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HR firms tighten hiring norms to curb moonlighting

IT firms keen on background verification before making a job offer; HR firms examining EPFO accounts to ascertain whether money coming from 2 sources

HR firms tighten hiring norms to curb moonlighting
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HR firms tighten hiring norms to curb moonlighting

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Post-Covid Occurrence

- HR experts feel that moonlighting as a phenomenon

- It'll come down as employees are back in office

- That's the reason for many IT firms keen on work from office

- Staff asked to opt for hybrid model

- Techies say moonlighting is not a widespread phenomenon

There are ways of knowing whether a candidate is doing a second job apart from the primary one, said a source, who handles large HR firms with hiring mandate from large Indian and global IT firms. He, however, declines to comment on the ways how the HR firm arrives at the conclusion

Bengaluru: Hiring firms are adding additional checklists to know whether a candidate is moonlighting or not as part of their background check with explicit instructions from many technology firms. Sources in the know said that as concerns over moonlighting aggravates, candidates are being strictly scrutinised before going ahead with the issuance of job offers.

"There are additional checklists now for candidates apart from the background verification we do. IT firms are now asking for it though it is a recent phenomenon. There are ways of knowing whether a candidate is doing a second job apart from the primary one," said a source who handles large HR firms with hiring mandate from large Indian and global IT firms. He, however, declines to comment on the ways how the HR firm arrives at the conclusion.

Industry sources in the know said that HR firms are examining EPFO accounts to know the same. "If there are two EPFO accounts or money coming from two sources to the EPFO account (in the wake up UAN- Universal Account Number), then it will be clear that the candidate is having dual employment," said another source.

There is a raging debate on moonlighting in the Indian IT industry. Wipro Chairman Rishad Premji told on Wednesday that the company had terminated the services of 300 staff members who it discovered were working for its competitors while still being on the company's payroll.

"The definition of moonlighting itself is about having another job secretively. As part of transparency, individuals can have candid conversations about playing in a band or working on a project over the weekend. Organisations and individuals can make a concerted choice about what works for them or doesn't work for them," Premji had said attending an event.

People in the know said that while Wipro Chairman was candid in giving his views and revealing company's actions, many IT firms including its bigger peers had done so secretively. "Nobody is talking about it but many had done it secretively," another source said.

Meanwhile, HR experts feel that moonlighting as a phenomenon will come down as employees are back in office. That is the reason for many IT firms actively calling back their staffers to work from offices, even if for a few days in a week. Amid high demand for technology talent, some IT engineers have taken up dual employment, which is against their employment contract. While the stand taken up by IT firms is seen valid, but many employees are expressing their displeasure on such drastic step, terming it as exploitation by employers despite moonlighting not being a widespread phenomenon.

Debasis Mohapatra
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