Background screening in recruitment is the need of the hour. With the increasing instances of the banks getting scammed by fake employees and a lot of harassment issues being recorded because of unruly conduct of certain employees, employers should be very much careful about the people they are hiring. Since it is a time when cyber threats are very common plaguing security concerns of the organizations across the globe, pre-employee background verification has become more indispensable than ever before.
Hence, recruiters must now carefully scrutinize past records of applicant’s, their personal information, work experiences in previous organizations and criminal records. This will help them build a greater sense of trust and reliability on the existing employees or potential employees, apart from being in line with the contemporary regulatory requirements.
The age-old processes of employee background verification was a manual and paper oriented process. It was managed by the external agencies, which would cost much higher and had a longer turnaround time. It was quite difficult for HR professionals to conduct background screening on candidates all alone by themselves only, especially when they need to conduct physical address verification of the concerned employees. But with the evolution of artificial intelligence (AI) in HR function along with other facets, pre-employee background verification is also being transformed for good. Procedures of employee background verification presently are automated and hence are much more efficient. A lot of the candidate’s information is available online in public databases which when accessed can save on physical resources. However, to manually go through all the available data can be very time-consuming.
The new technologies being developed for background verification and screening take a lot of the burden off the HR. With a few algorithms in place, verifying employment records, address proofs and any criminal charges can all be done within minutes.
How can technology assist in background checks?
Here’s how the technology behind background screening works
Quick Data Accessibility
With artificial intelligence (AI), a large amount of data can be deciphered just in few minutes. All one needs to do is to enter the person’s name in the search engine. The recruiter will be able to see all the matches related to the name from databases across the web. All this will be done in a matter of seconds! So think, if a simple Google search can take you to all the social media profiles of a person like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram, imagine what the result will be with search algorithms which have been specially designed for background verification. In case the search is one by a finely tuned system it can streamline search results even more precisely and giving you results that can give you matches on multiple criteria.
Smarter Data Analysis
Combining AI with machine learning can now take background screening to a new level by prioritizing data according to relevance. It is no longer enough to get all the information that is related to a person which is available online. No one has the time to select what data is useful to a background verification and what is not. New technologies can now analyze data and present the hiring company with more useful data first. Criminal records, address verification, past employment verification can all be screened without having to find out where the candidate holidayed last summer.
Analysis of risk and threats
Another primary purpose of background verification is to ensure that as a recruiter you are hiring a reliable candidate. The newer technologies of AI and software algorithms can pick up keywords like ‘termination of employment’ or “fraud” and gather any data that might be relevant to such factors in the profile of the candidate. With such kind of search result, it becomes quite easier for the HR to understand why that person left his previous organization or why he was fired from his last place of employment. Based on this information an HR can decide if the candidate is reliable enough to be hired as an employee for the new role. For example, say an employee was fired on grounds of suspicion for siphoning funds, but the case was not proven neither was any complaint was filed to the police, naturally, it would not then show up in criminal records. With the help of machine learning, such risks and threats can be analyzed, overcoming those shortfalls.
By taking into account certain key performance factors when doing a background verification, AI can quickly and efficiently generate a score for the candidate. Looking at past performances, employment history, mentions of awards, accolades or published papers, the program could give the applicant a higher score. On the other hand, furnishing false details or discrepancies in the past records could bring down a candidate’s score considerably.
How Technology Revolution Has Benefitted Background Verification
One of the primary functions of the Human Resources department is to arrange skilled resources for the organization. New technologies have completely revolutionized the way background checks are conducted, making the hiring of new employees a much less labor-intensive task. Imagine if a recruiter starts screening a vast number of applications they receive and then verifying the provided information it can turn into a tiring and time-consuming affair making them miss the deserving candidate. So by using technology in recruitment not only one can improve the efficiency of the process but also save time, as well. Additionally, there are a number of advantages of using technology for background verification during the employee screening process.
Lesser turnaround time
In larger organizations especially where there are hundreds of job applications which needs to be screened, if the HR department starts doing the process manually it would take weeks and even months to complete the process. However, if you use a dedicated software or a secured online platform it can help the organizations reduce the turnaround time (TAT) for the whole process of background verification considerably to a matter of minutes.
For Example, background screening services by cFirst can be used by organizations for conducting verification quickly and easily. With the latest technology in operation new employer has to send a request to the service provider for performing a background check on a new hire and receive all the records about the past without any hassle. This can save a lot of time which can be later on used for more productive tasks by HR personnel.
Enhance data security
Every business owes to its employees the responsibility to protect their personal information if they have shared any with the organization. Yet, while conducting background verification certain employee data like the Permanent account number or Aadhar number is required to be shared between the employee and the service provider while conducting background verification. Though background verification is conducted strictly only after the person being screened gives consent, the information should also be shared responsibly without any threats to the security. With the help of technology, HR can securely share the details of ex-employee or data about any prospective employee for performing background checks and be ensures that the data does not fall into the wrong hands.
Accurate and higher quality background checks
If an organization conducts employee screening manually, there is a probability that just a cursory sweep of records is conducted. If it happens it might let a lot of information fall through the crack. For instance, some crucial details about the candidate might get overlooked while manually conducting a criminal record check or reference check.
If you are using the right technology and the best support, you will be able to conduct a more thorough background verification. Moreover, nothing can be more accurate than automated results and undoubtedly they will be of much better quality than the manual ones.
Access to huge data repositories
Technology in recruitment can help teams run even through the negative database while conducting a criminal background check on the employees. Employee screening with the help of negative database can also help an organization choose employees who have clean past records.
End to end automation
Technology can help to automate the whole process of background checks. Prospective candidates will just have to fill up an online form in the company’s website with all their details, and all the related data will automatically get populated to the employee screening platform.
Promise of better work environment
One of the main advantages of using technology in the background verification process is that the work environment can be greatly improved. Not only can the hiring teams spend time and resources in other areas, but the quality of employees hired is also improved.
Finally, it can be concluded that latest technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Machine learning will simulate the thought processes of the analyst’s by helping in locating connections, decoding their meaning and raising the red flags, if and wherever necessary. Data can be collected from various sources, like social media, blacklists, adverse media, legal records, and various other online platforms.
This is the time technology is ruling the process of employee background verification and its rational application. So like every other business which technology has revolutionized, background screening will also undergo metamorphosis but albeit for the better with incredible power of technology!
cFIRST Think Tank is the team that researches and produces content for cFirst. This team comprises of seasoned content and digital design professionals and background screening industry veterans. Together we produce insightful blogs, infographics and reports meant for HR and background screening professionals.