Is address verification mandatory for employee background verification (BGV)?

Well, the simple answer is NO. Address verification is not mandatory for all employee background verification (BGV). The need to balance trust/safety with privacy must be recognized.

Yes, there are other checks that you run as an HR manager or talent acquisition lead, be it ID verification, criminal record check, education record verification, or past-employment verification. Perhaps a professional reference check or global database check in case of middle-management or senior roles. Most times, those checks are all that matter, and address verification may be an overkill. Let us look at scenarios where address verification may not be necessary.

  •  The employee/contractor has reasonably decent previous employment record(s) that have been verified, AND
  • The employee/contractor has an education degree that has been verified.

Under the conditions above, address verification is not super-critical. It may only become important if your organization wants to be sure about an address claimed by an employee or contractor, on which important physical communication may have to be sent during or after the tenure of the employee or contractor. 

When the need arises for address verification

There are some blue-collar worker roles (eg. delivery boys, warehouse staff, drivers, retail store staff, security guards) where it may not be possible for the employee or contractor to produce sufficient education or employment documents that can be verified. And employers may choose to verify the address to bring in a degree of safety and compliance. The address proof submitted as part of a Government-issued ID may also not be complete or may seem inaccurate. 

For example, address on the Government issued ID (say Voter ID card) is:

Village Deoni, Taluka Deoni, Latur, Maharashtra.

A village can have over 10,000 residents and can many people in the village with the same name. This address is insufficient. In such situations, capturing the complete address (if not house number, then atleast house name or landmark, along with father’s name) and getting it verified becomes important both from a communication standpoint as well as from a safety standpoint. Including an address check as part of the background verification program would also put a healthy pressure on your HR management system and protocol to capture complete and accurate addresses.

A complete address captured (as claimed by the employee) could perhaps be:

House number 17, Village Deoni, Taluka Deoni, Latur, Maharashtra – 413519

Now the verification process can be triggered. If a letter can reach, applying a robust methodology of address verification is indeed possible!

And yes, it is important to remind that all address verification must be with the consent of the employee or contractor. Keep it professional, and not like Gourishankar Pandey (the character played by Ashutosh Rana in the movie Haasil) who says in the movie: 

Aur suno, Ranbijay Singh, chunaav tak tumhari chaaya nahin chahiye idhar, huh, nahin toh humko pataa hai ki tumhara gaanv kahan hai. 

If you are a human resource manager, or are leading talent acquisition for your organization, please feel free to write to partner@ongrid.in or Book a demo, for knowing more about digital employee BGV programs and trends.

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