Checkr Blog

Talent is harder to attract: here are seven ways to make sure you’re ahead of the competition

It’s no secret: competition for the best talent is heating up. Skilled professionals have choices and they know it. In today’s market, you risk losing out on the best talent if you don’t make the candidate experience a top priority.

By candidate experience, we mean all of the interactions a job applicant has with you during the recruiting process, from the first contact all the way through to onboarding—or rejection. The HR nonprofit The Talent Board estimates that companies that provide a great candidate experience will see over $3M in added revenue each year.

Every time you list a new job opening, you’re putting your company’s reputation on the line. Candidates can and will talk with peers and friends about their experiences with your company. In fact, research shows that an overwhelming 35% of candidates go online and share negative experiences, meanwhile, 60% are likely to gripe to friends and family. Bad reviews on sites like Glassdoor or gossip among industry peers will damage your brand and make it harder for you to attract quality applicants.

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The rise of background check discrimination lawsuits—and how to get ahead of them

Sports and entertainment giant Madison Square Garden recently reached a $1.3 million deal to end claims that it used criminal convictions from background checks to deny employment to minority applicants with criminal records without investigating the reports or giving candidates a chance to dispute them. With this deal, Madison Square Garden joins a long list of companies, including Macy’s and 7-11, who've found themselves in violation of federal laws, including the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Earlier this year, Delta Airlines ended up in a similar situation when they failed to provide job applicants with standalone background check disclosures, resulting in a $2.3 million settlement and a string of bad press.

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Introducing the Fair Assessment Course and Certification, A New Way to Reach Talent

The US unemployment rate recently fell to its lowest level in half a century in May, capping the longest streak of job creation in modern times. However, despite the consistent job growth, for people with criminal records or a history of incarceration—that’s nearly one in three Americans—the number of obstacles and stigmas to securing work are still at an all time high.

As a hiring platform that performs background checks, Checkr strives to leverage its role in the employment process by educating employers to recognize the background check as just one component of a person’s story. And as competition for talent continues to intensify, companies need to start considering these candidates who may have been previously overlooked to open up new talent pools, while being mindful of laws that protect candidates from discrimination. They need to understand that accepting candidates with criminal records can help up them open up new pools of talent and gain an advantage for their business. 

That’s why we’re proud to announce the launch of our Fair Assessment Course and Certification, an online course that establishes Fair Assessment as a way to build a fairer hiring process. Attendees are taken through best practices and strategies to review background checks and scenarios that are commonly encountered in hiring decision making.

By the end of the course, they can:

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Internet Trends 2019: Checkr Highlighted as Driver of Economic Growth

The long-awaited Mary Meeker Internet Trends report is back, and we’re excited to share Checkr has been cited as a major enabler of the gig economy. Specifically, the report highlights the role Checkr has played in helping companies hire more than 20 million applicants in five years.

In addition to Checkr’s inclusion, the report delves into the rapid growth of the gig economy and the opportunities and efficiencies it’s yielded for companies and individuals alike. You can look through the report in its entirety and travel back in time through the full internet trends reports archive here.

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5 Signs You Might Be Ready to Switch Background Check Vendors

Breaking up is hard to do — especially when you’ve invested a lot in the relationship.

That’s not just true of personal relationships, but in our professional relationships as well, particularly the vendor partners we rely on to get everyday tasks done.

In some cases, companies are quick to realize it’s time to change vendors. When the cost of a service goes up without a corresponding increase in value, for example, it may be time to cut ties — or at least start doing some comparison shopping. In other cases, vendors simply disappear by going out of business or being acquired, leaving customers scrambling for alternatives. For the most part, though, it can seem easy to stick with the status quo when there’s no dramatic or compelling event that makes switching an obvious next move.

HR departments or other business functions that initially chose a background check vendor, for instance, may have gone through a detailed review of vendors that took a lot of time and effort. Even if the service has become a bit poor or there are some gaps in what’s offered, the temptation might be to stick with the devil you know.

Unfortunately, waiting too long can put companies in jeopardy of greater risks that impact their business in multiple ways. These can range from a failure to attract the best possible talent to falling out of step with background check laws such as the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). At that point, the process of switching is compounded by the added pressure of dealing with a crisis or burning need, which may get in the way of a more thoughtful selection process.

This is not unlike dealing with an employee who once met or exceeded expectations but slowly slid into a pattern of showing up late, missing deadlines, and making costly mistakes. It’s always better to be proactive in assessing the talent and capabilities you have in place against the needs of the organization.

With that in mind, here’s a checklist of things to consider as part of an ongoing self-assessment of your background check vendor that may help identify the moments to form a new relationship:

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5 Trends Shaping the Future of HR Today

With what feels like a new transformative business technology emerging every day, it can be a struggle to keep up with all the latest trends. This is especially true for HR departments, whose increasing impact on an organization’s overall performance is reflected by the extraordinary expansion of the HR management market.

