How Background Checks Will Speed Up Your Hiring Process After the Pandemic–A Chat with Checkr Experts

4 min read

We know that the hiring landscape will look completely different after the pandemic. But with so many uncertainties still ahead, how do we work with what we already know and utilize it to grab the attention of the best candidates?

We chatted with the experts at Checkr about background checks and how they will be an integral part of getting back to hiring after the pandemic.

Let’s face it, we have a new “normal” for what hiring looks like moving forward. How do you think background checks will evolve to accommodate this new normal after the slowdown in relation to candidates and employer needs?

The background check process likely won’t have a massive evolution given the complexities of state and county laws and regulations. However, how we use the data collected is definitely changing. Most people see the background check as a necessary step to be compliant or filter out any bad actors that made it through the recruitment and interview process— but that's the wrong way to see it. In tomorrow's agile workforce models, screening data (criminal, educational, or referral) will be to some extent reusable and transportable with the candidate. 

The modern worker will expect a fluid employment experience focused on skills and experience acquisition so their hiring profile should be just as fluid. Unless we have a massive cultural shift, the background check is the "go-no go" for every hire but typically done after a lengthy process incurring a high cost to acquire. What is preventing us from flipping the script and making that determination at the onset? Can we match the candidates to work that matches their total talent profile including screening outcomes that have already been collected over time?  

- Chris Johnson, Director of Industry Strategy, Checkr  

More people are out of work. Once more companies start hiring again, they may see more applicants than they expected. How can hiring managers utilize background checks to speed up the hiring process?

Many companies have laid off or furloughed large volumes of workers with the intention of rehiring once the economy opens back up. The challenge most companies are thinking about is hiring back the furloughed workers as quickly as the economy opens up. However, forward-thinking companies are thinking one step ahead, knowing they may not be able to bring back all of their furloughed workers. If a company does have to hire net new employees, they may see an influx of candidates enter their hiring funnel because the unemployment rate is temporarily high. The ability to hire the best candidates quickly will be the difference between emerging from the COVID-19 crisis successfully and falling behind.

The best way to ensure your company is positioned to open quickly once the economy opens back up is to remove friction in the hiring process and to ensure an optimal candidate experience. Trust & Safety plays a big role in ensuring a company can convert on high-quality candidates in the hiring funnel, and legacy background screening companies tend to be slow-moving & lack technology integration. Checkr is a technology first platform that leverages automation, AI, and open API to streamline the trust & safety process while incorporating a modern candidate experience.

- Scott Jennings, Director of Industry Strategy, Checkr 

With more remote workers than ever, will background checks be seen as less important or more important for those looking to hire remote candidates? How can background checks benefit hiring teams?

After the pandemic passes, society & business will change. Consumers will expect to order any product from an app on their phone, have a personal shopper gather the order, and a last mile of delivery driver deliver the order on the same day. This method of shopping was viewed as a convenience pre-pandemic, it will become a standard for shopping post-pandemic. Likewise, remote work & remote hiring were parts of an organization's strategy pre-pandemic, they will now become the centerpiece of the work environment & take center stage in hiring.  Hiring remote candidates & hiring remotely will come with its own challenges due to lack of face to face human connection, but they can be overcome with technology.  

With technology, Trust & Safety will be infused in the hiring process, rather than a point solution that sits tangent to the hiring process, and trust & safety will be embedded in the post-hire process to ensure a safe work environment.  As a result, the technology supporting key hiring & post-hire processes will take on more importance because the candidate can no longer walk down the street to your office for a face to face interview.  So it is not whether the background check will become more important, but rather the technology that enables trust & safety to be rolled out in any piece of the hiring & post-hire process in new and inventive ways that will become more important.

-Scott Jennings, Director of Industry Strategy, Checkr 

What are some ways that the background check process can improve the candidate experience?

Classically, the background check is one of the stickiest points in the hiring process but it doesn't have to be. We've all been consumerized by companies like Apple, Amazon, Uber, and Facebook so why should our hiring process be any different?  We need to embrace the "sign-up" culture and treat the hiring process like any other consumer-like process out there including the "must-haves" like background check disclosures and onboarding documents.  Unfortunately, many companies are hyper-indexed on the recruiting experience only to let that "white glove" experience fall down the moment an offer is accepted.  I should be able to accept an offer with my thumb while in line for a coffee and instantly begin completing the background check forms with the same thumb while in the same line for coffee. The screening process can also be a very stressful time. You fill out the forms and wait... and wait... we assume no news is bad news and perhaps candidate fall out happens where conditional placements can't happen. Transparency is critical in this transition period so having access to things like ETA, requests for additional data, and check status are critical both for the recruiter and candidate.     

- Chris Johnson, Director of Industry Strategy, Checkr  

How are blanket background policies hurting employers and slowing down the hiring process? How can getting more information from candidates help widen the talent pool to better candidates and speed up hiring?

Static screening programs are the quickest way to alienate candidates and create artificial bottlenecks in your funnel. We often see policies that have been inherited from past decisions and if reviewed they aren't done so in an empirical manner. Hot button topics such as marijuana, non-violent crimes, look back periods, and individualized assessment are all things that should be discussed on your next review of screening policies. Checkr uses data to help drive these conversations with customers so that making changes to policies aren't based on opinions but facts that are defensible and aligned with today's hiring culture.     

- Chris Johnson, Director of Industry Strategy, Checkr 

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