Digital work environment already in place to increase efficiency: Amit Singh, First Advantage

Business continuity plans (BCP) are in place, and have been updated to include actions, processes and communications to address a global pandemic

Pradeep Chakraborty
New Update

First Advantage is India's largest provider of employee background verification service. It has been conducting background checks in 200+ countries and territories. Here, Amit Singh, VP & Head, Commercial, First Advantage India, talks about the future of work. Excerpts from an interview:


First Advantage

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

Amit Singh: COVID-19 has temporarily changed the way world does business, but it has not changed the need for a trusted background screening partner. 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 (BCP) in place. These plans have been updated to include actions, processes and communications to specifically address a global pandemic.

First Advantage manages multiple systems and controls that enable critical staff to work remotely and in a manner that keeps all sensitive data, including customer data, secured within First Advantage’s data centers and hosted applications in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. At First Advantage, the health and safety of our employees, customers and candidates is of the highest concern.

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


Amit Singh: At First Advantage, we are making proactive decisions in the best interest of our employees. We have set up a dedicated, well organized platform where employees can view all communications. These include corporate messages, Q&A, policy updates and best practises for work from home. As long as the employees work on their tasks within the assigned time period, they have full control over how they go about their work.

DQ: How are you assessing on learnings from enforced experiments around WFH?

Amit Singh: First Advantage encourages employees to up-skill and gain advanced knowledge in their respective fields. We also encourage employees who are willing to go beyond their roles and learn a new skill that would be beneficial to their careers. All employees have access to Employee Advantage, a learning management portal, with 300+ training modules on a wide variety of topics. Additionally, all employees are required to stay up-to-date on our privacy policy and information security training.


DQ: This is a challenging time for managers. What advice would you give them?

Amit Singh: We have advised all our managers to maintain transparent communication with their team members. This enables them to create a healthy environment within the team, especially now when everyone is working remotely.

The feeling of belongingness is key to employee retention. Clear information, understandable directives and strong leadership will go a long way at this point in time.

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


Amit Singh: With work shifted from the office to the home, it is important for employees to set boundaries regarding their working and non-working times. We continue to communicate positive work from home messaging to employees and managers alike.

DQ: How are you now facilitating digital work?

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


DQ: How are the latest technologies going to redefine the workplace?

Amit Singh: The latest technology will enable people to work from home and be productive regardless of location and geography. We are seeing a vital transformation of where and how we work. The use of online social collaboration platforms are no longer only for enabling meetings and calls but also for online learning and upskilling for the employees.

DQ: How do you plan for a future of ‘decent digiwork’?


Amit Singh: The business climate and global economy have changed significantly in the past few weeks. Innovation, transformation and leadership occur in many ways. Our focus will be on enhancing our customer onboarding experiences, reducing delivery cycle times and providing improved quality performance.

As a business, we have evolved through the years with optimal usage of advanced technology and internal platforms that are not only interconnected, but that communicate, analyze and use information to drive the recruitment process further.

Looking ahead, we are shifting our focus to product-centered innovation—delivering what our clients need when they return to work—and helping them navigate this new normal.