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BPOs want the real you, not a fake
Meera Vankipuram & Sapna Agarwal in NewDelhi/Bangalore | March 14, 2007 03:22 IST
India's $8 billion business process outsourcing (BPO) industry has been facing a growing threat for the past few months, of fudged resumes and impersonation. Given that some BPOs conduct nearly 150 interviews a day, the threat is compounded many times over.
In telephonic interviews, for instance, impersonation is estimated at 5-7 per cent, while in face-to-face interviews it's about 1-2 per cent of the total number of interviewees.
Vijay Mukhi, president, Foundation of Information Security and Technology (FIST), says: "Fudged resumes and impersonators impact 15-20 per cent of the IT-ITeS sector."
Mukhi adds that though the figures look high, fudged resumes are common in other verticals. Adds Manuel D'souza, Vice-President (HR) Intelenet Global Services: "Cases of potential employees fudging resumes exists in all industries. However, screening employees is more stringent in BPOs mainly to maintain a secure environment where customer data is protected and to eliminate security breaches."
To solve these problems, Nasscom launched a National Skills Registry (NSR) in January 2006. The NSR is a centralised database of employees of the IT services and BPO companies, which many companies use to run background checks.
A little over 50,000 employees from around 32 companies including Satyam, TCS, Genpact, WNS, Wipro and Firstsource have registered with the NSR, says Nasscom. However, the figure is small considering that the total employment in the sector is 1.6 million.
The number of NSR members, though, should increase with new enrollments. Piyush Mehta, SVP & Head of Human Resources at Genpact, says: "The initiative is being driven top-down with all the leaders enrolling first and driving it in their teams. At present, we cover about 75 per cent of our employees and close to getting 85 to 90 per cent of our employees certified by this month."
Accenture says it relies on third-party agencies to check the identity of a candidate applying for a job in the pre-interview stage.
Technologies like biometrics systems too may help in future, but it's currently not that cost-effective. However, the implementation of such solutions implies large infrastructure requirements like centrally-managed servers and other facilities.