Have a safe ride with the help of background screening

The Asian Age With Agency Inputs

Technology, In Other news

With an accelerated digital adoption in the last few years, it is now a ritual for frequent travellers to use ride-sharing apps.

In order to create a safe atmosphere, it is crucial for everyone to be more responsible and cautious about the people they engage with on a regular basis. (Representational photo: PTI)

Employing drivers is considered a necessity for both corporate and personal use, to ensure ease of travel. Waiting for public transport every morning or driving to work is time-consuming as well as taxing, unlike booking a cab online or having a personal chauffeur to drop you at your workplace. Apart from ride-sharing apps, corporate houses and big enterprises also hire drivers from taxi hiring services around the country for business purpose.

Domestic drivers become a crucial part of a household as every member of the house is dependent on him/her to reach office, school or college on time. Many parents prefer sending their drivers to pick up the kids from school or late night parties. This allows the driver to be in close contact with the family members even during odd hours. If the background or past employment history of the driver is unclear, the possibility of an unprecedented incident becomes high. Whether the passenger books a cab online, or an enterprise or a family hires a driver, they automatically sign up for multiple risks. Safety of the passenger is one of the major concerns when the question of hiring a driver arises.

With an accelerated digital adoption in the last few years, it is now a ritual for frequent travellers to use ride-sharing apps for easy commuting. The passenger knows the driver is reliable solely based on the information the ride-sharing app provides. Although technology has made lives easier for us on a daily basis, there are also risks that come with it. In the case of hired taxis, the passenger does not have access to any information about the driver and has to entirely depend on the taxi agency/ service provider to assign a trustworthy driver for the trip.

Over the years, the crime rate has increased notably and gone by the indicators in the media, it only seems likely to increase. In recent times, sexual harassment by cab drivers, atrocities against women or inconsiderate behaviour of unprofessional drivers has made frequent rounds in the news. The companies have tried everything to mitigate such risks - vetting of drivers, panic buttons on apps, customer feedback but these are not enough.

In order to create a safe atmosphere, it is crucial for everyone to be more responsible and cautious about the people they engage with on a regular basis. It is critical for passengers to feel safe with the person behind the wheel, during the ride. This is where background screening becomes really important.

Criminal and financial background screening not just provides a safe ride for the passenger but also protects a company from the reputational damage that results from negative hiring. It provides in-depth details about the candidates that help the employers make a better decision. Some important factors to look into while doing a background check on drivers include:

Employment history: Employment history is more likely to include discrepancies than any other component. Verification of employment history of the potential hire provides information related to his/her past experience, the reason for leaving the previous company/household, genuineness of the documents provided and also the individual’s past performance.

Education: Formal education is crucial for career growth and people strive hard for academic excellence. Unfortunately, with the rise in ‘degree mills’ and tough competition, there is a need to verify the certificates of the driver. Screening educational credentials help in confirming the qualification and checking the genuineness of the university and the certificates furnished.

Address: In India, people move to different cities for higher education and in search of better jobs. It is important to verify the address of the prospect driver to validate his or her personal details.

Criminal Record: Employees tend to insist on verifying the criminal records of the employees to fortify the security at work. First Advantage’s latest trends report states that 28.6 of discrepancies were related to criminal, document investigation, database, reference, etc. in Q4-2018. Employers have become extremely wary of engaging with any new person or organization due to the risk it poses.

Drug Test: Many companies increasingly conduct drug testing to ensure the safety and productivity of the hires and better manage the rising healthcare insurance cost. Pre-hire screening in this highly regulated industry includes many significant moving parts including drug and alcohol testing, physical exam management and driver qualification files.

Driving License: An additional precautionary step is to verify the prospect drivers’ license. It is important for the employers to check if the taxi, cab and private hire drivers have a legitimate, valid and authentic driving license before they get on board. These are just a few ways in which a background screening can pose detrimental while hiring a trusted driver. Hiring a suitable driver is a time-consuming process, and one should chalk out a proper hiring plan and execute it patiently to be successful in hiring a trustworthy driver. An initial investment in background checks with a trusted partner helps reduce costs, improve the quality of the work and ensures safety in the long run.  

-- Vivek Khanna, Managing Director, First Advantage, India Region