The HR Digitization Journey Series: Background Screening

Marco Piovesan

March 9 2021

We spend a lot of time listening to our HR and risk management customers. We constantly discuss future HR recruiting and risk mitigation scenarios based on consumer preferences, technology advances, and enterprise needs. And over the last twelve months, I, and my two camera-friendly dogs, have participated in global virtual webinars listening to HR and risk professionals around the world.

It is incredible to hear and read the same issues and perspectives shared globally by most HR professionals. The most frequent workplace topics include mental health concerns, keeping up motivation and energy, transitioning from managing time to managing outcomes, and increased flexibility of principles, not rigid rules. On an Unleash webinar last week several CHROs were representing the USA, the Netherlands, Kenya, South Africa, Finland, and Italy. All topics and approaches to solutions were so similar. The one observation that I loved is that the CEO title has now transitioned to the Chief Energy Officer! 

One of the most frequently mentioned topics is the HR technology digitization journey. Every webinar and so many articles discuss this issue in detail. What HR executives are discussing is their focus on technology solutions. From Teams to Slack to ATS systems to monitoring systems to upskilling systems and so on. A common theme is how HR as an organization needs to change in the next several years given the digitization of numerous functions. Many HR leaders are also buoyed by renewed financial investment in their functional departments as leadership understands the critical importance of technology-driven HR advantages.

As HR professionals work on technology roadmaps for the future state of their enterprises, they will look at benefits and overcoming inefficiencies. Topics such as the speed of onboarding, positive candidate experiences, and upskilling are some of the considerations. The HR technology solutions will all be driven by efficiencies and seamlessness at the end of the day. In my slice of the world, where I help HR professionals successfully deploy fast and trusted background screening for seamless onboarding and risk mitigation processes, I am constantly asked by customers and prospects why and how to evaluate technology investments for background screening. So, I thought I would capture my feedback in a few simple categories.

Here are the topics to work through on this journey:

1. Is there a problem that needs fixing or is there an opportunity to improve the process and outcome? There are sometimes consequences of not switching and of switching. For background screening really look at the most important aspects. These include the speed of results, trust in the results, positive candidate experience, ease of use within your preferred HCM and ATS platforms, scalability, compliance peace-of-mind, value, and knowing there is always reliable customer support.

2. Some of the most critical aspects for you and your technology teams to consider for your background screening program as a part of your journey towards digitization are:

  • The candidate user experience. It must be easy for a candidate to engage with any system or channel. Ensure that there is technology flexibility for all candidates. Does the preferred system support Mac, Windows, Linux, Android, and iPhone? For example, using a smartphone as a part of the process is increasingly becoming the norm in many industries to help attract and onboard candidates.
  • The protection and security of sensitive data. Ensure that system and network security mechanisms such as firewalls, anti-malware, intrusion detection and prevention, physical and logical access control, and security information and event management (SIEM) solutions are in place, and that your vendor has annual audits and penetration testing of their systems. Vulnerability management is also a critical aspect of a mature Information Security program. A vulnerability assessment solution, when properly used in concert with a patch or configuration management system, can significantly reduce the risk associated with system and network-based vulnerabilities.
  • The agility and adaptability of the customer experience, which is your experience. If your preferred way to automatically order reports is through your ATS platform, then ensure that the vendor has published JSON and RESTful state API developer documentation. Your technology teams may want to work with partners that will require minimal development complexity, hours, and cost. Integration needs to be simple—and these days, it is. This will also include, at times, the ability to export files as easily as possible using .csv, .xls, and .xlsx formats. If your preferred process is to use the vendor’s platform, ensure that there is Single Sign On (SSO) and an easy, delightful experience when you are on that platform.

3. Outside of technology-driven KPIs such as speed, automation, and cost, there are still several aspects to ensure you have a positive holistic customer experience with your partner. These will include comprehensive compliance, trusted results, and reliable and professional customer and candidate support.

HR responsibilities and processes are going to change over the next several years. It is inevitable. The candidate and employee experiences will always evolve to take advantage of consumer technology tools. The workplace is changing. The way background screening impacts onboarding, employee engagement, and risk monitoring will continue to evolve. Background screening is a key element of your digitization journey. I encourage every HR and risk professional responsible for this to find a partner to go on this journey with you to fix problems and develop the most efficient and seamless solutions. A fun part of participating in all these webinars with HR professionals, especially within the last month, is the topic “once COVID is no longer an issue, what are the first things you will do professionally and personally?” The answers are so similar globally that it makes me appreciate that we are all, at our core, just human. Professionally, the responses are: interact with my colleagues, have an office party, go for lunch, see a friendly face at a conference, or bring my team together. Personally, the three consistent responses are travel, volunteer, and hug a friend. What will you do?

Originally posted on LinkedIn.

About InfoMart

InfoMart has been revolutionizing the global background and identity screening industry for 30 years, providing businesses the information they need to make informed hiring decisions. They develop innovative technology that modernizes talent onboarding, including a first-to-market biometric identity authentication application and a verified sanctions search. The WBENC-certified company is a founding member of the Professional Background Screening Association, and they have achieved PBSA accreditation in recognition of their consistent business practices and commitment to compliance with the FCRA. The company is dedicated to customer service, speed, and accuracy, and it has been recognized for its success, workplace culture, and corporate citizenship with over 45 industry awards. To Get the Whole Story on InfoMart, please visit, follow @InfoMartUSA, or call (770) 984-2727.

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