Pre-employment screening (or background checks) is the final and (arguably) most important stage of the hiring process. An effective, clear, and concise process not only protects companies, but adds to the overall candidate experience.
However, despite its importance, many organisations neglect to think about their pre-employment screening candidate experience. In fact, an article by Clovers.ai revealed that less than half of companies believe their candidate experience is effective.
Candidates and job seekers value many things from a company, including communication and transparency, which must extend to the pre-employment screening process. Without it, the candidate is left with a poor experience, which could deter them from proceeding with their application.
So, how can your company improve the candidate experience for pre-employment screening?
Even with the vast array of digital solutions available, many organisations still rely on outdated methods to obtain their candidate’s data and documents (e.g., Microsoft Word documents). The result is an experience that is not user friendly. This can cause a couple of problems. Firstly, candidates will question an organisation’s modernity if outdated practices are in place. Secondly, if the candidate feels the experience is clunky or awkward, they may withdraw from the recruitment process altogether. In addition, outdated data acquisition methods may slow down internal processes, including background checks.
Your pre-employment screening platform (or process) should be one that is easy to navigate, mobile-friendly, intuitive, and with support available. If data can be obtained quickly and accurately, this will make your hiring practices and onboarding significantly more efficient.
From initial application to employee onboarding, you and your colleagues are familiar with your company’s hiring process. However, the candidate is not. Not keeping candidates in the loop with your hiring process can make them feel confused and isolated. Be sure to communicate the onboarding and screening process clearly and concisely to your candidates. This must include the background checks you will be conducting and why.
In addition, think about providing turnaround times for background checks and any possible delays that may occur.
Running a background check requires processing your candidate’s personal data. Part of the candidate experience involves telling your candidate how you will process their data. Not only does this provide transparency, but it also shows you value their privacy. There are three areas you must consider when it comes to data privacy. Processes, people, and technology.
- What processes are in place to handle your candidate’s personal data? Does your organisation have internal (employees) and external (candidates) data privacy policies in place?
- Who is involved with the background checking process? Are they trained and up to date with laws and regulations? Who is accountable for compliance?
- What technology do you have in place to run background checks? Is it user-friendly for your employees and candidates? Are the software providers accredited (e.g., information security management? Cyber essentials?)
It is vital that your company has a decision-making framework in place after background checks have been completed. One big assumption is that if the candidate has no adverse history and good references, then they must be the best person for the job. Wrong.
Let’s say you have a candidate who has a criminal record that lists a spent conviction. Disqualifying the candidate for this is discrimination, which can lead to legal ramifications.
From a candidate experience point of view, you must let your candidate know that any potentially disqualifying information discovered from their background checks will be discussed.
Candidates have a right to clarify information regarding the results of their background check.
Technology to improve the pre-employment screening candidate experience
The key to an effective and user-friendly pre-employment screening experience is with technology. There are various solutions out there and, to source the right one for your organisation, you must ask yourselves:
- Will the software provider have/need access to your company’s IT system?
- How does the provider handle sensitive data? Are they accredited to any standards (e.g. ISO27001, information security)?
- How long is the integration process? Will there be any downtime? What are the fees?
- How can we use this software to add value to what we do?
- What do clients say about the software?
- Where can I find reviews?
- What is the availability of their support? (e.g. 24/7, Monday to Friday), etc.
- What are the payment terms?
EBC Global offer several solutions that can improve the pre-employment screening process for you and your candidates; all built with an emphasis on compliance, efficiency, and security. All sectors, all checks, all requirements.
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