5 Questions with Brandon Simmons of Allied Global Services
Allied Global Services is a multi-disciplined, specialized, recruiting firm serving leading companies across Kansas and Missouri. Through transformative technology, Allied delivers exceptional experiences for candidates and clients.
1. Tell us about how Allied Global Services achieves efficiency with your volume of background checks.
We currently run approximately 300 background checks per month. Now, with the launch of our on-demand staffing platform, AlliedWorks, we see that number significantly increasing in the coming weeks and months.
From an efficiency standpoint, we’ve been able to reduce turnaround times from an average of two to three days to under a minute and a half, which has significantly increased efficiencies in our workflow. It's helped us put people to work faster, which impacts the bottom-line revenue of our business. The efficiency of moving all parts of the business into one background check tool has enabled significant process improvements and allowed all areas, from front office (due to Bullhorn integration) to back office budgeting, billing, and A/P to function with clarity. Our time-to-hire rate has gone from days in some areas and multiple hours in others to (best case) under 5 minutes. 95% are back in less than 5 hours.
For us, it was really important to find a partner that integrated into our existing environment, which is Bullhorn. We needed a partner who had open APIs that we could plug in and really integrate their systems with our existing ATS. Checkr, by far, blew those all the other partners away with its features and forward-looking technology approach. Checkr, from the very beginning, was there with us through the implementation, design, and build, providing best practices to us, listening to where our challenges were, and then providing best-in-class solutions for those challenges.
2. Can you say more about what you mean by “transformative technology?”
We follow a digital transformation process throughout our entire company. And that really guides who we are and what we do, the decisions we make to try to centralize processes and create workflows that are efficient—all that creates great experiences for the people. For us, being a technology-centric company means looking at best practice of how to integrate new technologies into existing systems and create efficiencies and workflows. Before, we had a very decentralized business model. It created silos and issues with efficiencies and reporting. We were really looking for a partner that would come in and help us centralize all those things back together and really move forward. Checkr was that partner because of their focus on technology.
3. How do you deliver exceptional experiences to your candidates, clients, and teammates?
We focus on each piece of the process for all involved. We need to make it easy for candidates to find and engage with us. Technology on the candidate side has to be easy to use and create communication experiences that are unique and put the power in the users’ hands.
For clients, we need to provide tools to make it easy to work with us and cutting-edge technology that allows faster delivery to market and significantly increased fill rates. Speed to market is the most critical component for both candidates and clients in filling opportunities, all while also creating space to build genuine relationships. Without relationships and opportunities, placements remain singular and do not provide any “stickiness” for candidates to continually work for your company.
Technology like Checkr assists us in that process by creating efficiencies to do more things quickly while delivering a quality candidate experience. One differentiator that Checkr had was helping clients make unbiased hiring decisions.
4. What are some ways Allied assists clients with making the best, unbiased hiring decisions?
Setting up client profiles is key here. Background information, if not relevant to the role and compliance with company policy, is no longer shared with clients, in order for them to not make arbitrary decisions. We present information like we do to our end users, either it is good, or it does not pass, or an internal adjudicator makes a decision based in facts, but not opinion or bias. Most of the roles we deal with are contract assignments and there is potential for those candidates to go permanent with the client. So, if we can assure clients of the steps that are being taken to keep them in compliance, but also remove bias where the candidate performance on the job is the deciding factor, then everyone has a chance to play equally and win.
5. You have an exciting new initiative called InclusionWorks. Can you share some details about this commitment to second-chance hiring?
InclusionWorks is an end-to-end solution that helps to educate businesses on best practices for engaging disenfranchised populations (individuals with disabilities, veterans, fair chance candidates, as well as immigrant populations.)
For our clients, this is an opening of a new talent pool that they have not worked with previously. Most of the time, companies aren't prepared to work with people that have disabilities, or veterans, or second chance hires who all really need an atmosphere for success. Our 360 approach from consultation all the way to delivering the talent really prepares our clients for success.
InclusionWorks is also a solution for candidates that actively seeks out barriers to employment and helps candidates overcome as many as we can, including employer bias, fear, or even blemished backgrounds. Checkr has helped us in so many different ways to execute InclusionWorks principals within our organization as well as for our clients. The Checkr platform is incredibly user friendly and fast. We are able to engage our candidates at any time through the platform in a very intuitive manner for the candidate. Once the candidate submits the required validation, Checkr is incredibly fast and accurate. We receive some results in seconds which helps us employ individuals very quickly with a full understanding of their backgrounds.
But I believe one of Checkr’s strongest assets is their ability to train users and employers. The Learning Center has allowed us to efficiently train our staff on everything from the basics of background checks to understanding Fair Chance hiring. We have multiple stories of our businesses actually tightening up their ‘look back windows’ to shorten the time frames they are looking at criminal histories. This, in turn, allows a larger pool of candidates into competition for open positions. This is a win-win-win for all.
Brandon Simmons is Vice President of Innovation and Experience at Allied Global Services.