With so much activity around HR, it can be hard to pinpoint what’s really important. Fortunately, recent research by Ardent Partners on the future of hiring has highlighted five key current and future trends.

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Announcing Checkr Connect IDV: A Unified Identity Verification and Background Check Solution

Today we’re announcing the launch of Checkr Connect IDV, the industry’s first flexible, unified Identity Verification and Background Check solution, alongside partnerships that integrate with document ID verification and facial biometrics technology from Onfido and Berbix. Checkr Connect IDV allows businesses to combine their choice of identity verification vendors, including Onfido and Berbix, with AI-powered background checks from Checkr on the same platform to mitigate and reduce identity fraud. 

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How We’re Breaking Barriers and Building Opportunities With Bounce Back


Imagine this scenario. You’re in need of a new job. As you start filling and sending out applications, there isn’t much you’re sure of—what they’re looking for, how you might fit into the company, or whether they’re going to call you in for an interview. But the one thing you are sure of? They’re going to run a background check.

For the 70 million Americans who have a criminal record, that can be a scary thing. While most know their record will probably show up on a background check, many have no idea what that actually looks like, what rights they have, what to do if their application is rejected due to that record, and what resources are available to help them navigate the background check process.

Early on, we realized that background checks—and the mystery surrounding them—were a big barrier to employment for re-entry candidates. We knew we had to do something to better understand this problem, and more importantly, we had to be a part of the solution. And that’s how Bounce Back was born.
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5 Questions with Genevieve Martin of Dave’s Killer Bread Foundation


Dave’s Killer Bread Foundation
aims to galvanize the business community to adopt and implement Second Chance Employment. They work directly with employers to build leadership buy-in, adopt Second Chance Employment, and share recommendations and best practices.


Five years ago, Genevieve Martin was tasked with identifying the next initiative to better support Dave’s Killer Bread’s (DKB) workforce, where one in three DKB partners has a criminal background. Through some initial research and networking efforts, it quickly became clear that employment, as a whole, was a crucial challenge for returning citizens. And that’s how Dave’s Killer Bread Foundation born.

1. What’s changed in terms of DKBs original goals? Has your mission evolved or tracked towards the north star that was set out in the beginning?
Early on, we decided as a company, the role we had to play that would be the most credible and helpful would be to help people understand what employment meant in the formula of returning to the community from incarceration or felony convictions. Therefore, our mission hasn’t changed—our goal is still to work with employers to understand that second chance hiring isn’t this big scary thing. It’s possible, simple, and where we, at Dave’s Killer Bread, get our star performers.

2. What are you most excited about for the future of DKBF?
When we first started this work nearly five years ago, there wasn’t much conversation or education around the topic of second chance hiring. Now there’s a lot more awareness, along with bipartisan support. It’s been encouraging to see that shift and in tandem with that, it’s the best time for us to do this work and have these conversations.

3. How do you center people most impacted within your strategy?
In three key ways: first and foremost, we have formerly incarcerated people on our board of directors who help influence and shape our strategy. Second, when we get media opportunities, we draw from a bench of people who have backgrounds to share their voices and perspectives. Third, we rely on events, such as our second chance panels, where you hear directly from impacted individuals. They share who they’ve been, where they are now, and what they’ve been able to attain. Turns out, it’s really hard to argue with someone who’s turned their life around and has been promoted five times.

4. Who are you partnering with to achieve your goals?
We offer employers multiple paths to embracing second chance hiring. One of them is through the Second Chance Business Coalition, which is a group of private sector companies who understand the value of second chance employment. Together, our goal is to build resources and recruit other employers to adopt these practices and become ambassadors of second chance hiring.

5. What’s one piece of advice you’d offer to employers who want to adopt fairer hiring practices?
Do it thoughtfully, and do it with intentionality. A lot of employers I talk to are excited by the prospect of second chance hiring and want to get started right away. But while enthusiasm is important, these companies need to understand what they’re signing up, along with the challenges and stigmas individuals face when they come back to the community, before they can start interviewing talent.

Genevieve Martin is the founding executive director of the Dave’s Killer Bread Foundation. Recognizing that people with criminal backgrounds are a vital part of the workforce who are talented, motivated—and often overlooked—the foundation pursues projects that break down stigmas and change the narrative around people with felony convictions. Genevieve travels the country sharing candid insight and best practices of employers who do this work well, all while growing their bottom line.
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3 Ways AI Will Help You Save Time and Convert More Candidates


Spend some time researching upcoming recruiting trends and technologies and you’ll quickly realize Artificial Intelligence (AI) is widely regarded as the future of hiring. More than half of HR managers anticipate their hiring process will involve AI within the next five years. They’re already behind the times.

AI is here and the 63% of recruiters who’ve invested in it say it’s changed how they do things. Here are three ways you can use AI to start saving time while converting more candidates today.
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