This year’s iTalent Competition winner is helping organizations reduce time to hire and maintain compliance to boot.
By Taylor Thompson
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the average cost of a poor hiring decision can equal 30 percent of the first year’s potential earnings. Glassdoor and the Brandon Hall Group also report that 95 percent of employers admit to suffering from at least one bad hire every year. With increasing pressure to find the right hires and growing candidate expectations of a customer-like experience, HR needs a vetting process that can keep up with the rapidly-changing nature of the hiring process. Enter background screening platform Verified First.
While working to integrate a customer’s applicant tracking system (ATS) with their own background screening solution, Verified First’s Vice President of Product Ryan Hart became frustrated with the inefficiency of the standard integration process, which on average takes six to eight weeks.
“If something takes that long, you’re lucky to be on good terms with that company by the end of it, and that just didn’t sit well with us,” Hart says. “We realized that if we could find a better integration solution and solve that problem, which accounts for budget, time, and switching cost problems, then we could really help our customers focus on just doing their jobs.”
Out of that initial concept came a patent-pending technology that reduces the onboarding integration of their solution from eight weeks to just five minutes, while still including all of the functionality and capabilities that customers expect to find in a background screening solution.
“The difference is that we can complete the process in a more efficient manner without even needing to involve their software in the process. So not only have we made the integration process quicker, but we’ve made it better as well,” Hart explains.
Verified First’s platform equips HR with capabilities that aren’t seen in other industry solutions—and this is a main reason the organization won the 2018 iTalent Competition at the HRO Today Forum North America this past May.
While many companies are left to develop an application programming interface (API) to make up for the lack of functionality in their partner’s interface, Verified First provides their own system that is fully equipped with customization, the ability to add reference codes, and the ability to create applicant-specific packages.
The connection between all departments in the organization also helps Verified First deliver a quick turnaround time on assignments—roughly two and a quarter days compared to the industry average of three, according to SHRM.
But perhaps the most significant differentiation Verified First’s platform provides comes from the relevancy of all their technology, and the fact that their entire solution has been built within the past two years.
“With our fresh software, we lack ‘tech-debt’ and are able to innovate, pivot, and be flexible through our product,” Hart explains. “Our competitors have either merged technologies multiple times, or they’ve acquired technology and rebuilt it. So they’re sitting on 15-year-old technology that really doesn’t allow them to innovate because there are barriers within the cost to develop it and there are constraints within their software.”
Verified First is simply looking to make their customers’ lives easier, especially when it comes to collecting key pieces of data and staying on top of state-by-state regulations. For example, many companies are unaware that their applicant’s target salary range may determine what information can be recorded on their background screening report. Verified First makes sure that their customers are directly aware of all such policies that could inconvenience their hiring process.
“We’re delivering on compliance promises by controlling the interface and our clients’ user experience. We can ensure that all of the tedious nuisances associated with screening are followed and presented to them and nothing is sacrificed in the high-risk process of conducting background checks,” Hart says.
“We really work hard to protect the customer and make sure our data is accurate and usable,” says Ian Bellais, director of business development for Verified First. “For instance, the FCRA requires any background screening solution looking into an applicant to do one of two things: maintain strict procedures that ensure the information collected is accurate and up to date (by confirming database results against the source/jurisdiction), or let the consumer know that the negative information has been found. At Verified First, we go above and beyond by choosing to do both.”
In fact, Verified First reviews every database result and if they report it, they send a letter to the applicant at their own cost.
The organization is also working to better the process and requirements of adverse action, or the denial of a candidate for employment at an organization due to consumer or criminal history.
“While CRAs [consumer reporting agencies] are not required to respond to a consumer’s dispute for five days, we launch our investigation the day we get it because we want to help our employers hire the people they want to hire and get to the bottom of it,” Hart explains. “And while it’s not the responsibility of the background solution to help the HR user facilitate the adverse action processes, we’ve equipped our technology with letter and email templates ready to do just that.”
By eliminating these types of concerns, organizations are left to focus on achieving their workplace goals of improving time to hire, reducing stressful aspects of the integration process, and achieving a streamlined workflow, among others. But the best part?
“Integration is free and takes mere minutes to complete. You click two links from an email and you’re integrated. It’s that easy,” says Hart.
And it’s that efficiency that has led Verified First on a path of success—one that only began two years ago and has already resulted in significant results. So what’s next?
In addition to integrating text message capabilities into their platform later this year, Verified First is looking to build i9 and E-Verify functionalities into their product, offer re-screening, and begin criminal, driver record, and healthcare compliance monitoring services for customers’ current employees.
“Because we can integrate with an ATS so easily, we’re asking ourselves how we can improve our customers’ performance even further and really help them to have the most complete background screening solution possible,” Bellais says.