Are your background checks broken?

Many companies are losing great talent due to faulty or slow checking processes

Are your background checks broken?
Background checks are a vital part of any hiring process – validating resumes and ensuring employers don’t get tricked into taking on candidates misrepresenting themselves. According to a recent survey by screening firm HireRight, over 70% of employers around the world uncover issues with their prospects that would have otherwise gone unnoticed without proper screening.

But a new study shows that more than a third of employers are losing potential employees to lengthy, poorly designed checks.

Global human capital solutions company CareerBuilder recently conducted a survey among HR managers and employees in the US and found that more than half of job candidates think less of a company if they had a negative experience with its hiring processes. And it’s not just the candidates.

According to the survey, less than half of HR managers who conduct background checks have tested the system themselves. Of the ones that have, 1 in 6 rates the experience poorly.

"Employers are aware conducting background checks is an important business process, but few invest time to evaluate the candidate experience, ease of use, simplicity, and impact on the hiring process," said Ben Goldberg, CEO of background screening firm Aurico. "The longer the background check process, the higher risk of losing a quality candidate to another employer. Employers should test their application and background check process and ensure candidates have a positive experience."

Even more alarming, these poor screening systems are the most common reasons employers lose candidates that have already accepted job offers. CareerBuilder found that 21% of employers who have lost candidates after they’ve accepted their offers said that it was due to a lengthy background check. One in five reported it was due to the candidate having a poor experience with the background check process.

Goldberg recommends three strategies to streamline and optimize your background check process:
A poorly conducted background check is one of the most common reasons employers lose candidates that have accepted job offers — 21 percent of employers who have lost candidates that have accepted a job offer say it was because background screening took too long, and 20 percent said it was because a candidate had a poor experience with background screening.

Goldberg recommends these three strategies to help optimize your background check process for candidates:
  • Partner with the best. You can make sure that your background check service provider is accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS). The association formed their APAC chapter in 2009, and has been officially servicing the region since 2011.
  • Check the clock. The best way to ensure you don’t lose a candidate to a competitor is to keep the process streamlined. In developed countries like the US and Singapore, background checks should return in less than five business days.
  • Test the candidate experience. Employers should always check the quality of their processes by experiencing it firsthand. More importantly, they should seek direct feedback from their candidates too.

Related stories:
Common pitfalls of criminal record checks
Employers may be losing good workers by screening out ex-felons

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