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Feel the need for hiring speed? These ideas can help.

With unemployment at record lows and a documented shortage of skilled workers in key industries such as trucking, retail, technology and healthcare, candidates have an edge in today’s job market.1 That means, hiring speed is more important than ever. According to a recent First Advantage customer survey, employers rank “speed” as the top priority for employee background screening followed by risk and cost.

Here we’ll explore why speed is so critical in hiring and share a couple of smart ideas for modifying your employment background check program to help accelerate the hiring process.

It’s all connected: hiring speed, candidate quality and costs. The top candidates move fast. They’re in high demand, they’re rarely unemployed and when they are, it’s not for long. A faster hiring process helps you quickly engage them—and keep them engaged—so you can:

  • Minimize “drop-out” rates due to frustration with a lengthy or complicated hiring process
  • Hire the best candidates before they engage with other companies
  • Avoid paying higher salaries by hiring candidates before they get competing offers

On the flip side, a longer hiring process can increase candidate drop-out rates which can shrink your pool of high-quality candidates. Over the long term, this can result in reduced productivity and increased operational costs associated with a lower quality workforce; increased hiring costs due to higher turnover rates; and more.

The good news is, there are ways to speed up hiring starting with your background checks.

Eliminate unnecessary steps. Your background screening program could possibly need to be updated based on any changing needs of your organization and internal hiring trends, and that can mean expanding or simply adjusting your process.

Take your adjudication matrix, a tool that helps sort candidates for hiring decisions. A well-designed and updated adjudication matrix can assist in the efficiency of background screening result review. If it’s been a while since your adjudication matrix has been updated, it may be due for a few time-saving tweaks. For instance, if your team is always forced to manually adjudicate a specific component result from decisional to eligible, you might want to update your matrix to handle this upstream. One of our largest retail clients reduced its case adjudication efforts 30 percent by doing  just that. In turn, this helped speed up the company’s overall hiring process.

Optimize your screening packages. When was the last time you reviewed your current screening packages to determine the best balance of speed, risk and cost? For this, it’s a good idea to work with your screening provider as they should be able to provide analytic insight into your specific program through regular business review meetings, product updates and best practice consultations.

For example, you might discover that your “entry-level” screening package can be strengthened without increasing turnaround times. Case in point, we’ve seen an 8 percent dip in the use of our nationwide background check known as our National Criminal File search. Meanwhile, use of our National Criminal File PLUS (NCRF Plus) search, which includes an expanded search of alternative names like nicknames, maiden names, etc., has soared 38 percent. Why? NCRF Plus provides a more in-depth view of candidates in the same amount of time.

Similarly, we’re seeing fewer customers use “current” employment verifications, as more customers—10 percent more—use “prior” employment verifications. By excluding current employment verifications, customers can potentially shave time off of the screening process.

Always remember, however, that a faster background screen must not sacrifice accuracy or compliance

Your screening provider should be an expert in background checks, so never hesitate to lean on them for smart “swaps” that can help you speed up, streamline and support your broader hiring program. For more practical ideas to boost your hiring speed, check out our latest report, Ideas to empower positive change: Top Insights and Trends To Fuel Better Screening Programs. READ NOW




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Along the applicant journey and beyond, leading HR teams around the globe rely on First Advantage for screening, verifications, safety, and compliance. Striking the balance between tech and people, our innovations help you Hire Smarter and Onboard Faster.
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