The Rs 78-lakh robbery by the driver of a cash delivery van has come as a reminder of the risks involved in hiring staff for security agencies. To minimise risk, security firms now use private forensic laboratories to check if a potential employee has 'criminal tendencies'. To verify this, candidates are being put through lie-detector tests, handwriting analysis and other forms of psychological profiling.
"Several security agencies involved in providing manpower for making cash deposits in ATMs or jewellery store employees, have been approaching us to do a personality assessment of candidates before hiring them," said Dr R Krishnamurthy, former forensic science laboratory director and chairman of Helik advisory. "As those hired will have to be entrusted with huge sums of cash, they want to be sure that the candidate has no criminal tendencies."
"We have developed an advanced lie detector, or innocence test, which has credibility indicators to help us find out how trustworthy the person is," said Krishnamurthy. "If there are four candidates that a company refers to us, we grade them based on the credibility and inform the employers about it," he added.
Apart from the advanced lie detector test, there are several other parameters like psychological profiling and handwriting analysis that are used to gauge the person. On certain occasions, firms also approach the private laboratories after a crime has been committed, but the firm does not want to involve the police.
However, a Supreme Court ruling in May stated that compulsory brain mapping, narco-analysis and lie detector tests are unconstitutional as they violated individual rights. When questioned about the SC ruling, Krishnamurthy said, "We conduct these tests only after the candidates give us their willingness to go through the same in writing and it is not compulsory. Hence, there are no legal tangles involved."