Identity check is the foundation of any background check process. The primary purpose of an identity check is to verify the information the candidate gave you and to determine if they were sincere. If not, you may want to reconsider hiring them. Some candidates may use a fake identity to hide their criminal record, their real educational qualifications, potentially dangerous or some felonious past. Completing background checks based on false identity information could prevent you from receiving an accurate report on the candidate and rule out candidates with high professional productivity.

An Identity Check involves two elements of a Person’s Identity.

  • Attributable – evidence of a person’s identity that they have given including their name, age, place of birth, current or permanent address and any subsequent changes of the same.


  • Biographical – a person’s personal history including their educational qualifications, their employment history, criminal or court records.

IT companies deal with installation, setup, and management of company-wide networks. It is a critical part of most businesses. One wrong hire can impact the company reputation. Thus, it is incredibly vital for companies to conduct initial identity checks. Identity thefts account for 77% of the criminal cases in India. Without identity verification, many companies find themselves as victims of fraud.

A 33-year-old employee, at a major tech company, was discovered to have used his wife’s academic credentials to get his 24- lakh-a-year job. Every year, applicants like him lie about their educational qualification. Most IT companies outsource identity check to third party agencies as they hire employees on a large scale and it is not possible for the HR team to conduct a detailed identity check of each employee themselves. These checks advantageously ensure the following:

Minimise the Risk of Theft and Fraud  

It is vitally important to check the identity of a potential employee as most criminal records are filed by name and date of birth and current or permanent address. There is a possibility that an employee has committed some crime in the past and they have created a fake identity to hide their criminal history. Conducting an identity check ensures that the documents provided by the candidate are not fabricated. Hiring a candidate with a criminal record is risky for IT companies as it maximizes the risk while dealing with sensitive client and customer information. In addition to this, there is also a high risk that candidate has provided wrong address details which makes it hard for the authorities to track him down in case of theft. The worst case scenario is to have an employee abscond and then have the authorities hold you liable for harboring a terrorist who was using a fake identity.

Prevents the Risk of False Credentials

According to the Times of India, an ex-employee of another major Tech Company worked in Bangalore for three years. Sometime later, another man joined the company, and in HR verification revealed that the degree details were clashing with that of the ex-employee. Further investigation revealed that the latter had failed to get his degree, so he used his girlfriend’s brother’s degree who was an ex-employee of the company. Fraudsters are well connected, and highly skilled individuals. By conducting an identity check, the authenticity of potential candidates is ensured.

Saves Company Cost

A company invests time and resources in training its employees. When a bad hiring decision is made, the loss is significant for the employer. As the time and effort involved in recruiting, training and replacing can range from 30% to as much as 150% of the employee’s annual salary. So, by conducting an identity check, the company ensures that a potential candidate is genuine and in this way, it saves the company’s time and resources.

The number of firms opting for verification of a candidate’s background has increased with the rise in cases of frauds and workplace harassments. If your firm has not yet adopted referral verification, it’s high time you did.