Checkr recently hosted a webinar with The Davis Companies, a manufacturing, engineering, and technical staffing and recruitment agency that helps leading companies find top talent. Checkr’s Head of Industry Strategy & Market Development, Scott Jennings, spoke with Claire Gibree, HR Manager at The Davis Companies to tackle the unique challenges recruiters face in today’s labor market, and how companies can use technology to increase efficiency and improve outcomes for candidates. Today, we’re sharing five key takeaways from the event.
Before we get into the details of the webinar, let’s explore some of the complexities that make recruiting during the Great Resignation such a challenge for talent acquisition leaders.
The hiring landscape in 2022
Recruiting teams are navigating a continuous hiring crisis that began escalating with the COVID-19 pandemic. Financial issues for many companies caused large-scale layoffs and unemployment. When companies began to hire in earnest again, they were faced with new challenges brought on by the state of the labor market, a tumultuous economy, and sky-high inflation.
These issues have morphed into an unprecedented hiring crisis. There are about two jobs open for every one unemployed candidate. One million Americans have died due to COVID-19 since the pandemic began, and another 3.5 million people have entered retirement or early retirement in the last two years.
About 40% of employees surveyed in a recent Checkr report said they plan to leave their current job within the next year or two. These factors make for a labor environment in which companies and recruiters are required to get creative to find new talent and retain current employees. In their discussion, Scott and Claire break down some of the strategies The Davis Companies employ to strengthen their recruitment process and build strong candidate relationships.
Here are five key takeaways from the webinar.
1. Building relationships
Scott and Claire agreed one of the most important strategies that can set recruiters apart in today’s labor market is building strong relationships with candidates. “It’s a really exciting time to be in staffing because we’re really partnering with our candidates to help find the right fit for them,” said Claire.
She continued, “What really sets us apart is the relationship building—making sure that our recruiters have a personal relationship with the people in their candidate pool.” Strong recruiter-candidate relationships can make all the difference in outcomes. Relationships don’t just create a sense of camaraderie and loyalty between job-seekers and recruiters; they also ensure that recruiters know what’s important to the candidates they support. Having a clear picture of someone’s daily needs and work priorities gives recruiters an advantage in finding the position that will work best for an individual candidate.
Relationship building is not only a solid foundation for optimizing the candidate experience, but it’s also a great strategy for employee retention. As Scott pointed out during the webinar, the labor crisis can be seen from two angles: difficulty recruiting and difficulty retaining existing employees. Successful navigation of this crisis requires strategies that can address both of these issues.
Devoting time and resources to strengthening relationships with existing employees is one way to prevent turnover. Leadership should offer employees opportunities to share their feedback and voice concerns. Listening and taking meaningful, supportive action is a great way to make sure employees feel valued and heard at work.
2. Envisioning possibilities for candidates
Another way recruiters can stand out is to commit to working for the best possible results for their candidates. Making the recruitment process candidate-centric can improve the job search and onboarding experience for job-seekers—which is particularly important in an environment where there are an abundance of jobs and not enough applications to fill those roles. In today’s competitive hiring environment, recruiters need to prioritize the envisioning of multiple outcomes for candidates looking for work.
For example, let’s say a candidate's background check comes back and requires further review. Perhaps there’s something that may prevent them from being placed in certain jobs. A candidate-centric process requires the recruiter to work to help them find opportunities elsewhere, or find a new avenue that fits their skills and background.
As Claire stated, “[Using the Checkr background check system] gives us the opportunity, if we’re not able to work with them, to consult with them and talk about what their future opportunities could be. We may talk about what the restrictions are with regard to how long certain things stay on your background, or even what they might be able to look into that may not be as restrictive.”
3. Improving efficiency in the hiring process
By now, we’ve all adapted our workflows to fit around the inconveniences and risks of COVID-19. While the hiring process requires a certain amount of time, it’s important to take a step back, review processes, and find opportunities to improve speed without sacrificing accuracy.
Claire mentioned that The Davis Companies have found strategies to improve efficiency in the hiring process to the benefit of both their clients and the candidates they work with. One technique they use is pre-screening candidates with background checks and drug tests as they work to find a viable position. Doing so reduces the time to hire, which is a priority for both clients and candidates.
Claire also spoke about how The Davis Companies integrates the Checkr solution with other HR technology to provide the best and most efficient candidate experience possible. “We created a single sign-on point for the candidates where they sign in to one place and they’re able to complete all of their onboarding paperwork, do part one of their I9, upload their IDs, kick off their background check, and select a drug screening location—all in one spot through one unique link,” commented Claire. She continued, “It takes candidates way less time.”
She also mentioned that the Checkr-enabled single sign-on is mobile friendly, which is key because many people only have access to a smartphone and may not be able to access a laptop or desktop computer.
4. Leveraging technology to expand opportunities
Technology doesn’t just improve efficiency in hiring—it also opens up new opportunities for candidates who might have otherwise been overlooked. The Davis Companies use Checkr to run comprehensive background checks on employers, contractors, and candidates. One of the ways Checkr is working to improve access to work is by making background checks more fair.
The Checkr background check process includes a component called Candidate Stories, which allows candidates to describe, explain, and contextualize any details on their background check that they want a potential employer to know. This feature returns agency to candidates and can expand the job options available to them. “At Checkr, we’ve classified all of those categories of [justice system] charges in our machine learning models, and that’s where we’re able to produce some efficiencies in terms of turnaround time,” Scott shared.
Scott and Claire also discussed Better Future, a program from Checkr that allows candidates to run a background check on themselves for free. With a clear picture of what a background check might show to a potential employer, candidates can be more strategic in their applications or even pursue options to expunge certain older charges from their record.
5. Fostering transparency and fairness in hiring
In this job-seekers’ market, candidates increasingly expect better transparency in the hiring process—and rightly so. For too long, recruitment, hiring, and background checks have been confusing and opaque to the average candidate searching for a new job.
Employers and recruiters can offer candidates transparency in a variety of ways. One step The Davis Companies has taken is making an effort to educate candidates about what happens in a background check and how long it might take. After all, our research has found that just 42% of candidates know what is involved in a background check. “It’s about making sure we prepare both our candidates and our clients and say ‘Look, this is how long this takes, this is why it takes so much time,’ Claire says. “We want to make sure everyone in every step of the process is educated about it and knows what to expect.”
The Davis Companies uses an internal adjudication team to make sure the background check process stays fair, and Checkr for background checks to give candidates the opportunity to contextualize their history. Using the same easy-to-use, accessible system for everyone is one way employers can improve fairness in the hiring process.
Hiring is challenging during the best of times, and the Great Resignation hasn’t made this difficult task any easier. Recruiters face many challenges, but connecting with candidates using thoughtful and accessible technology can improve outcomes for all.
Learn more about adapting your hiring strategy to the Great Resignation in the webinar here, or by clicking below.