October 27th, 2022 | Sterling

The Future of Background Checks and Identity Verification – Where Are We Headed?

Most HR leaders would probably agree that the developments of the last few years have created new challenges in the state of HR today. Not least of these were the global pandemic and the subsequent “Great Resignation” of workers across many industries including hospitality, healthcare, manufacturing, and many more. Companies are now working to thrive amid these changes by focusing their efforts on high-volume recruiting, background screening, and candidate retention, just to name a few areas requiring a fresh approach.

Fortunately, there’s also reason for HR decision-makers to be optimistic as we head into 2023.

Sterling’s 2022 industry report, “Hiring Reimagined: The Future of Hiring and Background Screening,” compiles informative data and key insights concerning hiring, background checks, identity verification, and more. Our original research identifies key opportunities for HR leaders to reimagine hiring and achieve their hiring goals in the new year. We surveyed nearly 5,000 HR leaders and job seekers around the world for their perspectives. The report contains many other valuable insights revealing the evolving future of the hiring process, candidate experience, and more.

Many professionals feel that this is the right time for HR departments to invest. But what areas and technology improvements are they focusing on? What does the future of hiring – especially background screening and identity verification – look like? Let’s unveil some key insights and takeaways from the report, with an eye to reimagining hiring in 2023 and beyond.

The Time Is Now to Invest in Background Checks

One of the main reasons HR leaders can be optimistic about the coming year is seen by the fact that 89% of our survey respondents are actively investing in new technology to streamline the candidate experience and automate hiring. Background checks not only enable organizations to meet compliance with local, national, and international hiring regulations, but also help HR teams make sure they’re screening “the right people at the right time for the right reasons,” to quote our report.

At Sterling, we work with our clients to help resolve hiring challenges by updating their hiring process with new HR technology designed with today’s job seekers in mind. As a result of these technology innovations, we’re proud to have partnered with our clients to increase efficiency, help gather more accurate candidate data, and help to prevent candidate drop-off. The resulting improvements to the hiring process enable HR staff to free up time formerly spent on manual tasks and instead focus on confidently taking the next step with their candidates.

HR Leaders Are Investing in Identity Verification for Safer Workplaces

Naturally, many employers have transitioned to a hybrid or fully-remote model since the onset of the pandemic. Contingent work (independent, non-employee roles) has also grown during the last few years. In 2021 the US contingent workforce grew to be 56% larger than it was pre-pandemic. However, while remote work is on the rise, employers often do not screen their contingent workers in the same way as their full-time workers. This and other trends are creating a growing risk of identity fraud which needs to be addressed with consistent screening practices, including upfront identity verification. Remote hiring also makes identity verification more challenging for employers without meeting candidates face-to-face, presenting a vector for criminals to threaten workplace safety and assets. This also impacts candidate engagement: 82% of the job seekers we surveyed rated “safety in the workplace” as their second-highest factor when deciding where to work, just behind “pay and benefits.” Unfortunately, nearly a third of our HR respondents said that they only screen their traditional employees.

Fortunately, technology also presents a solution which is quickly gaining popularity among HR leaders looking to build safer workplaces. Identity verification is a technology-enabled service which has already become widespread across many industries, helping them to more thoroughly vet candidates and new hires. In fact, our report found that globally, identity verification is the most popular area where HR professionals plan to invest and add new services in the coming years. Quoting from page 20 of the report, “…HR departments are looking to incorporate identity verification services into their hiring process – adding a critical trust-centered and security-focused step which should take place before the background screen gets underway. It’s important to know that the person you are screening is truly who they say they are, and identity verification is the only way to confirm that upfront in the hiring process.”

Learn more about the latest technology solutions already helping companies prevent identity fraud in our report.

What Does Successful HR Technology Investment Look Like?

Recently, Sterling helped Hudson Valley Credit Union streamline their existing hiring program and reduce their average background check time per candidate by several minutes. In early 2020, Hudson Valley partnered with Sterling, but when the first wave of Covid-19 began, they had to temporarily pause their hiring. However, Sterling worked closely with the client to help ensure that their hiring process would be effective when hiring resumed. As a result, by Q4 2020, Hudson Valley was able to ramp up hiring again, with Sterling providing continual support and industry expertise.

  • Improved recruiter efficiencies via tighter integration with iCIMS Prime
  • Reduced turnaround times for criminal and credit checks by 2 days
  • Single platform improves HR staff agility, helping to prevent candidate drop-off

Dan Drewnowski, Manager of Talent Acquisition at Hudson Valley Credit Union, explains, “Sterling’s integration with iCIMS is far more robust than the integration we had with our previous provider. We don’t have to worry about signing on to multiple platforms, we can initiate background checks in just a few clicks, and the status updates and email notifications our recruiters receive allow us to respond quickly to keep candidates moving forward quickly.”

Embrace the Future of Hiring

2023 presents an opportunity for HR teams to invest in technology improvements that will make hiring programs more efficient and more engaging for tomorrow’s job seekers. Hiring challenges will continue to drive organizations to update their HR technology, and this evolution will allow HR leaders to reimagine their hiring process to better recruit top talent, verify and vet new hires, retain workers, and aim to put people first by enhancing authenticity and safety in the workplace.

Uncover more opportunities to use background screening and identity verification services today by downloading the full benchmark report.

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.