Optimizing Background Screening Through a Tech-Enabled Service Provider


There’s been a renewed imperative in human resources to create a culture of safety and belonging at work. Part of delivering on that imperative is conducting background checks on your new hires. A 2020 joint survey between HR.com and the Professional Background Screening Association (formerly the National Association of Professional Background Screeners) revealed that 94% of respondents perform at least one type of employment screening. And in highly regulated verticals like healthcare, financial services and transportation, background screenings are an even more crucial part of the hiring process.

Employers rank background screenings high in importance, but 62% said the biggest challenge is how long it takes to get results. Partnering with a technology-enabled service provider is vital to optimizing the background screening process. A true partner actively seeks to create more value from the process.

When selecting the right background screening partner for your organization, you don’t need to acquiesce on quality, speed, compliance or candidate experience. Here’s how.

Expect More Than Simple Integration

Integration is a simple transmission of data that, by itself, doesn’t create additional value. Rather than settling for data integration, evaluate your background partner’s strategy around integrating with HR software.

  • Is the integration configured in a way that creates the most value?
  • How does the vendor differentiate themselves through a unique integration and through surrounding processes?

For instance, our technology allows for clients to configure an HR review step, after the integration is triggered and the candidate has had an opportunity to supplement career information that they originally provided in the online application. This gives our client the opportunity to ensure that the career credentials are provided and match the requirements for the job before the background process is started. This ensures that there are no last minute surprises prior to orientation. This saves a lot of time gathering missing information before submission, rather than having that review come back incomplete. An intuitive, optimized integration prevents additional data collection from the candidate to rerun the check, which could add multiple business days to the process.

Configure Customized Trigger Points

Most applicant tracking systems (ATS) include automatic trigger points when a candidate moves from one stage to the next. Most HR teams use the “factory settings” without further defining or configuring those trigger points. Background screenings are usually triggered automatically at the offer stage.

Further defining the trigger points for automation can optimize the background screening process. When do you have the least number of touchpoints with the candidate while getting the most amount of data needed for your background process to run smoothly and quickly? That's the right trigger point for the automated start of the background check. 

Create a Better Candidate Experience

The background screening process should be fast, efficient and include as few touchpoints with the candidate as possible. Candidates are looking for mobile accessibility and a simple user experience. Can the candidate complete consent forms or upload attachments with ease from their smartphone?

Configuring smart forms also minimizes candidate touchpoints. Can your software determine which state-specific forms are needed based on the candidate’s location? Are forms digitally enabled for a signature within your workflow? If documents are determined and enabled on the front end, you don’t have to reach out to the candidate with forms to be signed and returned, which slows down the process.

Don’t let compliance be an excuse for lack of optimization in your background screening process. You don’t have to settle for simple integration, give up speed for quality, or vice versa. It’s important to challenge the way that companies truly optimize the use of technology to help you innovate and measurably improve your new hire screening and onboarding process.

Optimizing background screening through an applicant tracking system is valuable, but it's only a fraction of what tech-enabled onboarding processes can do. The right partner can help organizations accelerate digital transformation.