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How Technology Changed Background Checks


Image by Hebi B. from Pixabay

People experience the impact of technology in every facet of life, and the way it’s altered background screening is no surprise. The speed at which screening is done now is one of the most significant impacts of technology. What took weeks to accomplish now takes a few hours and often happens instantly.

Technology has also allowed small businesses to perform basic background screens. Such entities would have found the cost and time prohibitive until recently.

If you’re about to go on a blind date or hire a new employee, background screening tools provide access to a background report within minutes.

The Advantages of Background Screening Technology

Machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) have redefined background screenings. Their cutting-edge algorithms can process a vast dataset and find and follow links that build a comprehensive background report from sources nationwide and sometimes even worldwide.

ML helps algorithms pick up on new information, while AI recognizes patterns and trends. Then, the algorithms absorb a huge volume of information and enter it into fixed data points, generating concise and precise reports.

The background check process has all but done away with people-oriented research, leaving the people running checks free to determine how to format and use the information rather than plowing through endless databases in search of relevant information.

Inherent Risk Control

It’s simple to map affiliations, intersections, and connections for any job applicant with the deployment of AI-operated systems. It’s also easier to see red flags. Businesses can cast wider nets and assess any risk linked to the recruitment process.

Better Insight

Background screening is more concise and insightful than ever. One can’t imagine sifting through databases manually anymore. Recruiters are using advanced platforms that predict applicant skillsets effectively and automate the entire screening process.

Deploying a combination of AI and ML has helped transform the way people do employee background checks. You can make an informed decision and save time simultaneously.

Harnessing the Power of Predictive Technology

The core notion of predictive technology involves combining ML and AI to forecast an employee’s future behavior based on their background information. Several companies are offering these services today, and they can identify potentially dangerous behavior. The predictive analysis for someone hiring a machine operator would clearly differ from that for someone else hiring a babysitter.

Every Silver Lining Has a Cloud

This type of technology, however, has generated some backlash due to concerns about accuracy and bias. The providers of this technology present it as a tool to alert companies to potential problems. However, there remains potential for abuse in how the companies will use the “forecasts.”

Real-time Analysis

No matter what side of the fence you’re on, one can’t deny the capability of ML and AI to uncover information that’s very easy to miss in the conventional screening process. For example, employers are alerted to the latest changes in an employee’s life, and relying on historical data is not necessary.

The most advanced tools can not only verify official ID documents but also compare them with other data provided by a candidate. These tools are powered by AI. Live verification and facial recognition are among their other functions. They bring background screening to a whole new level.

Uninterrupted Monitoring

People’s circumstances change, and screening also changes over time. You can receive alerts when new information appears or old information disappears from a background check. The different kinds of software you can use for these actions do constant checks on names, which have been selected for running monitoring.

Constant monitoring for changes of a criminal nature is reasonable. However, some parties object to employers having the privilege to stay current on people’s life events involving finances, divorce, marriage, or other personal issues.

In the area of employment screening, continuous monitoring can have a disproportionate effect on gig workers. There are tens of millions of people in the gig economy who don’t enjoy protection from the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) like salaried employees.

However, salaried employees are not guaranteed protection from continuous monitoring. There will be employers who will try to test the limits of their authority using technology.

Technology Won’t go Back

Technology is a forward march, but it can and does become obsolete. Eventually, AI and ML in background screening will develop further or be replaced by something else. However this new technology may look, the expectation of privacy is a valid construct. Proponents of screening absolutism will argue that you shouldn’t have a problem if you have nothing to hide. Still, one needs to draw the line somewhere. Your employer doesn’t need to know you bought a new car, own a gun, or missed a credit card payment.

Background screening tools are necessary and helpful. Technology that reduces the time needed to do a background check is a cost- and time-saving convenience. This type of screening is a substantial risk mitigator for ensuring safety and combating negligent hiring practices. A tool that enables employers and other users to access reliable and accurate information is decidedly positive but can potentially be misused like anything else.

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