The Low Down on Background Checks


Hi Seven. My best friend told me about your blog and that you answer questions regarding the call center industry and that you’re always online to respond. May question ako: totoo po ba talaga ang background checks? I mean, do companies really spend time, money, and effort just to find out who you are?

TIA for the response.

Lovely

 

Hi Lovely. Thank you for your email. I hope you don’t mind if I post my reply here instead. It’s true that I respond to questions, so long as I know the answer (hehe), and it is not true that I am always online, I sleep too. Haha.

Now to your question. Yes, background checks are a fact of life not just in the call center industry but in most companies in any industry. A background check is the company’s way of ensuring that you are who and what you say you are. Remember, the company is going to trust you with their resources, provide you training, etc, therefore, it is imperative that the information you provided on your resume is “true and correct.” It is also a process to deter criminals and job hoppers.

There are several ways of doing a background check.

1. Over the phone – the company calls the references you provided on your resume. Sometimes, they also contact the companies listed to ensure that you actually worked there.

2. Home visitation – often employed by multinational companies and BPOs or call centers with a financial account. They hire the services of a third party investigator to confirm your home address. During this visit, the investigator will also ask your neighbors about you (especially about your character).

3. Registered mail – this is used when they need to get information about your academic records.

4. Social Networking Sites – “You are what you post.” This is why some companies now include your Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts when doing background investigation. You’d be surprised how your SNS accounts reveal so much about your personality, attitude, and behavior.

5. Your BIR and SSS company history – Not a lot of companies are doing this but some, especially those who are big on integrity would compare your BIR and SSS list of companies and your resume. Depending on how serious they are, they can pull you out of training or nesting and terminate your employment.  By law, this is illegal. Both the BIR and SSS are mandated not to reveal your work history even to your current employer.

Your character references play an important role in your job hunting effort. This is why some companies are very detailed about the type of reference they request for. An example would be 1 colleague, 1 friend, and 1 HR rep.

Your character reference must:

  • know you and your work ethic, attitude, and behavior and can give concrete examples of each aspect when needed.
  • be confident and authoritative.
  • know  they are your character reference.
  • must expect a call anytime.

Let me know if you need more information.

Thanks.

 

Se7en

 

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Termination, it starts and ends with you


????????????????????????????????????????A very close friend and colleague of mine got terminated recently. It was a compendium of bad decisions after another, and eventually, when the HR process was applied, it resulted to the inevitable termination. When this news reached me, he has already incurred unexcused absences, forged a med-cert, and when the notice of hearing was sent out, Murphy’s Law played its part (one of his family members was in the hospital) and he failed to attend the meeting. Right then and there, a panel of Team Leaders and the HR representative decided that it was time to let him go.

In truth, I am very concerned for this friend of mine, plainly because his wife just had a baby (their first), and being a father and a husband myself, I know how it feels when you have your first-born – every single penny counts, not to mention the medical insurance provided by the company. The other part that concerns me greatly is the fact that we have been in this company for two years, as such, we have earned the mastery of what we do for the business – a veritable source of that elusive ability to negotiate a better pay or post in the next company. With the termination on his record, he will be forced to either hide the company from his resume, or if he decides to come forward with it, he will have to find a reason convincing enough for any recruiter to let him into the next step of the process, let alone offer him a job.

When one gets termed, everything becomes complicated.

As what I’ve mentioned in my previous posts, I’m not alien to termination. However, the difference between my case and the rest of the world was that I had documentation to justify my action. Therefore, come job hunting phase, I decided to tell the truth that my employment was severed on account of attendance issues.  The decision to tell the truth cost me several good companies, and when I finally got the job, it was the sweetest accomplishment.

Why did I tell the truth? A few things:

  • My skills and competencies are much too precious for me to hide.
  • I needed a better paying job and hiding the skills and competencies would mean I have to start from scratch (again).
  • I didn’t want the added stress of lying, and if found, getting terminated again.
  • I have the gift of gab, I’m known for talking my way out of difficult situations, not just because I have the skill for it, but because I can deliver.
  • My research has taught me how to create a positive spin on negative situations.

The job hunting part wasn’t easy. I got turned down several times and with these incidents piling, my bills were too, plus, I was receiving an immense pressure from my wife to land a job fast.  I was so tempted to rethink my strategy (of honesty), and on the very day that I decided to implement the lie, I decided that I will tell the truth one more time, and if I still fail, then I will tell a lie in the next company. Lo and behold, the recruiter and the hiring manager gave me a chance (and this isn’t one of those pipitsugin companies), and I was to start the following week.

A few things that I’ve learned in this experience and I’ve shared them with my colleague who got fired recently:

  1. Getting a job is harder than you think, therefore, if you already have one, be mindful of your attendance and overall performance. Notice that the company has several policies in place which are designed to “give you a chance” before you reach the termination phase. Depending on the company policy, you will be given coaching, then a verbal  warning, a written warning, suspension, then a hearing for the termination case. It takes several incidents for you to reach the last point, which means that it’s you who is at the helm here and your manager and the HR is merely completing the process which you started.
  2. Don’t ignore the HR process except when you’re trying to get fired (believe me, some people are stupid enough to aim for this). I’m talking about the Return to Work Order, the hearing, etc. The process is put in place to give you a chance to explain yourself and if the reason is grave enough to warrant a chance of retaining your job, then it’s a chance you don’t want to miss.
  3. When you foresee a situation which has the potential to affect your employment, immediately consult with your manager and the HR. Seek for opportunities which will allow you to lessen the impact – SL/VL/emergency leave or if there is a chance for you to go on an extended period of absence without losing your job, grab it. The objective is to keep your employment, at the same time addressing your personal issues at home. It is true that you need to separate personal with work issues, but some work-affecting issues (illness, family conflict, etc) must be known, at the least, by your manager. He or she needs to understand what is going on in your personal life so he will not judge you unfairly.
  4. Don’t fake illnesses, or the documents for it. Companies are now smart and diligent enough to check with hospitals, clinics, and they will verify if you actually used your HMO card.

Remember, getting terminated from your job isn’t something that your manager or your company would wish to happen to you. They trained you, they invested on you, and they are concerned about their attrition, hence, it is imperative that they give you several chances to change your bad behavior. Therefore, getting terminated from your job is actually a decision you are making, little by little, with your actions. Your manager’s function is to keep a record of and manage  your behavior at work. As soon as you cross the line, the process starts.  It starts and ends with you.