Working with our customers across many different industries, we saw a need to move move beyond static background reports to dynamic checks, especially given the growth of today’s flexible workforce. So today we are announcing new technology that provides continuous updates about criminal records that may affect ridesharing drivers’ eligibility to drive.
We are thrilled to announce that we've raised $100 million in Series C funding led by funds and accounts managed by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc. with participation from existing investors Accel and Y Combinator. This is an important milestone for us, and we’re excited to put these funds to work to help our customers hire great people faster.
Her job title may be VP of Industry Strategy, but in reality, Kristen Faris is part evangelist, part fortune teller at Checkr—using her depth of industry knowledge to inspire customers and predict the future of the on-demand economy and beyond.
Q: What excites you the most about Checkr?
Checkr’s progressive approach to all areas of the business is inspiring. The speed at which Checkr brings innovative solutions to market is unlike anything I’ve ever seen in the screening industry. I’m also inspired by Checkr’s mission to create a fairer future for job seekers, as well as its interest in expanding beyond the on-demand space to more traditional segments of industry.
Q: What sets Checkr apart?
Checkr’s leadership in technology, in the screening industry and beyond, is undeniable. Yet, to me, the most impressive part of Checkr is the culture that Daniel and Jonathan have built. Each member of the Checkr team truly lives and breathes the company’s core values.
When it comes to improving the applicant experience, Checkr raised the bar while no-one was looking. It will be very hard to catch Checkr—particularly as it forges its way further into the enterprise space.
Q: Where do you think the background check industry is heading?
It’s all about transparency. When it comes to background checks, particularly in the enterprise space, the black box days are over. That means the biggest players must now adjust to a changing paradigm. Investing in applicant experience and customer success will be the key in driving business moving forward.
Q: How should approaches to background check screening evolve?
Let’s face it. As the future of work changes, and the on-demand economy takes further hold, “old school” screening practices will come under greater scrutiny and become less relevant. As a result, providers, like Checkr, with progressive views of these changing dynamics will be uniquely positioned to drive even the most traditional segments of the enterprise.
Background screening, in general, should shift away from the “keep the bad guys out” mentality. Led by Checkr’s example, the industry should embrace a mindset of inclusion and fair practices—based on an understanding of the need for different risk tolerance profiles per role and industry.
Traditional methods of accessing, compiling and assessing data will become obsolete as crowd-sourcing, machine learning and automation replace error-prone manual processes. The jump will be all the more difficult for the legacy providers solely focused on cost-cutting through tactics like offshoring labor and financial engineering.
Q: How did you get started in the background check industry?
I started in screening in 1995 as a court researcher in the San Francisco Superior Court, ironically just a few miles from Checkr Headquarters. I eventually founded my own screening firm in 1999, based in Los Gatos, which grew quickly as we focused on automation to improve turnaround times and was acquired by First Advantage in 2006. Subsequently I have held numerous roles at First Advantage in Account Management and Sales, most recently leading the Solution Services Organization with responsibility for Sales Operation, Solution Engineering and Talent Development.
Q: What do you like to do outside of work?
I was born and raised in the Bay Area. Currently, I live with my family in Santa Cruz where I enjoy the outdoors, camping and exploring hiking trails or going to the beach. I enjoy spending my free time with my family and friends, cooking, and enjoying a good laugh around the dinner table.
Pre-employment screening doesn’t end once the background check is complete. When a background check returns criminal records, employers must decide how they will consider this information.
As a best practice, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission encourages employers to conduct an individualized assessment of applicants with criminal histories. “Individualized assessment” is an employer’s careful consideration of each background check report and any criminal record to determine if the information is relevant to the position before making any employment decisions based on those records. This assessment not only ensures compliance with applicable laws, but also helps employers better understand the applicant and his or her personal history. (For additional guidance, refer to Best Practices for Employers Considering Criminal Backgrounds For Hiring). In addition, some state and local laws mandate (e.g., Los Angeles and New York City) an individualized assessment before an applicant is disqualified based on criminal history. To assist employers in this best practice, Checkr marks criminal records with a “CONSIDER” notation in its background check reports.
When presented with a “CONSIDER” report, employers should keep three important tips in mind:
Welcome to Meet Checkr! This series will give you an inside look into the driven folks who make Checkr happen. From Applicant Support to Sales, our diverse, dynamic employees have their own interesting stories to tell.
Our employees at Checkr come from a variety of background and past careers, but not many can say they managed a busy coffee shop for the better part of a decade. Edwin Morales, our Office Manager, spent 9 years running a San Francisco outlet of Peet’s Coffee and wasn’t interested in looking for a new job. But now he uses his skills to keep our office of more than 80 running every day.
We sat down with Morales to talk about the challenges of coordinating a busy startup, and his leadership in the San Francisco LGBT community.
Central to any high-performing sales organization is a great culture, and the Sales team here at Checkr is no exception. Much of our sales culture is derived through the company’s core values with a particular emphasis on transparency.
In the world of sales you live and die by how transparent your organization is. A sales leader can’t provide proactive, meaningful, and effective coaching without transparency into his team daily activities such calls, emails, meetings, etc.
And I, as a Sales Operations professional, can’t even begin to generate an accurate revenue forecast without full visibility into all active opportunities in the pipeline. Pro tip: the trick of putting your finger up in the air and going with your gut doesn’t work in today’s modern sales environment.
Checkr isn’t just about building a product. Helping applicants and companies navigate the often confusing and high stakes background screening process has been central to the company’s mission from the start.
In fact, Daniel and Jonathan, the founders of Checkr, articulated their commitment to this cause to me in the early days of Checkr, when the company was brand new and just a fraction of the size it is now. The idea of helping others played a central role in my decision to join Checkr -- which, nearly two years later, is still working to change the background screening industry in more ways than one.
Because Checkr serves companies across every sector of the economy, we have a unique view of the hiring process. This perspective gives us the opportunity to have an important and far-reaching impact on jobs in America.
So, we’re trying to work on giving back.