5 Questions with Brad Talwar and Brian Gill of TalentBurst
TalentBurst is one of the largest tech-enabled Employer Of Record (EOR) platforms for human capital talent management. With the legacy of a technology and engineering staffing firm, TalentBurst has evolved into servicing global talent clouds for high-hazard workforces, supporting independent contractor validation and compliance, and global workforces for organizations across the U.S. and Canada.
1. Tell us a little about the companies and workers you hire for.
Brad: TalentBurst’s Global Talent Cloud (GTC) division supports non-traditional worker populations that work in either multiple hazardous work environments including Life Sciences supply chain, Pharma/Drug R&D or drug/device assembly, distribution centers, warehouses or any kind of supply chain delivery, logistics, or data center. We work with several biotech and life-sciences companies that use our workers to manufacture drugs—most recently COVID-19 test kits. These workers can be in environments where there might be toxins, pathogens, blood, animals, pressurized gases, and chemicals. They often have to sanitize sensitive equipment or lab spaces and wear PPE. For these High Hazard customers, we often hire workers in bulk and our onboarding team uses Checkr to reduce our time to onboard, decrease fall offs during onboarding and get these workers working onsite at our clients in the quickest possible timeframe.
2. Which part of the hiring and onboarding process has the biggest influence on whether a candidate has a positive experience?
Brian: Our goal as a staffing agency and an Employer of Record is to create a simple, streamlined hiring process for all workers. The simpler and more efficient it is, the better will be their overall hiring experience. To enable this simplified hiring process, we have tried to reduce the total number of “touchpoints” in our onboarding technology stack. In January of 2019 we launched a UI driven onboarding portal that integrated several different technology products with Checkr background checks functioning as the core of this stack. As a result, we have been able to reduce our employee turnover during onboarding by 27%. Checkr is enabling us to book more revenue and improve the overall experience for all new employees and contractors.
3. How do you maintain efficiencies with your high volume?
Brad: We’ve been using Checkr to minimize cycle time for onboarding. And Checkr has been great because we can run background checks that previously took 5-7 days in as little as 30 seconds now. Our candidate experience used to previously take 3 days to complete a full onboarding cycle. Now, some of our high-velocity-hiring employees can actually start and complete a self-service onboarding in less than 5 minutes.
We’re able to hire larger workforces with less manual intervention, which means lower overhead costs, and a better experience for all our employees. This is translating to lower turnover during onboarding, higher booked revenue and improved customer satisfaction.
Prior to our introduction to Checkr, we had semi-disjointed technology stacks. We had to run background checks manually, outside of our onboarding portal. Once we were able to integrate Checkr, it became a central point within our technology stack that helped us integrate the front end (the new-hire employee experience) with the backend (payment processing, payroll, benefits) and create this wonderfully integrated front-to-back technology stack.
4. What are some of the benefits you’ve seen as a result of these new efficiencies?
Brian: Because everything in Checkr is done through technology, our team can log in 7×24 to get a status update. If there are any changes or status updates, the system sends us a notification or alert. So, if a candidate is not scheduled to start in the near term but we get a notification that their background check has cleared, we are able to notify them and get them started ahead of schedule. This has happened on three separate occasions where we notified candidates that were supposed to start in two weeks. However, when it cleared at midnight, our team notified the candidate, who said, “sure, I’ll be there,” and reported to work the next morning. This does not happen with any of the other background check companies that tend to use a more traditional notification system via email or online. With Checkr, our contractors start working for us quicker, which means they generate revenue sooner.
Additionally, during our candidate satisfaction surveys that we run after a candidate starts a new assignment, we realized that we were getting a higher retention rate because of the technology integration with the Checkr platform. Our integration reduced the amount of information and keystrokes that new employees were entering, allowing the technology to pre-populate the candidate information in I9, W4 and Background Check forms, among others. This led to higher candidate satisfaction thereby reducing candidate turnover.
5. What are some of the biggest needs you see for hiring and onboarding in the staffing industry?
Brian: Starting 2020, the regulatory framework is changing very quickly. For example, California just passed Assembly Bill 5 (AB-5), which impacts independent contractors. AB5 is now law which means that several gig economy companies cannot employ workers as ICs but rather have to classify them as W2 contractors and pay them benefits. California has set the course that the rest of the country including New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts will follow implementing similar regulatory policies. Some companies are fighting it, but several smaller companies have chosen to move to a W-2 platform, and that’s where we come in.
We use our high velocity technology stack to support the hiring for all our gig-economy customers. This stack uses Checkr at its core and has enabled us to hire large numbers of incumbent workers. We call this bulk hiring as a “lift and shift,” during this bulk hiring we hire anywhere between 500 to 2000 workers within a very expedited time frame. Additionally, most of these high-velocity-hiring customers have workforces with strict compliance requirements around background checks, motor vehicle (MVR) checks, as well as overall compliance checks and e-verification for authorization to work in the U.S. Also, in the ever-changing regulatory environment at both the state and the federal level, when it comes to wages per hour as well as employee rights, worker qualification, and worker classifications, Checkr has been integral in helping us ensure full compliance with all the federal, state and local laws.
Brad Talwar is co-founder and CEO of TalentBurst. Brian Gill is co-founder and COO of TalentBurst.