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July 18, 2019

The Technology Side of Background Screening HR Must Know

professional at laptopBy the very definition of the title Human Resources professional, the focus is primarily on, well, humans. HR is responsible for employee interactions, policies and procedures, choosing the best new hires, and many other responsibilities involving people.

While HR pros typically use technology in their daily jobs, they rarely take a deep dive into the inner workings of their technology providers. Knowing what’s “behind the curtain” is valuable and needs to be explored.

Technology has permeated the workplace and its influence resides across all job titles. HR especially needs to understand the way technology plays a part in choosing and managing the company’s human capital. Today we are talking about technology and how it pertains to an organization’s success with their background screening process. Here are 5 facts HR Pros must know about the technology side of background screening.

Fact #1: Your Company Deserves Frequently Updated Software

HR needs to ask their background screening provider how often they update their software. HINT: A blank look is not an acceptable answer. Being forced to wait for critical software updates can hinder your ability to receive the information you need to make nimble hiring decisions, and your awesome candidate could end up working for your competitor. Plus, the more lax the company is in performing updates, the less secure your entire system becomes.

Address this by: Open a discussion with your provider about the frequency of platform updates and the type of upgrades they entail. Find out how often they update their databases. Ask them to explain what the next few updates involve. Don’t be put off if your account executive doesn’t know the answers. Ask that they involve IT in the conversation.

Fact #2: Expect Platforms to Be Cloud-Based

Achieving a high-functioning, fully scalable, automation-friendly platform hinges on a platform being cloud based. Private or data center-hosted services can no longer compete in terms of flexibility, cost-effectiveness, and overall functionality. Gaining access to the most progressive server technology means embracing the cloud.

Address this by: Make sure your background screening provider is cloud-based by asking about their server functions and the scalability of their infrastructure.

Fact #3: An Investment in Automation Is A GOOD Thing

Even though we may never see it directly, automated technology drives many of the processes that are critical to ordering and receiving background check information. If your provider doesn’t, then you will eventually fall behind. Today’s technology providers must embrace some form of automation are able to build better, more enriched, higher-functioning experiences for their clients and the end users.

Efficiency is a driving force in investing in automation. Even if you don’t realize it, it’s working behind the scenes during your background checks. In certain cases, automated process can deliver cleaner data, faster than if it were pulled b humans.

Address this by: Talk to your background screening provider and ask them what percentage of their revenue they are spending on automation upgrades.  

Fact #4: Data Security Should Be A Top Priority

This isn’t a secret to anyone because we’ve all seen the problems that arise with data that’s not as secure as it should be. Due to the personal nature of the information used, your background screener needs stringent stop-gaps in place to protect your job applicants’ data. Failing to do your due diligence on this can set your organization up for a disastrous breach that can have long-term effects on the company’s reputation, sales, and recruiting.

Address this by: When speaking to your potential or current vendor, make certain the conversation includes a deep dive into their security standards. Know exactly who has access to your data and confirm the provider undergoes consistent and thorough security audits. Ask them where they store the data (confirm if it’s in the U.S. or stored overseas). Request a copy of their privacy policy. Finally, ask questions about their plan, timeframe, and cost of recovering your data in the case of a disaster.

Fact #5: Technology +Human Interaction =Success

Yes, HR professionals need to embrace and educate themselves on the latest advancements in technology and automation. It’s vital to step out of their comfort zone and learn about new ways of receiving needed information. That doesn’t mean to forgo a commitment to human involvement. The best, most effective processes are still the ones that marry both into a single unit of performance.

Address this by: Become a liaison between your background screening provider and your organization. When you engage in conversations about technology, share what you learn with your team, and the C-Suite. Use your knowledge to help your team become comfortable about working with automation and technology, instead of being intimidated by it.

In conclusion, HR pros must branch out from their focus on humans and spend some time familiarizing themselves with the technology surrounding how they get their jobs done. A simple way to accomplish this is by talking with your background screening provider and asking for explanations on the technology side of the operations. This will give you a more in-depth understanding of the process and prepare you for the upcoming plans that will positively affect they way you perform.

Tammy Henry

Tammy Henry is the Vice President of Client Success for Data Facts.

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