Checkr Blog

Why California's Latest Legislation is a Step in the Right Direction

A few weeks ago, the state of California introduced legislation to automate expungement of arrests and low-level convictions, which currently qualify for expungement under existing law. With this new bill, California is taking active steps to removing a major barrier for people with criminal records.

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10 Questions Staffing Agencies Need to Ask About Today's Competition

Today’s staffing agencies are facing more competition than ever before. Whether it’s from large Online Staffing Platforms, such as Wonolo, Field Nation, and BlueCrew, or from the new players in the On-Demand economy, including Uber and Postmates. These companies have really changed the game when it comes to providing a seamless application and onboarding process for candidates. As an agency, you’ll want to consider how much you invest in updating your processes, whether you decide to build a platform in-house, buy a white-labeled online staffing platform or select vendors that will automate the most critical parts of your process, you need to develop a strategy to attract candidates to maintain your competitive edge.

Even if you’re staffing agency who doesn’t directly compete with these new platforms, it’s still a good idea to study them. You should be thinking about how to optimize parts of your process to improve the candidate experience, and since no one is doing it better than these companies, they’re the ones you’ll want to emulate as you adapt your strategies.

Here are 10 helpful questions to consider as you start to think about monitoring your competition:

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Why You Should Give Artificial Intelligence a Role in Hiring

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is making waves in nearly every industry, and HR is no exception. 80% of executives believe AI will improve productivity and performance at their business. Meanwhile, companies are already using the technology to schedule meetings, suggest replies to an email, start conversations with visitors on their websites, and automatically analyze data for new trends or threats. 

In particular, we’re seeing AI being used in the realm of recruiting and hiring. In fact, more than half of HR managers in the U.S. believe they will regularly use AI in their work within the next five years. However, despite all the hype around the technology, many businesses are still slow to incorporate it into their processes. If you’re one of them, here are a few reasons why you need to start incorporating AI into your hiring process.

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Nature-Time-Nature: 3 Steps to Follow When Making Challenging Hiring Decisions


No pets in the office. No carrying over unused vacation days into the next fiscal year. No letting guests into the building without first having them sign in at reception. 

These are all examples of clear-cut, blanket policies that may make sense in a lot of organizations. “No hiring someone with a criminal record” is not—and trying to apply such a policy can get companies in serious trouble.

In October 2018, for example, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced it had come to a voluntary agreement with a retail firm that had been hit with racial discrimination allegations over a job candidate whose employment offer had been rescinded. A background check on the candidate revealed a criminal record, but the EEOC wanted the organization to ensure it followed guidance it first released in 2012, which stipulates that blanket exclusions based on that kind of discovery are not permitted by law.

The retailer has since revised its hiring practices to include more specific questions on criminal history and provided mandatory training to essential employees on an annual basis. All of this could have been avoided through Individualized Assessment, a process that’s highlighted in our new eBook, The Beginner’s Guide To Background Checks.

If you’re unfamiliar with Individualized Assessment or haven’t applied it in your organization so far, this post will give you a better overview of what’s involved, and how to set yourself up for success.

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3 Reasons to Make Mobile a Part of Your Hiring Strategy

Today more than 90% of the American population has a smartphone. In 2018, those Americans spent 1,460 hours on their smartphone and other mobile devices (equivalent to 91 waking days). So it should come as no surprise that businesses are putting their best foot forward when it comes to mobile. Consumers can now buy products, use services, and schedule appointments all with a few taps on their phones. However, despite this upward trend, not all businesses have incorporated mobile into their hiring processes. As a result, they’re missing out on a lot of potential talent (in fact, over 90% of job seekers use their phones to find a new role). If you’re one of them, here are three important reasons you might want to make mobile a part of your hiring strategy.

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Checkr Named 2019 Bridge Award Winner

Every year, companies, big and small, gather at the JobTrain Bridge Summit to share their knowledge and ideas, celebrate innovation and inclusivity, and learn new methods to help develop a talented and diverse workforce. This year, our very own VP of Talent, Arthur Yamamoto and Manager of Mid-Market Sales, Ian Harriman attended the event on behalf of Checkr and accepted the 2019 Innovation Award! The Bridge Innovation Awards are an opportunity to honor the new, experimental models within the company with exceptional hiring practices for people with nontraditional backgrounds.

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Lydia Varmazis Joins Checkr as VP of Product

We’re excited to welcome Lydia Varmazis as our new VP of Product! Lydia comes to Checkr with over 20 years of product experience at some of the world’s most prominent companies. Most recently, Lydia served as SVP of Product at Westfield Retail Solutions and has held senior leadership roles at Paypal, where she managed the identity platform, Ning, and Adobe, where she moved Creative Suite from a desktop model to the Creative Cloud.

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An Introduction to Fair Chance Hiring


Incarceration rates in the US have skyrocketed in recent years. Today, 70 million Americans (or one in three adults) have a criminal record. And that criminal record can follow a person for decades, making them feel imprisoned long after they’ve served their time and paid their debt to society.

The formerly incarcerated are no different from any other American. They need stable, long-term employment to gain a sense of financial security, support themselves and their families, and feel like a positive, contributing member of their communities—all of which help lower recidivism rates and keep people from re-entering the prison system.

But having a criminal record presents a unique—and often demoralizing—set of employment challenges. Due to their criminal history, workers are often immediately ruled out for job opportunities, even when they’re qualified, and often without so much as an interview ( studies show that having a criminal record reduces employer callback rates by 50%). These challenges, in large part, are the driving force behind fair chance hiring.

If you’re new to fair chance hiring and are considering implementing it into your organization, this guide should help you understand what goes into the process, the benefits that stem from it, and how you can get started today. 
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Yahoo Finance Interviews Checkr CEO on Disrupting the Background Check Industry

Recently, our CEO and Co-founder, Daniel Yanisse, sat down with Yahoo Finance’s Adam Shapiro and Brian Cheung to discuss Checkr’s AI-driven approach to background checks and how we’re working to transform the industry. You can watch the full 3 minute interview below: 

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A Guide to Adverse Action


Let’s start with the worst-case scenario, because it can — and does — happen: 

A company working on a project needs to hire some key talent quickly and after recruiting for several weeks, interviews someone who seems like a perfect fit. The company makes a conditional offer, but in the process of conducting the background check, discovers an issue that leads the hiring manager to decline the candidate. Naturally, the candidate is unhappy to receive the bad news, but becomes angry when she learns the background check confused her with someone bearing a similar name.

Given that the candidate only received a copy of the record after being declined, she decides to sue, in what later becomes a class-action lawsuit.

This is an extreme— but realistic—example of what happens when Adverse Action processes are not carried out or carried out incorrectly. As we discuss in our latest eBook, The Beginner’s Guide To Background Checks, Adverse Action is defined as any action taken based on the information in a report that negatively affects someone’s employment. That doesn’t just mean declining a candidate for a potential new employment opportunity. It also includes situations where a particular employee who hopes to transfer into a new position is turned down or when a member of a team is denied a possible promotion.

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