Background screening remains a critical step in the hiring process.
By Larry Basinait
Today, improving candidate experience is a majorÂ driving force in the hiring processâand a solidÂ background screening approach is a critical step toÂ ensuring that job seekers are satisfied. Candidates areÂ looking for a process that is transparent and offers real-timeÂ updates on a mobile platform. While new researchÂ from HRO Today finds that 75 percent of job seekersÂ ranked overall performance as âgoodâ or âexcellent,âÂ there is room for background screening partners toÂ improve the perception of how well they deliver theirÂ services. Where can improvements be made?
HR leaders are looking for background screeningÂ partners to consistently meet very tight turnaroundÂ times while delivering reports that are both accurateÂ and complete. Todayâs reports should be able to beÂ customized to organizational needs and delivered withÂ up-to-date, real-time data.
In fact, 76 percent of respondents say that accuracyÂ remains the most important element of the services aÂ background checking partner offers. If a backgroundÂ report isnât correct, then the second most importantÂ service elementâspeedâbecomes irrelevant.Â In terms of timing, 92 percent of HR leaders expect theÂ results of a background check in four days or less, withÂ nearly 44 percent expecting them in one to two days.Â The average acceptable turnaround time is a brief 2.8Â days.
As for technology, 74 percent of respondents areÂ seeking real-time updates. In a very tight job market,Â itâs crucial to know exactly where a candidate standsÂ so that they and the hiring manager can be keptÂ informed in a timely manner. Recruiters want to be ableÂ to communicate the status of a background check toÂ eager hiring managers and candidates, as well as makeÂ contingency plans if a problem arises. Offering a mobileÂ candidate portal can facilitate updates and keep theÂ channels of communication open.
In addition, data protection and security with personallyÂ identifiable information (PII) was selected by 71 percentÂ as an important system capability. Candidates provideÂ a great deal of personal information when completingÂ a background check, and both potential employers andÂ background checking partners have a responsibilityÂ to protect that data. Examples of PII include socialÂ security numbers, birthdates, passport numbers, driverâsÂ license numbers, and credit card numbers, among otherÂ things. Unfortunately, massive data breaches are all tooÂ common, and they happen to companies that wouldÂ seem to have secure data structures like Target, TDÂ Bank, and Equifax. An identity thief may purchase andÂ use the information. Identity thieves often use PII toÂ try to apply for loans in someoneâs name or withdrawÂ money from their accounts. A social security numberÂ may be used to work illegally or enter the countryÂ illegally, finds Infomania.
The research also reports the most important servicesÂ for HR leaders. Background screening parters offer anÂ ever-increasing array of services to meet the diverseÂ needs of organizations. In the annual HRO Today BakerâsÂ Dozen ranking for background screening, HRO TodayÂ tracks 17 different services currently being offered.
A background check is by far the most important serviceÂ offered, selected by 98 percent of respondents. WhatâsÂ included in a background check varies dependingÂ on what is requested, but typically, an employmentÂ background check shows employment verification,Â identity verification, credit history, criminal records, andÂ education confirmation, along with other areas.
Fifty-eight percent of respondents say that drugÂ testing is important, but its level of importance variesÂ widely by the type of position. According to theÂ United States Department of Justice, drug abuse costsÂ U.S. business owners more than $140 billion dollarsÂ every year, including turnover from employees whoÂ abuse drugs. Kress Inc. reports that when employersÂ screen employees for drug use, several serious risksÂ are mitigated, including accidents, theft, employeeÂ turnover, absenteeism, poor productivity, liability, andÂ increased benefits costs.