Five Ways to Maintain Speedy and Safe Background Checks Through COVID-19

Five Ways to Maintain Speedy and Safe Background Checks Through COVID-19

By Tricia O'Connor

Time is a big player in the coronavirus pandemic. Epidemiologists rush to track its spread. Governments rush to slow its deadly progression. Pharmaceutical companies rush to find a vaccine.

In response, businesses rush to make decisions. The unpredictability of the virus and its effect on the economy is forcing companies to ditch long-term strategies for reactionary plans. In the screening industry, we are witnessing this play out in two ways:

  • Businesses laying off workers in the hope they’ll be able to re-hire those positions
  • Certain industries needing to quickly hire and onboard workers to meet new demand

This current hiring crunch, and the one that will likely follow during an economic recovery, has some companies looking for a quick screening fix. They’re considering lowering their background check standards to fill spots quickly. But you don’t have to sacrifice safe and accurate background checks for speed – nor should you. 

Here are five ways to maintain speedy and safe background checks through COVID-19.

Automate, Don’t Truncate

Finding viable and cost-effective measures to shorten time-to-hire is a goal for every employer, even more so in a pandemic where time is precious. However, eliminating certain types of background checks to speed up the process leaves your company, customers, and visitors vulnerable. In an environment where every business transaction is meaningful to your survival, cutting corners this way carries too much risk. So, instead of truncating your screening process, consider automating it with these features.

  • Applicant Tracking System (ATS) Integrations – An integration allows you to initiate a background check from within your ATS. There is no jockeying between multiple human resource technologies as your candidate moves through the hiring process. For example, EBI’s pre-built ATS integrations can link to our full range of screening solutions with a single sign-on. An ATS integration reduces redundant data entry and human error, provides a swift mobile-friendly candidate experience, fast-tracks recruiting, and includes built-in compliance.
  • Automated Status Updates – Status alerts are more important than ever as courthouses and drug screening laboratories struggle to maintain regular working hours during COVID-19. If delays are happening, you and your candidate need to know about it. Automated notifications proactively alert you to these updates without needing to manually log in. These alerts keep hiring managers and candidates informed as the screening process progresses so if there is a delay, you can create a new course of action. Since the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires screeners to ensure background reports are complete and up to date, this is an important compliance feature.
  • Electronic Consent – As we’ve seen with Form I-9 adjustments during the pandemic, maintaining a paper trail is tough. With so many modifications to employer’s working hours and people’s ability to appear in person, electronic hiring processes have become critical to maintaining safe and speedy onboarding. Allowing a candidate to authorize a background check (something that must be done to stay compliant) through an electronic signature is a quick, safe, and easy way to begin the process. Candidates can receive an email or text message alert and file digital consent securely from anywhere. With millions of unemployed workers, top talent is up for grabs in this current job market. Employers need to provide a fast, mobile-friendly, and streamlined application process. Electronic consent is a smart first step.
  • Adjudication – Adjudication is essentially the review of the various background check reports compiled on an applicant. Not every report may be critical to your hiring decision. That’s where automated adjudication filtering comes in. For example, EBI provides color-coded report statuses to guide you to the right report for convenient sorting, final decision making, and preparing for the next step. Approved users can change a corporate review status directly online to reflect a final decision. This feature is, and will be, extremely beneficial to large employers who need to fill spots fast because it automates so much of the review process.
  • Built-in Adverse ActionAdverse Action, a requirement of the FCRA, is a very specific and complicated part of the hiring process. Many states and cities have their own laws, complicating matters even more. Automating this complicated process streamlines hiring and ensures you remain in compliance. In EBI’s case, pre-approved adverse action letters are stored in our screening platform and can be sent with a few clicks. Our module knows what to send and when a letter must be delivered, so you don’t have to spend unnecessary time combing through documents or looking up local laws. Any risk of human error – a potentially costly mistake – is virtually eliminated.

Interested in learning about more time-saving automatic features? Register for this upcoming webinar presented by EBI and Quentelle: Thursday, May 14 at 1 pm EST.

Combining Speed and Safety

There is no doubt COVID-19 is one of the toughest challenges organizations have ever faced and we admire the innovation, perseverance, and flexibility employers and employees the world over are showing. Background screening will continue to be a critical component of talent acquisition. While you may be tempted to take shortcuts, that could be a costly mistake. These five automated features should provide you a speedy and safe screening experience, while mitigating any undue risk to your organization.

Looking for more pandemic-related content? Click here for our full COVID-19 HR Resources page.

Get to know EBI and speak with one of our experts.

About the Author

Tricia O'Connor

Tricia O'Connor

Writer. Digital marketer. Storyteller. An award-winning writer and editor, Tricia O'Connor is the Marketing Content Manager at EBI. Tricia worked as a broadcast and print journalist for nearly two decades writing and producing programming for high-profile networks like ESPN Radio, History Channel, and Hallmark Channel, as well as contributing editorial work to publications nationwide. Tricia joined the EBI marketing team in 2019 and is responsible for content strategy, development, and engagement. Tricia earned a master's degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and is a proud undergraduate alumna of Wheaton College in Massachusetts.

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