Planning on running candidate background checks in-house? While many businesses outsource this type of service, it is possible - if the resource is available - to do it independently.
In a panel discussion this month, SVP of Marketing at Veremark, Karen Moore provided some advice to any organizations thinking about carrying out candidate screening themselves.
In the panel, reported on by TechServe Alliance, Moore lists her six rules to ensuring pre-hire check processes are carried out in the most effective, efficient way.
Use only source data. Database checks aren’t enough, as there’s no assurance that the information is up to date, or even validated. To be sure, you must go directly to the original source of the information.
Develop position-based screening packages. The screening criteria should be tailored specifically to what the person will be doing in the job, with special attention to any regulatory requirements.
Conduct an SSN check prior to other checks. This check is fundamental to confirm identity, and if there is an issue at this stage, there’s no reason to proceed further.
Implement multi-point candidate validation. Don’t conduct a simple name check, particularly when recruiting internationally, where some surnames can be very common. With a single data point, there’s no assurance that the candidate is the same person.
Incorporate conflict checks into the process. When looking at other data points for a candidate’s identity, if there’s a conflict with what appears on LinkedIn, for example, that conflict should raise flags.
Go beyond database checks. If all the data points for a given candidate are in alignment, checking for other information online can round out your understanding of the candidate. “If you have any question about a candidate, do things like references, and social media checks,” Moore says. “If you saw somebody in an interview, and then you do a social media check and you see that the person doesn’t look or act like the person that you interviewed, it gives you reason for pause.”
According to Moore, it is crucial to collaborate with a certified third party to emphasize the significance of the previous point. Incorrect handling of social media checks can raise doubts about bias and discrimination. However, a certified background screening company ensures that such issues are avoided.
Currently, the background screening industry is witnessing the emergence of various technologies - some at more advanced stages than others. While fingerprinting is mandatory for certain jobs and industries, it has limited database storage applications. Facial recognition technology holds promise for background screening in the future, but it's still not advanced enough to be considered reliable. Right now, remote virtual verification, such as validating a passport with its photo, is gaining recognition as a useful tool.
Looking into the next few years, Moore believes that blockchain is the most promising technology. By storing a candidate's verified credentials in a "digital wallet" on the blockchain, the need for third-party database checks can be eliminated. This approach protects against identity theft and almost entirely eliminates the risk of fraudulent alteration of a candidate's credentials.
And ultimately, it’s communication between both client and the candidate that ensures a successful outcome. Moore points out that it’s important to set expectations early in the process with both clients and candidates, letting them know what to expect and why the steps are important.