the address is a secure way of contacting the employee, thus ensuring proper measures.
Permanent physical address verification validates the original address of the employee which may be in a different state or country. Combined data from both of these checks can reveal the entire picture of the candidate’s reliability.
- Professional physical address verification service providers employ GPS tracking to validate physical addresses.
- This data can corroborate the findings of the field executives who visit the actual site when the candidate is present.
Comprehensive checks ensure the process of physical address verification is quick, accurate and reliable. This, in turn, speeds up the recruitment and on-boarding process, ensuring an all-round smooth experience for both the HR and the candidate.
cFIRST Think Tank is the team that researches and produces content for cFirst. This team comprises of seasoned content and digital design professionals and background screening industry veterans. Together we produce insightful blogs, infographics and reports meant for HR and background screening professionals.