5 Hiring, Trust, and Safety Lessons for 2022

January 07, 2022
Checkr Editor

2021 was a challenging year for hiring and trust & safety teams. The COVID-19 pandemic forced court closures, grounding background checks to a halt and creating backlogs of screenings. The ongoing labor shortage and “Great Resignation” challenged business leaders to reinvent structures and adapt to changing employee expectations. HR and compliance professionals had to innovate and optimize processes on the fly.

Checkr’s annual event, Checkr Forward, featured background check practitioners and hiring experts sharing innovative solutions to the array of obstacles they faced last year. In this blog, you’ll hear from experts Vlad Vezikov, CEO, Tülogy, Lynn Perkins, CEO, UrbanSitter, Chris Dwyer, Industry Analyst, Ardent Partners, Chani Blair, Community Operations Admin, Crisis Text Line, and Jared Tetzlaff, Safety and Security Director, Rock Point Church.

Here are five lessons from the experts to help you tackle hiring, trust, and safety throughout 2022.

1. Leverage background check technology to scale your business

Based on your industry and the roles you’re hiring for—you’ll likely want to run background checks. Screenings allow you to fill in an information gap and gain confidence in your hire. A partner will help simplify the complexities of the background check process and determine the appropriate screening package for your needs.

But starting a background screening program at your company comes with its challenges. There can be a learning curve to background check compliance—and without sophisticated technology—the experience can be laborious and slow. Currently, recruiting talent is particularly difficult, so companies need to leverage technology to hire faster and more efficiently.

Vlad Vezikov, CEO of fast-growing company Tülogy, spoke on the role of a background check partner in his company’s success, “Another critical part of our success in scaling so far has been finding the right companies to partner with and to integrate with, especially companies that help us carry out really important functions of our platform, and a great example of this is background checks.”

Vlad Vezikov, CEO, Tülogy

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As you consider various technology partners, consider this perspective from Lynn Perkins, CEO of UrbanSitter: “It was not a good fit for our start up to be working with a startup partner. As a startup, it's often tempting to partner with companies that are also coming out the door and at your same stage, but I think there are parts of your business where you really need to leave it to people who have done it before.” Take the time to consider which partners understand your needs and are the best fit to facilitate your growth, efficiency, and productivity.

Vezikov also spoke about key elements to look out for in evaluating potential background check partners, “When we first started looking for background check companies, a few of the things that were really important to us were turnaround time, cost effectiveness, how easy it would be to integrate with our product and also background check volume processing capabilities.”

To learn more about leveraging background check technology to scale hiring, check out "Reality Check: Background Check 101 for Small Businesses" below.

Prioritize your needs and identify any gaps to more easily assess the best partner suited to support you as you scale. You can also research which partners your competitors are working with. Or—you could ask them directly. Another strategy for success in the new year is to work with your competitors, not against them.

2. Sharing is caring, even with competitors

It may sound counterintuitive, but one thing we learned this year is the benefit of working with your competitors. For hiring, sharing insights with other companies like yours can help everyone scale their workforce in the most efficient and safe way possible.

When Lynn Perkins founded her company, UrbanSitter, she met with other leaders in her industry to share information on what was working for them and what wasn’t. “We met other marketplace businesses and we put our teams together. We spent time talking about best practices, systems that we used, trends that we potentially would be seeing…” said Perkins, “By being somewhat open about our practices and trends we were seeing it actually benefited all of our businesses.”

Lynn Perkins, CEO, UrbanSitter

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What is bad for one is likely bad for all. For new or emerging organizations, connecting with competitors can open your eyes to new systems and regulations you didn’t know about before. Sharing knowledge around trust and safety simplifies the complexities of recruitment and onboarding, leaving everyone more knowledgeable and more compliant.

Hear more counterintuitive lessons on compliance with Lynn Perkins, CEO, UrbanSitter, below.

Communicating with competitors is a great way to move ahead in 2022.  Consider starting a monthly meeting with professionals in your industry. One topic that may be of interest? Hiring more agile employees. Over the last decade, the flexible or contingent workforce has grown exponentially. Let’s dive into the benefits of flexible work in 2022.

3. Consider the flexible workforce

According to a U.S. Government Accountability report, 40 percent of the U.S. workforce is made up of contingent workers. The natural evolution of contingent work reflects the agility driven by contractors, freelancers, gig workers, talent pool candidates, professional services and other forms of non-employee talent (Ardent Partners). In the wake of the pandemic, adaptable teams meet obstacles with the flexibility needed to succeed amongst ever-changing circumstances.

