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Hiring the best talent is essential for businesses looking to stay ahead of their competition. That's why a quick and accurate background screening process is critical— time lost can translate into lost talent.

Here are eight tips to help speed up your background checks.

1. Integrate your applicant tracking system (ATS) with your background check provider

ATS integration automates important hiring processes savings time, labor and money. Adding additional software can seem like a daunting task for an already overworked Human Resources department if your organization does not currently have an ATS. However, this is one automation upgrade that will pay off with immediate returns in time saved and an improved applicant experience.

Several new ATS providers have entered the marketplace with options to meet the needs of specific industries and a wide-range of organization sizes. Additionally, top background screening providers like AccuSourceHR afford common service APIs, further simplifying the integration process. Integrating your current or new ATS allows you to automate and streamline much of the new talent acquisition process from screening to hiring, and can even help simplify many onboarding functions.

2. Use a digital disclosure and authorization process

Automating the process of obtaining your candidate’s disclosure and authorization for background screening ensures ease of use for candidates, leads to improved compliance practices and saves time. Many jurisdictions now require specific disclosures and consent forms to meet their unique regulatory requirements. Utilizing digital disclosure and consent in an applicant platform helps ensure applicants complete the appropriate documents based upon their specific residential address and primary work location.

Additionally, best in class applicant platforms are mobile-friendly, allowing the user to complete the background screening application and any required disclosure and consent documents from a tablet, phone or PC quickly, even on the go. This leads to faster candidate engagement and reduced time to hire.

3. Provide all required documentation to your background check provider

Depending upon the screening services requested, the applicant data required to support the background screening process may include basic details like the candidate's full name, Social Security number, and date of birth, or more extensive information like a driver’s license number, professional license number, or in the instance of international screening, a passport number or other country-specific documents and forms.

Applicant data is required to start the screening process, and when it is not provided within a short period after the screening request is submitted, the screening provider is in limbo until all information required to facilitate the screening requirements is received and available for use in the investigation process.

4. Take advantage of online data collection

Initiating a background screen, ensuring required disclosure and consent documents are completed, and then facilitating the collection appropriate applicant data and additional documents required to support investigation processes does not need to be a labor intensive process for hiring managers and human resources professionals. Technology-forward consumer reporting agencies (CRAs) support electronic applicant data capture through their web-based applicant platforms and ensure an easy, secure method for the upload of any required documents through applicant portals. Since applicant platforms are integrated with background screening processing platforms, organizations have the added option of platform integration with their current ATS to further streamline workflows and speed time to hire.

Some platforms like AccuSourceHR’s SourceDirect platform are also mobile-optimized to ensure ease of use from any PC or web-enabled mobile device, including most cell phones and tablets. Once the hiring employer initiates the background screen, either through their ATS’s onboarding process or directly in the background screening processing platform, the applicant receives a link via email or text enabling them to enter their own required data and electronically complete and acknowledge disclosure and consent documents. With mobile-friendly software, this process can easily be completed in few minutes from their cell phone while on the go. Online applicant-supported data collection aids in faster applicant engagement in the screening process and also affords the added benefit of minimizing the exposure to sensitive personally identifiable information (PII) within hiring organizations.

5. Use a candidate-friendly solution that allows people to track progress and view results

Today’s applicants are increasingly both cautious and tech savvy. They have heightened concerns in keeping their personal information safe, and prefer to have more control and insight into the hiring process. Employer transparency goes a long way in creating a positive first impression and may result in increased patience and resiliency should the screening process require more time than anticipated. Highly prized prospective employers utilize technology that allows potential new hires to:

  • Input their own personal details to facilitate background screening
  • Receive, review, store and print disclosure and consent documents
  • E-sign authorizations and acknowledge consent forms
  • Track the progress of their screen and engage with CRA staff directly, if needed
  • View completed results in near real-time

6. Act early (in the day) 

It's best to submit your requests as early in the day as possible. This ensures court researchers can include your file the same day when facilitating in-person court searches and helps applicants needing to complete a drug screen to schedule their collection and visit the clinic that day.

Collection facilities often stop collecting specimens between 3-5 p.m. to afford time for overnight specimen shipment to the testing lab. If your applicant is located in an earlier time zone, even a 12 p.m. submission of a background screen requiring a drug test may result in a one-day delay in processing as the applicant will not have a reasonable timeframe to complete the specimen collection same day.

It also pays to consider the calendar. If you are trying to process background screens near holidays or on Friday afternoons, you may encounter delays because courts and collection/testing facilities may be closed or have limited operating hours on weekend days and recognized holidays.

7. Automate the Adverse Action Process

Legally, employers are required to follow Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidelines, any specific applicable state or local legislation and the FCRA adverse action process if they make a decision not to hire a candidate based on information revealed in their completed background report. The adverse action process begins with sending the candidate the pre-adverse action notice. At minimum, this notice should identify the CRA who developed the report along with their contact information; should indicate the report findings may impact the candidate’s ability to continue in the hiring process for the position they are seeking; and must include a copy of the candidate’s completed screening report with information on how to dispute findings, if they believe they are not true and correct.

A few days later, if the applicant does not move to formally dispute the report findings, the adverse action letter, along with any state or local required documents, is sent to the candidate to inform them based upon the report findings, their application for employment has been denied.

Strong technology-supported employment background screening providers can aid employers in automating the pre-adverse and adverse action processes. While EEOC requirements specify employers must view each individual background screen to consider the candidate’s unique circumstances including the type of offense or offenses reported; their potential impact on the role sought; and the length of time and positive behavior since each offense occurred, there is still plenty of opportunity to reduce workloads and benefit HR productivity while decreasing compliance risk.

Best-in-class background screening processing platforms enable employers to upload custom pre-adverse and adverse notice templates into their company account. Once the hiring organization identifies a candidate is not eligible for hire based upon report findings, they can electronically send the pre-adverse letter, copy of the report, and any state or local documents required due to the candidate’s residency or work location, to the candidate. They can also schedule the distribution of the adverse notice to the candidate contingent on the applicant not submitting a request to dispute report findings within their specified review period.

8. Get the best human support

Advances in Human Resources technology and specifically in tech-driven background screening process automation have created numerous opportunities to shorten screening times and reduce workload for both employers and job applicants. However, the background screening process itself is still largely human-driven, and there are many unique attributes that require knowledgeable, skilled individualized support. This is why it's important to partner with a screening company that offers easily accessible, attentive customer care, dedicated account management and expert operations and compliance support. You need to easily connect with a live person who will partner with you to solve your challenges quickly, rather than struggling through a multi-level automated telephone system only to leave a message and then wait precious hours or days for a return call.

Along with providing industry-leading customizable technology solutions, AccuSourceHR prides itself on setting the industry bar for customer success. If you are evaluating screening providers, a good question to ask is what percentage of your calls get answered live? AccuSourceHR tracks the number of calls answered live on a daily basis by department and every department leader strives to ensure we maintain our companywide answer rate of 95%. We built our reputation on rapid response to calls and emails because we understand time is an extremely valuable commodity to every human resources professionals, and quick turnaround is essential to onboarding the best candidates. Our U.S.-based customer success, account management and operational staff partners with each client to ensure optimal outcomes and best-in-class support and care.

Want to learn more? Click on the link below to connect with our team. Hiring is hard. At AccuSourceHR, we are committed to making it easier.

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