Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA) is the world’s largest airline pilot union that represents 65,000 members who fly for 32 U.S. and Canadian airlines. Over the last 80 years, ALPA has been a part of nearly every significant safety improvement in air travel. The union also provides legal representation for their members and lobbies lawmakers to promote legislation that helps protect pilots.
Today ALPA has more than 300 full time employees. The majority are in the Herndon, Virginia office with other employees in Washington, D.C. and in airline hubs across the country including Atlanta, Seattle, Chicago and Memphis.
[The integration process] was not cumbersome. It was simple and the team at EBI was great to work with.Hoa Tran
Recruitment and HR, ALPA
The number of background checks performed varies because ALPA screens the top 2 or 3 candidates for each job. "We fill positions from lawyers to staff engineers to admin positions, customer service, financial and IT," says Recruitment & HR Generalist Hoa Tran. "We do it all. We have a vast group. We have 9 different departments here at ALPA."
Depending on the position being applied for, an ALPA background check will include a Social Security Trace, Criminal History, Employment and Education History, Business References, and possibly Credit Reports or DMV Records.
ALPA has been using EBI for more than 8 years. In the beginning, to get a background check started, ALPA would submit a candidate’s application, as well as their authorization and disclosure forms to EBI by fax. A short time later, ALPA also signed on with EBI partner iCIMS to manage their recruiting and hiring needs. EBI and iCIMS built a seamless integration to make the system much more manageable.
The integration helped, but there were still challenges, especially because of the "batch" upload system. For example, if ALPA sent an applicant’s information out for a background check at noon, it might sit in the iCIMS’ servers until the next scheduled upload time, which could be hours away. Every minute that background check data sat in the folder waiting to be transferred to EBI, was a minute added to the turnaround time and to ALPA hiring time metrics.
In order to put an end to the batch upload bottleneck, EBI and iCIMS built a new integration utilizing iCIMS’ JSON Web Services. Now, as soon as the ALPA team imports a candidate, their data is sent real-time through iCIMS to EBI. There are fewer forms for both the HR representative and the applicants to fill out, which means fewer opportunities for mistakes and a much better candidate experience and a significant time-savings.
"It works very well. I appreciate the quickness of making a real time request to get our background checks done," says Tran. "The transition from a batch system to a real-time program seems overwhelming to some. The process is simple, finished on time and was well worth the effort. It was not cumbersome. It was pretty simple and the team at EBI was great to work with," Tran concludes.
The Best Part About Working with EBI
The results are definitely coming in faster than before. It helps me shorten my time to hire. It makes everything faster.Hoa Tran
Recruitment and HR, ALPA
The Results and Benefits
According to ALPA’s team, all of the heavy lifting in this transition was done by EBI and iCIMS. The only thing the HR manager had to do was provide direction as to how they wanted the program to work and to test it when the seamless integration was complete. "It makes my job easier because it is in real time," says Tran. "The results are definitely coming in faster than before. It helps me shorten my time to hire. It makes everything faster."
- Direct engagement with the applicant to check and correct their data
- Saves HR the time and effort of hunting down correct information by going straight to the applicant
- Ensures EBI is contacting the right employers and references which shortens turnaround time
- Quick and easy to check status of reports