26 August 2014

More employees in Asia Pacific lying about their job history, First Advantage says

First Advantage, a Symphony Technology Group (STG) company and a provider of screening analytics and identity solutions, has released First Advantage Employment Screening Trends Report: Asia Pacific, Q1 2014, which has found that almost one in five of all Asia Pacific employees have not been completely truthful about their employment history and other details.

According to First Advantage, which conducts around 23 million global background checks annually, the challenges of hiring the right candidate have increased as regional legislation surrounding anti-corruption, data privacy and consumer protection is changing. The regular updating of the legalities in different countries complicates the background screening process, making it extremely difficult for employers to perform proper background checks on their candidates. 

“Through this trends report, First Advantage seeks to help employers in Asia Pacific identify the current employment background verification trends and understand how they can optimise their screening programmes,” said Matthew Glasner, Managing Director of South APAC at First Advantage. 

“We are seeing a significant increase in discrepancies in region and this further highlights the importance of using state-of-the-art screening practices available to ensure companies know who they are hiring, thereby mitigating the business loss associated with a wrong hire.”
Key findings from the report include:

  • The total number of checks done per case in the APAC region has gone up from four checks on average in Q1 2013 to five checks in Q1 2014, indicating that there is more awareness among companies about background screening services. Employers are also demanding better output. 
  • About a quarter (26%) of employers in the Asia Pacific region are now conducting more than six checks and above. They are 11 times more likely to uncover a discrepancy as compared to those who conduct only two checks (3%) or five checks (9%). 
  • The report shows that there is an overall increase in discrepancy rates (5.8%) compared to Q1 2013. 
  • Nearly one in five (18.9%) of the discrepancies in the Asia-Pacific region are related to education of employees.
  • Employment history discrepancies top the list at 54.6% of all discrepancies. This constitutes an increase of 5.6% in Q1 2014 over Q1 2013, when employment discrepancies made up close to 50% of all discrepancies in the Asia-Pacific region. 
  • Employers in Australia and New Zealand are the most interested in employee screening with 23.38% of respondents reporting they do it in Q1 2014, a significant increase from Q1 2013 when they stood at just 12.96% of respondents from this region. This is followed by Singapore, which had 18.78% of respondents reporting they screen in Q1 2014. 

First Advantage also notes that there is now a growing trend toward “infinity screening,” in which screening programmes are extended to include contractors and vendors, and existing employees are periodically rescreened. Infinity screening has led to fewer discrepancies in employee information where is practised, the company said.

*The report is based on data drawn from 300,000 employment background verifications and reference checks conducted by First Advantage in APAC from January to March 2014. The screening results represent a cross-section of the company’s clients located in Japan, Korea, mainland China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand.