HR: Self-Service Pre-Employment Background
During the last number of years, a variety of Background checking systems have offered automated self-service systems where all the Human Resource personnel has to do is type in the search order and wait the appointed amount of time for the search to be returned to their email address.
It seems simple enough, and for many companies no doubt it is preferable to the vagaries of human contact and the subsequent chance of human error. In fact, in a perfect world this may indeed be the more efficient way to order your background checks.
However, as the more cognizant among us have come to realize, this is far from a perfect world and the seemingly perfect systems have their flaws. While some of the more experienced HR personnel may find it easier to order their background screening searches through automated systems, other human resource people may find it troublesome, costly and very time consuming. Essentially, what you are doing as an HR person is the work that should be allocated to the background checking service. You are using that background screening service’s system to order and conduct the research yourself. You have taken as much as thirty percent of your office time, in order to transform yourself into a self-service employment screening system. You are incurring hidden costs and overlooking desired services.
If this is not incredibly time consuming, then you should factor in the mistakes you and your assistants make while conducting background screenings in the course of the month. Since the Corra Group is a background searching service, it’s fair to say we have seen it all. Orders come in all the time where there are spelling mistakes or typos on names and relevant information. There are overlapping search orders. There are orders for searches on candidates who are already disqualified or even fired. It should be no secret that the less educated and the less trained an individual the more likely they are to make mistakes in ordering.
Sometimes orders for criminal background checks are specified for the wrong state or county. Since there is no one available from the background checking service to actually review your order for overlaps, typos and other usual and costly mistakes, the background screening orders are passed on as is and often come back as incomplete or inaccurate. There are any number of mistakes that are made, and once they are made, you the Human Resource Department are responsible for the additional expenses that accumulate through human error.
There are more than a few occasions when HR personnel, especially those who are new to the background checking process, need clarification or help in interpreting reports. They may need timely answers concerning a background report, or you may need clarification on a bill. Should you have these needs, HR personnel lament, just try to contact someone at the automated screening services. You can telephone, or you can email, but you already know you are in for a frustrating session either case.
In fact, you may have better odds at winning at blackjack than you do getting timely answers from an automated system. Service from even major background systems is too often an arcane concept, much like free parking or checking your oil. For those who don’t think so, just try to dial up the number of any vendor and see how long it takes before you resolve any issues. Between phone menu hell and the phone bank from somewhere else you could be days waiting in Limbo. And the email merry go round won’t do you much better.
Automated self-service background checking systems are used as a hedge against volume and as a dependable resource to elevate the bottom line. The trouble is the resource is not as beloved as some would think. Since most self-service systems eliminate what they deem as the need for essential human contact from their business model they also eliminate the human touch. Studies show tha the more automated a system, as evidenced by banks without tellers, the less inclined are customers to evoke goodwill. The lack of goodwill leads to a breakdown in loyalty, and that in turn accelerates customer churn. Fewer customers obviously reduce the profit margins. With profit margins reduced, to satisfy investors, the self-service background screening firms are compelled to further cut corners in order to reduce costs. When costs are cut even mediocre service descends into horrific service and this subsequently leads once again to customer churn. It’s a vicious cycle and you become its prey.
A professional marketing executive, Basichis is co-founder of Corra, which as the Corra Group specializes in pre-employment and online dating background checks, as well as corporate research and investigation.