Bangalore: If you thought that only an application for a passport necessitates a verification check, you are wrong. Global outsourcing provider EDS in collaboration with it's Indian subsidiary MphasiS, has decided to go all-out on an employee verification process on candidates who have joined the company before May 2007. Employees who have joined them post 2007 will also be covered if only reference checks have been carried out earlier. The process of verification of educational qualification and past employment records of the employees has been entrusted with a third party agency.
"With the economic slowdown looming ahead of us, such activities can only put us under even more strain. The fear of being laid off will be the uppermost thing in our minds even at the workplace," an HR executive of a leading BPO agency told Business Standard. On the other hand false educational claims and skill-set certifications produced by the employees can taint the very image and reputation of the entire industry as a whole.
However, an MphasiS spokesperson was quick to point out that this process is merely a routine exercise conducted periodically and should therefore not be linked to layoffs or mass-retrenchment schemes. Dismissing such fears in the near future, the spokesperson also said that those who had undergone reference checks by phone will need to undergo comprehensive background verification this time round.
EDS employees, who have been transferred to MphasiS after it's acquisition by Hewlett-Packard have been particularly critical of the move. Sources say that up to 400 employees at EDS-MphasiS, including senior personnel like delivery and project managers have been moved to the bench due to unavailability of newer contracts.
However in what could be a matter of utmost concern, the pulse in most leading consultancy firms is that this could be a godsend for organizations to carry out clockwork like precision lay-offs on the pretext of an economic slowdown. A good number of the staff is being benched from their existing projects, while some are being asked to take up projects that at best, provide a huge mismatch between the employee-skills and needed requirements. Also a refusal on the employees’ part to move to a 'less prestigious' project could very well lead to his/her termination from the company.
Organizations like the Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI) and the Bangalore Chamber Of Industry and Commerce (BCIC) are only echoing their sentiments with a sense of gloom. "Bangalore is likely to witness a slew of lay-offs not only in IT but also in other industrial sectors, including textiles and engineering, whose consequences will be widespread and seen in sectors such as hospitality, housing and retail. It is imperative that the Government of Karnataka intervenes and considers implementation of certain measures in consultation with various industry segments", BCIC President NN Upadhyay said at a meeting last week.
"The global meltdown, credit crunch in our economy along with our dependence on western markets will only compound our already existing problems." Upadhyay said.