Why Is Safe Commute No Longer A Luxury But A Necessity ?

Vivek Khanna, Managing Director, First Advantage, India Region Dr. Ankita is highly skilled in best value, corporate social responsibility employee recognition, and operations management. She is also an experienced Global Head of Human Resources with a demonstrated history of working in the information technology and services industry.

In today's fast paced world, travel is unavoidable, irrespective of the distance or the destination. With the traffic and pollution turning into uncontrollably growing giants, travelling even on regular days can become a nightmare. Many of us depend on app based cab aggregators or even public transport for our day to day commute as some simply cannot afford the hefty payments on a personal car while others are frustrated by the fluctuating fuel prices. Added to these are the parking concerns in the city. It is not only hard to find but often expensive and tiresome. Combined with this is the fact that many can afford a car but want to avoid losing countless hours behind the wheel in terrible congestion.

As we are a highly populated country the need for mobility options keep increasing. In India, competition between mobility companies is fierce. According to a report by TechCircle, a credible tech business information resource, "as many as 40 app based companies were estimated to have started bike taxi operations in various Indian cities". Players in this space solve various mobility pain points with services such as carpooling, ride sharing, bike taxis, bike sharing, apps to book auto rickshaws and taxi services to commuters who are looking for easier and quick travel options. Such that the customer now has plenty of options to choose from with various players offering services at a discounted rate peppered with lucrative offers promising supreme customer service.

Alongside this, are the corporate houses that need to hire drivers to assist their employees in everyday travel for professional purposes? This year Indian cab aggregation company Ola has come out with a survey titled 'What Do Women and Girls Want from Urban Mobility Systems? According to the survey, a whopping 91 percent of women across eleven cities think public
transportation systems are extremely to some what unsafe. Only 9 percent women actually think consider them to be completely safe.

Enabling technology linked options on the app like customer feedback, emergency call button or ride tracking mechanism do add value to the safety frameworks of the set up

This raises the pertinent and often spoken about topic of the need for background checks of the driver to avoid unfavourable or harmful incident reportage by passengers. Both men and women stand to lose by errant staff hired without proper credential screenings in place. Supporting this is the media indicators on crime rates in recent times involving cab drivers which is on the rise.

Although cab providers and ride sharing applications have tried curbing these issues by adopting various schemes, they don't seem to suffice. Enabling technology linked options on the app like customer feedback, emergency call button or ride tracking mechanism do add value to the safety frameworks of the set up. But they fail to shut all the loopholes which hold great possibilities of causing harm to the passenger involved.

This is where an efficient background screening system comes in to play. Passengers travelling with drivers must feel and in reality be completely safe from any hazardous situation, they must be ensured of thorough safety with respect to the person behind the wheels who is in service to commute their safe transit from point A to point B. Safety is therefore viewed not as a luxury but a necessity in today's fast paced lives.

Here are some checks that should be in place so you know you are in safe hands as you make that choice for a mobility service provider today.

Employment history: Verification of employment history of the potential hire provides information related to his/her past experience, reasons for leaving the previous company/household, genuineness of the documents provided and also the individual's past driving performance.

Education: Complete Validation of candidate's driving license is mandatory, as not many may have learnt formal driving and may be unaware of traffic rules violating passenger safety in the bargain.

Address: In India, it is common for people move to different cities in search of education and jobs. It is important to verify and have on record the local address of the prospect driver to facilitate easy trace back in the event of a complaint on safety or exceeding permissible speed limits, driving style etc.

Criminal Record: First Advantage's Q3, 2019 trends report states that 35 percent cases on discrepancies were related to criminal, document investigation, database, reference checks. Employers have become extremely wary of engaging with new hires who do not meet the stringent background screening norms laid out by the Company.

Drug Test: Many companies increasingly conduct drug testing to ensure safety and productivity of the hires and better manage the rising healthcare insurance cost. Pre hire screening in this highly regulated industry includes many significant moving parts including drug and alcohol testing, physical exam management and driver qualification files.