Fair Chance Hiring: 5 Ways Checkr is Furthering Our Mission

May 29, 2020
Checkr Editor

Our mission at Checkr is to build a fairer future by improving our understanding of the past. In other words, we believe all candidates, regardless of who they are, should have a fair chance to work. Recently, one of our partners asked to learn more about our mission and how we work to transform traditional background checks to better serve our community. Here’s what we had to say:

1. We believe in changing perspectives through education.

We know empathy and understanding are at the heart of how people even know to question their processes, so we’ve worked to build educational content that explains fair chance hiring and how companies can put it into practice. We run Reentry Simulations for ourselves and our customers to build empathy for people who have been system-impacted. We’re also strong proponents of fair chance hiring ourselves—in fact, 6% of our employee base was hired through our fair chance program and have conviction histories—and have experienced its benefits firsthand.

2. We create and offer tools for companies to implement fairness and eliminate bias in decision making.

Crucial to this work is giving people the ability to ignore irrelevant information when they review background checks. The law requires employers to consider the relevancy of criminal record data for each and every job. It’s both compliant and fair to only focus on the records that matter for each job, as well as how long ago the charge occurred. Here’s an example. For a ride sharing company, it would be a problem if a candidate has an expired license. However, that same person might be a great fit for a job in an office where their driving license is irrelevant to a desk job. Through our Assess adjudication suite, we give customers the ability to remove irrelevant charges from the background check for each job.

We’re continuing to build on this matrix and are working to help customers put legal guidance from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission into action with the click of a button.

3. We aim to give candidates control of their own data.

We know that blanket policies configured in our technology will help customers dramatically reduce the number of reports that require manual review and promote fairness, but there will always be situations that require a closer look. That’s why we created the Candidate Stories product to easily collect information from candidates to supplement background check data with personal stories and context about the candidate, their accomplishments, and their skills that are left out of county court records and DMV records. Candidate Stories depict who a candidate is today and helps an employer make better decisions about who to hire.

We also work to correct data when needed to constantly improve the information on file about candidates. Perhaps a record that was supposed to be dismissed keeps showing up. For these situations, we have a robust dispute process and a candidate support team to help fix incorrect information in legal records. The background check process can be scary and individuals often call or email with questions around the process or their results. Our Candidate Experience Team makes sure to answer each of these questions with empathy and thoughtfulness. For records that legally should be expunged, we are building the most affordable and efficient expungement service. New legislation legalizing marijuana and requiring old marijuana records be expunged is exciting, but unfortunately it’s not easy to automatically get rid of those records. To help, Checkr partners with Lawyaw to expedite that process for candidates to clear those records for good.

4. We seek other opportunities to connect candidates to employment.

In this time of COVID-19, we are working to ensure that candidates denied employment because of their background check still have the opportunity to find work elsewhere. We believe that there is a job for everyone who is ready to work.

5. We evaluate our products and their impact.

We are working to measure the societal impact of our products and to prevent disparate negative impact for historically disadvantaged communities. We believe in holding ourselves accountable and understanding the impact our work has on the world.

We know that background checks represent a complicated and nuanced area in employment, and we are committed to pushing the boundaries of how background check companies and their data inform the hiring process to become more fair, inclusive, and informed by the best data and research around.

If you’re interested in learning more about our mission, please visit https://checkr.com/company/mission

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