If you’re working in HR you know just how much of a hassle pre-employment screening really is. Those who are in other departments probably don’t think it’s such a big deal. What’s so hard to read a CV and ask a couple of questions, right? However, HR managers have a much easier job than their counterparts in various other countries.
The advantage they have over their peers in distant countries is called technology. To be more specific, software companies that have devised programs that made online background checks possible.
Why are background checks so important?
For people in the HR domain making sure you hire the right person is of vital importance. This refers to checking a candidate’s CV, educational background, work history, and their criminal records. There’s nothing wrong with hiring an ex-con if they have put that part of their life behind them, but, at least, you need to know about it.
Decades ago, a recruiting agent had no other option than to ask a job applicant to get down to their local police section and ask for a police clearance. That took a couple of weeks at the very least, and that slowed down the hiring process considerably. Not to mention that the applicant wasn’t all that happy to go through all the trouble, especially if they knew they didn’t have a record and submitting to a background check was a complete waste of time.
That’s one of the reasons many HR managers preferred to skip such checks. Such a policy put the whole organisation at risk, as hiring a person with some serious offences on their record can lead to all sorts of problems, such as theft, fraud, sexual harassment scandals. etc.
What are online background checks?
Online checks are of great help for people in HR. There’s no more need for sending a job applicant to the police section, when the HR can take care of this task in a couple of minutes.
In Australia there are several online background check agencies, they are accredited with the federal government and they use the latest software to ensure the security of the information on their servers. It’s the same software that allows such agencies to access the police databases in virtually all Australian states and territories. One example is this website for ANCC – https://www.australiannationalcharactercheck.com.au which provides applicants an online software platform for background checks. As they use artificial intelligence they operate much faster than humans, so instead of taking weeks, a routine background check is now done in a couple of days.
Obviously, you first need to ask the candidate’s permission to order a criminal history check on them. Doing so without their concern is illegal.
Once you get their written permission, all you need to do is access the agency’s platform and fill in the form. That only takes a few minutes, and this includes taking a photo of the candidate and uploading it.
The result will be sent straight to your email in 1 or 2 business days. It doesn’t get any faster than that. Or at least not yet, but who knows maybe 10 years from now it will take only a couple of seconds to do a background check if technology keeps evolving at this pace.