Chennai: In a sign of growing importance of background screening services, key companies in the business are coming together to form an association that would act as a guide for this relatively new recruiting concept.
To be called the Indian Association of Professional Background Screeners (IAPBS), it is expected to be up in the next four months.
The association is being formed to tackle some of the issues that are typical to this industry, like legitimacy of background screening firms, protecting the interests of both the candidates and the clients, establishing best practices, and introducing certification programmes for the screening companies.
The establishment of IAPBS is also expected to create awareness about the importance of background screening services in India.
“It is time to get organized,” said Tejas Sanghvi, founder director of Mumbai-based Supersoft Consultants Pvt. Ltd, a background screening firm. “I keep hearing about the entry of new companies into this market and there needs to be some kind of structure in place to act as guidance for all of us.”
Background screening services include checks on the educational qualifications, employment details and criminal records of prospective candidates of a company.
According to Supersoft’s internal estimates, the size of the industry is pegged at around $200-250 million (Rs806-1,008 crore) annually, with at least 40 firms operating in background screening services. Sanghvi puts the cost per background check at $60-65 for a basic one and around $100 for an enhanced check.
IAPBS is planning to approach various entities for database that would make the screening process easier as well as credible. For example, it could approach the National Crime Records Bureau, a nodal body that maintains digitized crime and criminal records of individuals.
The association is also planning to approach Credit Information Bureau (India) Ltd, which currently provides comprehensive credit information only to the banking and financial services sector.
A few companies that are involved in bringing about the collaborative effort include Chennai-based Matrix Business Services India Pvt. Ltd, First Advantage Pvt. Ltd and Hyderabad-based C3i Consultants India Pvt. Ltd.
“Right now, there is no industry of background screening services as such. This association will help to sound an industry voice,” said Col K.G. Ramani, founding director of C3i Consultants.