3 Ways Background Screening Impacts Candidate Experience

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Despite strong unemployment rates, organizations continue to cite talent acquisition as a core business challenge. It is no mystery, therefore, that improving the candidate experience has become of paramount importance for employers.

The repercussions of a poor candidate experience can be extensive and powerful – you could not only be losing your best candidates, but also damaging your organization’s brand and even negatively affecting your bottom line.

Therefore, many employers are focusing their efforts on how they can improve interactions with candidates, including enhancing their communication methods, simplifying the application process, and better leveraging new technologies.

While making these improvements to the early stages of the hiring process has been at the forefront of improving the candidate experience, many employers could potentially be overlooking another critical element of the overall process that also affects a candidate’s perception of your organization: the background screening process.

Employers, however, may not be entirely sure how to improve the screening process so that they’re not losing the best candidates and doing harm to their brand. After all, there may be a perception that the background check is out of their control, especially if it is outsourced to a provider.

Yet, there are a number of ways that employers can directly enhance this element of the hiring process – ways that they can absolutely manage via adoption of some good hiring practices.

As revealed in the Talent Board’s recently released Candidate Experience 2012 report, there are three common issues related to the background check that could have an impact on the candidate experience:

  • Disclose required background screening on the front end. Just slightly more than one-third (35.5 percent) of employers responding to the survey indicated that their application process clearly discloses any future testing or background screening, like a background check, credit check or drug test, that would be required of the candidate. Doing so can not only help better prepare more attractive candidates for future steps, but can weed out undesirable applicants early in the process.
  • Describe the background screening process. Of the candidates surveyed in the report, only 37.9 percent revealed that the employer provided an explanation of its background screening policy and process, potentially creating anxiety for the applicant. Clearly explaining what the background check entails and how the candidate can prepare for it can help address many of the candidate’s concerns.
  • Communicate with candidates through the entire process. Only 57.5 percent of employers reported that they follow up with finalist candidates who are no longer being considered for the position. As candidates advance through the hiring process, keeping the lines of communication open can help promote a more positive experience for the applicant. The background check can induce feelings of uncertainty in even the most prepared candidate, so continuing this trend of ongoing informative updates can assuage concerns and underscore a better candidate experience.

Employers that consider how their background screening process impacts the candidate experience, including informing and educating their applicants about the process, could substantially improve their candidate experience.

To help job candidates better understand and prepare for a background check, employers should leverage online resources such as AboutEmployeeBackgroundChecks.com, a source of information designed to help demystify the background screening process. By providing job candidates with this essential information about background screening, they may be more likely to have a positive experience.

Bonus Tip:
Communication throughout the background check process is essential for a great candidate experience. Choosing a background screening company that communicates the status of the background check in real-time and keeps candidates informed can also help improve the candidate experience.

The Importance of Applicant Experience in Talent Acquisition
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Learn the importance of the applicant experience and tips to help ensure a positive experience by downloading:

The Importance of Applicant Experience in Talent Acquisition

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HireRight is a leading provider of on-demand employment background checks, drug and health screening, and electronic Form I-9 and E-Verify solutions that help employers automate, manage and control background screening and related programs.

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