A Key Tool to Help You Improve Your Candidate Hiring and Screening Experience

January 19th, 2022

Employers are becoming painfully aware that employees and job seekers hold the upper hand in today’s competitive hiring market. There are simply too many positions to fill, and not enough available talent. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, open positions continue to remain well above the number of hires. This means it’s never been more important for employers and hiring managers to hire and onboard with speed to secure in-demand candidates. Many job seekers will also continue to search for new opportunities and interview at other companies, even after an offer has been extended. This is a critical window, and it’s often when a background screen is still being conducted. According to research conducted by SilkRoad and CareerBuilder, 1 in 2 (51%) applicants continue looking for other jobs when an offer has been extended and they’re going through the background check process. This is especially true when candidates know there are multiple job opportunities available in what amounts to a job seeker’s market. So how can employers lock down top talent and make sure the hiring process, including the background check, is smooth and efficient? Identity verification can help.

You may be wondering, “What do we actually mean by identity verification?” and “How does it work for candidates?” Identity verification is the process of confirming an individual’s identity information, such as full legal name, date of birth, address, Social Security number, and more. Confirming this information helps build confidence that the individual potentially joining your team is in fact who they claim to be. This identity information can be collected by tapping into a variety of sources, such as cross-referencing candidate provided information against their mobile phone records, collecting information from a government-issued identity document, or checking identity information against credit bureau records associated with a Social Security number. There are many ways to verify an individual’s identity, and it’s important to provide candidates multiple paths to identity verification to limit any potential issues that could arise with a single path approach.

Here are some key benefits to incorporating identity verification into hiring: 

  • Collect accurate candidate data up front. When you incorporate identity verification up front in your hiring process, you’re making sure you’re collecting accurate candidate information from the get-go. This creates a better applicant experience by minimizing any back and forth with the individual to confirm various identity details. No one wants to keep providing the same information multiple times.
  • Deter and detect fraud from the onset. Identity fraud and theft have already been on the rise for years, and it is now at record highs. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reported receiving over 400,000 reports of people claiming their information was misused. When individuals can use and misuse consumer information to collect government benefits, there is little to stop them from attempting to use that same stolen identity information to defraud companies, employers, and customers. By having appropriate guardrails in place with tools like identity verification, hiring managers can protect themselves and their people as bad actors are likely to avoid companies that invest in identity checks.
  • Feed identity data into downstream hiring and onboarding processes. Once you’ve collected verified identity data at the start of the hiring process, this can be used as part of the background check to make sure you’re investigating the right identity, giving you additional confidence in background check results. Also, by inputting the same identity data into your other systems, such as for payroll, benefits, and more, you can speed up candidate onboarding while minimizing potentially costly or annoying errors.
  • Employ with confidence and know who you’re hiring. Employees want to work in a safe environment and your customers and partners want to know you’re carefully vetting employees. Identity verification helps you create a safe place for both your employees and customers. 

As the world emerges from the pandemic, the hiring landscape will continue to operate in new ways. The remote work trend doesn’t appear to be disappearing any time soon. In fact, it seems likely to grow as many workers seek greater flexibility in their day-to-day lives. Hiring contract and contingent workers is also going to continue. With all of this in mind, it’s crucial for employers to adapt hiring practices accordingly. When you’re hiring someone who is potentially miles away, and whom you may never meet in person, how can you be sure you know their identity? As remote work has become the norm in the hiring world, identity verification is becoming the norm in the background screening space to help keep up with the evolving landscape.

Creating a better candidate hiring and screening experience starts with collecting accurate candidate data up front and using this data to inform the full employee journey with your organization.

Taylor Liggett is the General Manager of Sterling Identity. Taylor joined Sterling in 2016 as Vice President of Business Development, where he oversaw sales, led numerous strategic growth initiatives, and cultivated key partnerships. With more than a decade of domestic and international experience in background screening, identity, and biometrics, he brings a unique perspective to the emerging and rapidly evolving identity business. Prior to joining Sterling, Taylor led the global account management operation for ADP’s background screening and I-9 services division.

This article was originally published in HR Tech Outlook.

Sterling is not a law firm. This publication is for informational purposes only and nothing contained in it should be construed as legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out this information. We encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.