IT firms get wiser to employees faking experience

Written by Rachana Khanzode | Mumbai | Updated: Jul 8 2010, 06:37am hrs
The Indian information technology (IT) industry is waking up to fight organised malpractices, especially after the recent exposure of 800 IT professionals in Bangalore with fake experience certificates.

To preserve brand image, top IT firms are even taking the legal route. Some companies have formed separate cells to audit internal hiring processes.

A senior executive from a large IT firm said, We have been cautious about it, though cases of laterals showing up fake experience certificates isnt new. As a precautionary measure, we have banned employees coming from certain smaller black-listed firms.

There are no panic buttons on yet, but such scams can erode the brand value of IT firms that highly depend on clients based out of the US and UK-Europe.

At Wipro Technologies, there is an in-built Talent Quality Group (TQG), which constantly evaluates the internal hiring process. Since the inception of TQG, the background verification failures in the organisation have seen a drastic drop. However, if candidates are later proved with incorrect documents, we take it up legally, said Pradeep Bahirwani, vice-president, talent acquisition, Wipro.

At Mahindra Satyam, random audits and reference checks are a common practice, said Mukund Mennon, vice-president, HR. Besides termination, we would look at legal action if the candidate has brought any material damage to the business, he added. Also, mid- tier firms seem to have witnessed certain instances.

Ganesh Natarajan, vice-chairman and CEO, Zensar Technologies, said: We have a number of instances over the last two years. However, we have been able to keep a check on these. Only three cases in last two years came to light and we had asked them to leave immediately.

Nasscom, the industry body for the IT and ITeS industry, had formed a National Skills Registry (NSR) that develops a permanent fact sheet of information about each professional along with background check reports. Raju Bhatnagar, vice-president, Nasscom, said: We started NSR in 2007. However, we are seeing it picking up with the IT firms now. At our end, we have ensured that primary requirements are not violated.

On a per employee basis, the cost involved at NSR is Rs 250 as one-time joining cost and Rs 50 as annual fee. Still, just over 6.6 lakh of the total 22 lakh professionals are registered.