What Your Candidate Really Wants

(Last Updated On: April 14, 2021)

In order to attract top talent, the candidate experience needs to be well orchestrated from beginning to end. These first impressions give potential employees a sneak peek into how they will be treated as employees at your company. A positive experience will help the most qualified individuals feel good about joining your team and may even encourage them to refer other talented colleagues your way. A negative experience can drive talented candidates to your competition and may even cause them to damage your reputation through negative reviews on social media.

Background screening typically occurs towards the end of the candidate journey. At this point, employers have put a great deal of effort into attempting to onboard this candidate. Time has been spent creating the perfect job post, interviews have happened, questions have been asked and answered, proficiency tests have been administered and passed and everyone is feeling pretty good about bringing this exciting new individual on board. The background check is often the final critical piece of the puzzle. It can be a somewhat stressful time for both the employer and the candidate. Organizations should take care that they don’t put all the time and expense into attracting a candidate, just to blow it in the ninth inning.

Here are a few actionable tips you can start implementing right away to attract top talent make sure your candidates are getting a positive background screening experience:

1. Make introductions– Let your candidate know who your background screening vendor is and what they can expect from the background screening process. Let them know what searches you will be conducting, and how the process will unfold. For instance if you are using credit checks, let them know why and how it pertains to their job. Also, if you have a particular policy unique to your organization, such as only accepting references from supervisors, let them know that up front so that they can be prepared to provide that information.

2. Treat them equally– Review your background screening process at least annually and make sure it applied evenly to all candidates. It can be tempting to skip or scale back on searches when someone has lived in many different states or if a verification is becoming difficult to obtain. However, candidates who feel they have been subject to more stringent background screening than their peers can feel mistreated and possibly even discriminated against.

3. Choose a background screening vendor who is as concerned and diligent about securing their private information as you are– Your background screening partner should be an extension of your own rules and policies in regards to data security. There is a great deal of private information that is needed and obtained during the background screening process. Candidates want to feel that their information is being kept secure and protected under United States laws. To help ensure this, start by choosing a background screening provider that is both PBSA accredited and has achieved SOC2 or similar data certification.

4. Provide convenience through easy to use, efficient technology– Talk to you background screening provider and review the screens your applicant will be using to submit information. Make sure the forms are compliant, easy to read, simple to complete and use required fields to gather all the information up front. Many companies also make use of ATS integrations which transfer pertinent information over to the background screening company, alleviating the need for applicants to have to fill out the same information on multiple forms.

5. Make it mobile friendly– Many applicants enjoy the ability to submit information anytime, anywhere. The ability to use a mobile device to complete, sign and submit forms required for the background screening process is a must.

6. Let them contribute– Applicants want to engage in interactions that make them feel heard and valued. Giving applicants a chance to provide guidance or insight into their background check can help smooth the process, particularly when difficulties arise. Technology options, such as Justifacts’ Individualized Assessment tool, can allow candidates to provide comments and background into any criminal record problems as well as give them an opportunity to note rehabilitation efforts.

7. Make sure they have a human being they can talk to– There is no better way to frustrate a potential candidate then to route them to an automated system, or overseas call center when they have a question or concern. Candidates want a live person they can reach out to directly to answer questions and assist them during the background screening process. Your background screening partner should have personnel who are dedicated to that person’s file and able to assist in a courteous and professional manner that represents your company well.

8. Be respectful of their time– Be honest and transparent about timelines. Sometimes an accurate and thorough background check can take some time. Certain courts, school districts, or employers take a little longer to return information. It helps to give your candidate realistic expectations and let them know that a delay does not necessarily indicate a problem.

9. Don’t leave them hanging– One of the worst feelings an applicant can have is not knowing what is going on. Will the hiring manager ever call back? Is there a problem? Have I fallen in the HR candidate abyss? Candidates want to be kept up to date on where they stand. You should be touching base with them and returning phone calls and emails in a timely manner. If the decision has been made to not offer employment, they need to be told in a respectful manner. If the decision not to move forward is based on negative information found in the background report, the candidate needs to be notified and given the opportunity to dispute.

10. Follow the law– Candidates do have certain rights under the FCRA in regards to the Adverse Action process which must be followed. If you deny employment based in whole in part on the applicant’s background check, you must supply a Pre-Adverse action letter, copy of the report, Summary of Rights, and your background screening providers contact information. You then must wait a reasonable period of time to allow the applicant an opportunity to dispute that information. If you have still made the decision not to hire the candidate, you are required to send and adverse action letter, a copy of the report (which would include any updated information if a dispute occurred), a summary of rights, and your background screening company’s contact information. Justifacts provides an Adverse Action Tool to help our clients with Adverse Action, and which documents the entire process. Additionally, partnering with a background screening company that has a dedicated Compliance Team and years of experience with the laws and regulations pertaining to background screening is critical. Finally, you should talk to your background screening provider about how many disputes they successfully handle per year and how many (if any) lawsuits they have been involved in.

Leading companies who commit to putting in the work and providing a top tier candidate experience will enjoy the benefit of obtaining higher amounts of qualified, talented employees. Partnering with the right background screening company helps to provide the kind of positive experience that gains the trust and loyalty of applicants who will go on to be ambassadors for your company and help to strengthen your company brand.

To learn more about how Justifacts’ can help with your background screening process feel free to request information or give us a call at 800-356-6885 to speak to our sales team.

It is important to note that Justifacts is providing this information as a service to our clients. None of the information contained herein should be construed as legal advice, nor is Justifacts engaged to provide legal advice. We go to great lengths to make sure our information is accurate and useful. We recommend you consult your attorney or legal department if you want assurance that our information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate to your particular situation.