Chris Dwyer, Industry Analyst, Ardent Partners

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The Future of Work Exchange Report from 2021 outlines the benefits businesses experienced by employing contingent labor last year:

  • Enabled workforce flexibility and scalability
  • Enabled adaptation of changing times
  • Supported competitive initiatives
  • Reduced overall workforce costs
  • Provided deeper access to top-tier talent

Employing freelance or contract workers may help you adapt to evolving market conditions. Chris Dwyer, Industry Analyst, Ardent Partners, observed, “More and more businesses are planning for an increased utilization of contingent labor going into 2022.” For more flexibility in 2022, identify areas where you might integrate non-employee talent. The contingent workforce can help to fill gaps and bring in exemplary talent.

If you’re interested in the growth of the agile workforce—watch Chris Dwyer, Industry Analyst, Ardent Partners, break down data from the recent Future of Work Exchange Report in the session, "Are You Missing Half of the US Workforce?" below.

Another trend accelerated in 2021: the growing importance of DEI, or diversity, equity and inclusion at work. While companies innovative ways to scale, they’re also contemplating ways to diversify by eliminating bias.

4. Adopt a fair chance outlook

Organizations are prioritizing equity and fairness in how they recruit, assess, and onboard. A recent Checkr study found most executives report that they’re using technology to remove bias from the hiring process (83 percent).

But ​​roughly one in three employees say their company’s hiring process is prejudiced against certain populations (31 percent). Moreover, employees feel that people with conviction histories face the most discrimination (75 percent). One-third of working-age Americans have a criminal record. As an HR or trust & safety professional, it’s likely you’ll come across a candidate with something on their record.

Chani Blair, Community Operations Admin, Crisis Text Line

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By implementing fair policies, you can make stronger employment decisions that cut bias from the procedure. How do brands define and execute fair hiring policies? Chani Blair, Community Operations Admin, Crisis Text Line, had this message, “Keep in mind minority communities are more likely to face prosecution and those charges are more likely to result in convictions. So being overly strict in your policy can unintentionally create some discrimination in your process.” Blair recommends creating policies that are, “Accessible and flexible while still accommodating those ethical concerns.”

Download the Fair Chance Hiring Report to uncover current perceptions around fair chance hiring in the workplace.

Each business will have unique trust and safety needs to keep in mind while they hire. By discussing these policies and ideating on them, you can work towards a more equitable hiring structure that drops bias and helps you build a diverse workforce.

In 2022, audit your candidate evaluation and adjudication criteria to find areas where bias may seep in. Another way to adopt a fair chance outlook is to identify and seize opportunities for open communication with candidates.

5. Embed empathy into your hiring program

Background checks are a critical part of hiring. But how can an organization build empathy into the background check? The key is to listen.

To hire top-tier talent, you may want to arrange a channel of communication in the screening operation. Jared Tetzlaff, Safety and Security Director, Rock Point Church, offered, “Sometimes, for some reason, there’s something in [a candidate’s] background that may make a particular role not a great fit. And so it’s really important that ahead of time you have a review process that gives people an opportunity to tell their story.”

Vlad Vezikov uses Candidate Stories, which helps him engage with candidates during the background check evaluation. The feature offers a seamless way for job candidates to add context and information around their record. Vezikov said, “It helps humanize the background check process, and it helps the candidates have a voice in the process. It helps us get more information and context so we can make better informed decisions.”

Vlad Vezikov, CEO, Tülogy

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As you hire more employees, it’s important to embed empathy into your methods, which means building communication channels that empower you to listen to job candidates. Dwyer highlighted the importance of listening,“Empathy really is the only way forward for business leaders.”

Dwyer continued, “A diverse talent pool is your deepest talent pool.” Diverse employees create the most effective workforces. Vezikov echoed this sentiment when he said, “Behind every record is a human being who is aspiring to support themselves and their loved ones.” Don’t count out individuals with records, allow them to contextualize their experience. With empathy, your business gains a wider variety of qualified individuals who are engaged with your organization.

Find out how Vlad Vezikov, CEO, Tülogy, grew his business exponentially in the early days of the pandemic in "Scaling Success: Lessons from SMB-Turned-Enterprise Company Tülogy" found below.


If 2021 taught us one thing, it’s to expect the unexpected. The most successful brands leverage technology, learn from the competition, build agile teams, and work to eliminate bias in hiring. These expert insights are useful to companies of any size across all industries. Ultimately, the companies who find innovative solutions to business problems are the most successful, so keep these hiring lessons in mind throughout 2022.

Find more expert strategies to take on the future of work in the article, 5 Hiring and Retention Lessons from Industry Experts.


5 Hiring and Retention Lessons from Industry Experts

Critical lessons to move business forward in turbulent times.

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"Empathy really is the only way forward for business leaders."
Ardent Partners
Chris Dwyer, Industry Analyst

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