Why Background Verification Is Critical In The Construction Industry

The construction industry is currently under pressure to deal with labor shortage; background checks can reduce hiring efforts and expedite the process. Here’s how.

background verification in the construction industry


According to Timetric’s Construction Intelligence Center (CIC), the construction industry is projected to show tremendous growth in 2020. As a result, the employment rate and wages for this industry is projected to be higher than the overall economy. 

Naturally, there is constant pressure on businesses to recruit workers quickly. A report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics highlighted that there were 7.2 million construction jobs in July 2018. That marked the highest employment level for the sector in a decade, after the recession.

Despite the upward employment trends, the majority  of general contractors are concerned over the labor shortage, and more than half of them have reported trouble finding skilled workers.

Since the jobs in the construction industry are time-driven, physically-demanding and regulation-oriented, businesses must hire competent personnel, i.e. skilled workers, with a clean working background, who can withstand the pressure of the job.

Conducting a pre-employment background verification can reduce the efforts of the hiring team at the construction company and help them find the right employees – quickly and fairly. If you haven’t thought about it, here’s why you should.

1. To safeguard site equipment

The equipment used at most construction sites is expensive, with some of them even holding personal property and valuable proprietary information. The safety of the machinery and data becomes important.

Here, conducting background verification is like taking a precaution. You can promptly assess job applicants on various parameters, including their work experience, references, credit score, and criminal history.

You may not find any red flags post-screening but it will give you the confidence to recruit reliable workers and safeguard your equipment and sensitive data in the process. 

2. To confirm licenses for construction workers

While there are no clear laws specifying the extent and reach of background checks for the unorganized sectors in India. Unlike the West, where the laws are governed by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). 

As per the RBI, all Indian companies who are ISO 27001 certified are required to conduct background screening on their current and prospective hires.  

In India, there is no defined legislation governing the aspects of background verification. The practices differ across sectors and organizations. A comprehensive background check in the construction industry would include verifying the educational qualifications, past employment, criminal records, address proof, PAN card, Aadhaar card, voter card, ration card, and driver’s license. For the blue-collared and on-demand workforce, these checks are a way to mitigate the financial, safety and reputational risks for the employers. 

Tools such as SpringVerify can help you select candidates authorized to handle all their on-the-site duties.

3. To maintain the quality of work 

The construction business majorly revolves around making quality infrastructure and physical facilities. Hiring inexperienced workers for the job can put the company’s reputation at stake, and endanger the lives of the general public. 

With standard background verifications, you can put the right people on the job and protect your business from negligent hiring claims.

4. To keep everyone on-site safe 

Construction and physical labor go hand-in-hand. While the quality of work is necessary to stay in business, it is the safety protocol that enables the construction workers to do their job well.

If you hire someone not too careful about their safety and that of others, you put not only the entire project in jeopardy but also human lives.

Human life in any industry can’t be taken lightly!

Screening within rights 

Background checks can unearth sensitive information that could raise objections or make many applicants uncomfortable. Therefore, it is important to understand a few things. 

Ensure that the agency conducting the background verification for the construction industry does not end up violating the data protection laws. The absence of solid laws makes it difficult to create best practices for background screening. At all times, the company conducting a background verification must get written consent from the applicant/employee and be transparent about the reason for the same, which in this case will be employment decision. This is in lieu with Article 21 of the Constitution of India which protects the privacy of the individual from unlawful intrusion. 

According to the Federal Trade Commission that enforces the FCRA, a company, conducting a background verification, must get written consent from the applicant/employee and be transparent about the reason for the same, which, in this case, will be employment decisions.

Since labor unions are a huge part of the construction industry, any information a company obtains through background verification shouldn’t be used to discriminate against the worker.

Summing up

If you operate a construction business, it is your responsibility towards your employees and clients to recruit staff that safeguards the teams, equipment and the sensitive data present on the site. With our help, improve the speed of your recruitment process and save yourself from the hassle of hiring wrong.

Contact SpringVerify to learn more about our background verification services.

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