5 Questions with Andrea Hall at HONK
HONK Technologies is an innovative on-demand mobility and roadside assistance platform for connecting motorists, tow professionals, and insurers. HONK manages next-generation roadside assistance programs for leading insurance carriers, OEMs, fleets, and mobility companies.
HONK has created a digital, safer, smarter alternative to the multiple hour-long waits and insufficient options of the past, transforming the roadside assistance industry customer experience from its world-class, curated Service Provider Partner Network.
1. Tell us about the particular hiring needs and challenges HONK faces in the on-demand mobility and roadside assistance sector.
HONK needs to have a strong Service Provider Partner network of tow truck professionals in order to provide towing and roadside services to our nationwide customer base. We largely serve insurance and fleet companies. We need independent service providers who can show up on-demand, instantly. Roadside customers can’t wait around for hours. Many of our clients named background checks as one of their top priorities, as we are servicing their customers. This means their safety and the safety of their information is paramount.
Our applicants also drive for a living. Checkr’s Motor Vehicle Record option gives us a deeper insight into not just the criminal backgrounds of these drivers, but their driving history as well. We can better predict their risk by having any motor-vehicle-related charges show up. The Progressive Screening tool allows us to run the Motor Vehicle Report first. And if the applicant doesn’t pass that, we don’t pay to run the criminal background check. It’s really a cost-saving measure for our business. Checkr has given HONK the confidence to stand behind the safety of our network and market them as one of our greatest strengths.
Additionally, HONK needs to onboard a lot of service providers very quickly. One main challenge had been the time it took to get service providers onto our platform and performing services for us. We needed a solution that would allow us to onboard and convert applicants into service providers quickly. In the on-demand space, service providers utilize various sources of revenue to grow their business, so adding HONK jobs as quickly as possible is important for them too. Checkr has given us the ability to quickly retrieve the background check results and move applicants into a state of conversion so they’re providing services for us within days of signing up on our platform.
2. What are challenges do you face in the area of maintaining workforce and industry compliance?
HONK’s clients are part of many regulated industries, including the insurance industry. Foremost, we need to make sure our independent Service Providers (tow truck drivers) have clean records because they’re not just driving assets, they are transporting our customers. There’s a big safety piece there. Also, our insurance clients are highly regulated by the Department of Insurance. They have requirements about who can be involved and what kind of personal information can be released.
So, we have to keep in mind all those concerns—it’s not just HONK’s requirements for background checks, it’s also client’s requirements for themselves and their customers. Plus, our insurance clients will have different requirements than our fleet management clients. But we hold everyone to the very high insurance level because it is a federally regulated industry. So even when other clients may not be as picky, they’re still getting these high quality, top tier drivers.
HONK is very focused on the safety and quality of our network. Checkr allows us to go back to our clients and say we have our independent contractors background checked and in compliance with insurance needs. Checkr’s dedication to regulatory compliance allows us to market ourselves as a business who sets the bar in our industry.
Additionally, Checkr has provided us with numerous resources for making sure our own business is compliant with state and federal regulations, including resources and training that we didn’t have previously on the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. We’ve also used the Checkr Knowledge Center to train our entire compliance team on the adjudication process, EEOC laws, and any updates to legislation.
3. Do you also continue to learn about your own company in order to foster growth?
At HONK, we strive for transparency and use Checkr Analytics to help us get insight into our own data. This way we can identify inefficiencies in our own adjudication process. We’ve recently implemented some new efficiencies that mean we are manually reviewing 3% fewer applications. By using Checkr’s Adjudication Matrix, we made some real changes to our matrix. We preset the charges that have no relevance to the role. This really cuts through the weeds. It allows us to not waste any more time looking at things that are not pertinent to our business. It’s resulted in fewer applicants to manually review each month.
4. What are some other ways you’re striving to improve efficiencies?
With Checkr’s mobile integrations, our applicants are able to complete the background check through our app. It’s a safety feature for them, and it also means that HONK’s onboarding process is done completely through our app. Our applicants complete their background checks and see their status at the end. We’ve also brought our turnaround time down from 2-3 weeks to under 24 hours in the majority of cases. We’ve seen a 20% increase in applicant conversion and a 25% decrease in our need to answer inbound inquiries regarding background checks.
As a result of our improved processes with Checkr, we’ve been able to repurpose some of our compliance team members and focus them on marketing and ways to grow our business. The way the company was growing, we’ve had a big focus being on marketing, especially in 2020. Our marketing team needed to grow to help the business in general. So, 2 people moved over to that team and are able to do some great work. And we saved on having to create 2 new positions.
We’re also looking forward to Checkr Protect, which essentially blocks certain Social Security numbers from applying if we determine a person should not be on our platform anymore. And to Checkr Assess, which will help us with more efficient bulk screening.
5. What industry trends are you keeping your eye on that may affect how quickly you’re able to hire or scale?
The major one is that a lot of insurance companies are getting out of underwriting tow insurance completely. The major insurer in California is backing out of the market currently. So, we’re seeing a drop in applicant numbers because companies just can’t insure their business. It’s risky, but not a lot of insurers have the data to correctly analyze the risk. We are looking to UBI (usage based insurance) data to help the industry get a grasp on how to best underwrite these types of policies and create a thriving and competitive marketplace.
Interested in learning more about how HONK partners with Checkr to optimize their onboarding workflow during a pandemic? Watch the webinar on-demand here.
Andrea Hall is Director of Marketplace Operations at HONK.