We’ve all been on one side of the vetting fence or the other. As a recruiter or hiring manager, we’ve all been trapped in the background-screening-dark. Waiting for information. Fretful our candidate might accept another job offer elsewhere.
Of course, as a candidate, we know all about those frustrations too. Receiving a tentative offer pending screening, and then waiting. And waiting. And waiting… No feedback. No transparency. No idea of how long the process might take. Waiting for the call that tells us we’ve got the job.
Vetting does not need to be quite such a big headache, though. These are the top 3 most common pre-employment screening hold-ups:
- Checks and balance with roles
One of the first problems behind tortoise-slow background screening is the nature of the checks recruiters and hiring managers are conducting. The more checks, the longer it takes. The sensible approach is to balance the level of screening with the roles to be filled. Some companies apply comprehensive background checks to certain groups: finance, HR, and legal department applicants, for instance. Roles with greater responsibilities and more exposure to risk require a deeper and more thorough level of checking than others. Consider a Financial Director of a large organisation or a baggage handler at a busy international airport. These two are going to be subject to a more rigorous fit for work process than, say, a receptionist or restaurant server. Keep in mind too, you have a responsibility to only request information that’s relevant to your company and the role the candidate is applying for.
- Applicant consent
Another issue that slows down background screening is getting your applicant’s written consent to access their data – especially when running Disclosure and Barring Services (DBS) checks. The earlier you do this, the better. It’s important to remember that candidates need to give their authorisation – fully understanding what information it is they’re allowing you to access.
- Erroneous data
Incomplete data. That’s the third most common reason for time delays in the background checking process. It happens when the employer or candidate captures incorrect data, or there are gaps and inconsistencies between records. While it’s true that this could be an indication of something deceitful, more often than not it’s an honest mistake.
How to speed up your background checking process
The biggest step you can take to accelerate turnaround is to automate your screening system. It’s a quick win. Plus it helps with your workflow and audit trail. Some platforms, like PASS, will even give you visibility of the status of each check and invite candidates to drive parts of the process – leaving you with even less admin. No more background screening headaches.