Indian employers are increasingly looking beyond two-page resumes and social media profiles—they are now screening candidates’ credit histories.
A globally accepted practice for long, it helps determine the applicants’ financially reliability. And, as expected, such checks are done more for roles involving financial transactions, like in banks, insurance companies, and brokerage houses.
For instance, while recruiting people for roles in customer support and sales in 2016, the State Bank of India, the country’s largest lender, made it clear that candidates with poor credit scores were not eligible. Life insurer Star Union Dai-ichi, too, has been sieving out job applicants on this basis, CEO Girish Kulkarni confirmed. But it is not limited to financial firms, human resource managers and recruitment consultants say.
“Companies that are into product development and manufacturing (such as FMCG, consumer durable etc) are also beginning to evaluate credit scores for a certain section of recruits,” explained Ajay Shah, head, recruitment services, Teamlease, a human resources service company.
At the moment, though, the process is followed primarily for mid-level and senior level employees. “The churn in junior level employees is higher and usually they are not assigned big responsibilities. Therefore, companies are not too keen on investing time and money for an exhaustive background check on entry-level recruits,” Shah said.
However, considering that only a small segment of urban Indians may even be aware of the existence of credit profiles, and even fewer would know their own credit scores, such screening could put a number of candidates at a disadvantage. In India, credit scores are maintained by assessment firms like CIBIL and Equifax.
Meanwhile, companies looking to recruit are also running judiciary checks and social media behaviour checks of candidates.
While some firms conducted police verification checks earlier, this has proven to be cumbersome, particularly if candidates have shifted localities often. Moreover, India doesn’t have a central police database, while the judiciary’s is better connected, making the latter a better option for background checks.
And then there are the social media profiles. “…there is an increased social media penetration. In such times a tweet or a post or instances of trolling can give a better insight into a potential employee’s behaviour than tests and interviews,” said Aditya Narayan Mishra, CEO, CIEL HR services, a recruitment agency.
With all this, rejected candidates wouldn’t know what hit them.