Employee background checking is often one of the most complex phases of the recruitment process. But even though it is all too frequently dismissed as simply a tick-box exercise, it has a crucial role to play in ensuring you find, onboard, and retain the right hire quickly and cost-effectively. 

Unfortunately, background checking is also an area that is commonly underinvested in, to the detriment of the candidate experience. But in today’s highly competitive talent market organisations must look to change this. 

So, rather than run the risk of losing your best talent, here are three ways you can enhance the candidate screening process to gain tangible business benefits: 

1. Streamline the background checking process 

Employers that are most responsive in progressing job applications are likely to stand out from the crowd. But a huge 41% of HR directors blame “cumbersome internal processes” for significant delays in making candidates an offer. 

One way of streamlining these processes for a quicker time to hire, however, is to integrate your background checking applications with your HR system to automate manual and lengthy tasks.  

Such integration also enables data to be shared between systems in real-time, providing a single, and accurate, source of truth. Employee records can be updated automatically, for example, which helps to reduce errors significantly improving data accuracy, along with minimising time wasted on duplicate data entries.  

The integration of applicant tracking applications with background checking systems likewise enables employers to track, monitor, and record candidates’ progress as screening activities take place, providing a complete view of the end-to-end process. 

2. Ensure regulatory compliance 

Another means of helping to enhance the employee background checking process while ensuring appropriate regulatory compliance is by maintaining a suitable balance between being thorough and being selective. The idea is to only focus on those background checks that are necessary and proportionate to the role in question in order to save both time and money. 

For example, while education and qualification checks are a must in all circumstances to ensure applicants are adequately qualified for a given post, credit checks are only generally required for someone taking on a financial role where they will be dealing with company funds.  

But background checking also has legal implications in some circumstances, too. For example, should the decision be taken to inspect a candidate’s social media profile, under the UK and European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, it is necessary to secure their consent before doing so. 

What’s more, employers must also be wary of undertaking some checks, like social media searches, which can reveal certain details of a candidate which otherwise would not be known. If a final hiring decision is made based on a protected characteristic, for example, it can be classed as employment discrimination.  

3. Improve the candidate experience 

Creating a quick and painless background checking process is important. It sends out a positive message to job applicants by signalling that you, as a potential employer, have a professional approach and care about providing exceptional experiences to your people. 

But ensuring that your processes are responsive and agile is not simply about harnessing the power of software automation. Ensuring you have a dedicated team of background checking experts in place to deal with queries in a timely manner on behalf of your HR function is just as crucial.  

Having such a resource available not only enables you to provide a more personalised and responsive service, which in turn boosts your chance of reeling in the perfect person for the job, but also frees up time for your in-house admin teams to focus on other, more strategic, tasks. 

If you want support in streamlining and enhancing your employee background checking process, send us a message today – our expert teams are here to help.