Digital work environment already in place to increase efficiency


First Advantage is India’s largest provider of employee background check services. He has performed background checks in over 200 countries and territories. Here Amit Singh, VP & Head, Commercial, First Advantage India, talks about the future of work. Excerpts from an interview:

DQ: How are you dealing with the COVID-19 situation? What plans do you have in place?

Amit singh: COVID-19 has temporarily changed the way the world does business, but that hasn’t changed the need for a trusted partner for background checks. We are committed to serving our customers and have continued to communicate with them openly and honestly throughout this crisis.

Rest assured, we have (and always have had) Business Continuity Plans (BCPs) in place. These plans have been updated to include actions, processes and communications to deal specifically with a global pandemic.

First Advantage manages multiple systems and controls that allow critical personnel to work remotely and in a manner that secures all sensitive data, including customer data, in First Advantage’s data centers and hosted applications, in accordance with all laws and applicable regulations. At First Advantage, the health and safety of our employees, clients and candidates is of the utmost concern.

DQ: Are you giving employees more control over their schedules?

Amit singh: At First Advantage, we make proactive decisions in the best interests of our employees. We have set up a dedicated and well-organized platform where employees can view all communications. These include company messages, Q&A, policy updates and best practices for working from home. As long as employees are working on their tasks within the allotted time, they have full control over how they perform their jobs.

DQ: How do you assess the lessons learned from the forced experiences around the WFH?

Amit singh: First Advantage encourages employees to develop and acquire advanced knowledge in their respective fields. We also encourage employees who are ready to move beyond their roles and learn a new skill that would benefit their careers. All employees have access to Employee Advantage, a learning management portal, with over 300 training modules on a wide variety of topics. In addition, all employees are required to stay current with our privacy policy and information security training.

DQ: It’s a difficult time for managers. What advice would you give them?

Amit singh: We have advised all of our managers to maintain transparent communication with their team members. This allows them to create a healthy environment within the team, especially now when everyone is working remotely.
Sense of belonging is the key to employee retention. Clear information, understandable guidelines and strong leadership will go a long way at this stage.

DQ: How does work / life balance work in a crisis like this?

Amit singh: With work being moved from the office to the home, it is important for employees to set limits on their working and non-working time. We continue to communicate the positive work of home messaging to employees and managers.

DQ: How do you now facilitate digital work?

Amit Singh: At First Advantage, we had already embarked on a digital journey and integrated technology into our daily processes. Our digital work environment was already in place to increase efficiency, and we were ready to digitally support our clients with their recruiting needs even before the current global health crisis.

DQ: How will the latest technologies redefine the workplace?

Amit Singh: The latest technology will allow people to work from home and be productive regardless of location and geography. We are witnessing a vital transformation of where and how we work. The use of online social collaboration platforms is no longer just for enabling meetings and calls, but also for online learning and employee development.

DQ: How do you see a future of “decent digiwork”?

Amit singh: The business climate and the global economy have changed dramatically in recent weeks. Innovation, transformation and leadership happen in many ways. Our goal will be to improve our customers’ onboarding experiences, reduce delivery cycle times and improve quality performance.

As a company, we have evolved over the years with optimal use of cutting-edge technologies and internal platforms that are not only interconnected, but that communicate, analyze and use information to move the hiring process forward.

Going forward, we are focused on product-centric innovation, providing what our customers need when they return to work, and helping them navigate this new normal.

About Donnie R. Losey

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