Navigate Covid-19 Hiring Obstacles with Automated Background Checks

The coronavirus outbreak is having an immeasurable impact on businesses around the globe. Many companies have been forced to shut their doors and lay off employees as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. At the same time, some industries are seeing a rising demand in business triggered by product shortages, a growing need for essential goods or services, and shifting buying habits tied to the coronavirus crisis.

Many retail organizations, for example, now need to quickly hire and conduct background checks on thousands of new workers to keep pace with accelerating product demand. Grocery store chains, fulfillment centers for online retailers, convenience stores, delivery companies, pharmacies, and other retailers are hiring new workers at record rates.

Time is of the essence in this new hiring scenario, but many recruiters are concerned about a significant obstacle to conducting fast background screens of prospective workers: Some court systems have shut down as a result of Covid-19, making it difficult to quickly access criminal records.

Companies shouldn’t have to trade safety for hiring speed amid the Covid-19 crisis. Technology can play a big part in helping with this. Consolidated technology strategies that combine automation with the capabilities of artificial intelligence can optimize the accuracy, quality, and speed of background reports. Such a strategy enables Sterling to return 70% of criminal record searches within one hour, and over 90% in one day.

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After workers have been screened and hired, they then need to be onboarded. Some of that onboarding will be taking place on a remote basis as well. Here are some best practices to ensure a smooth process:

  • Securely email paperwork and onboarding forms to new hires using e-signature platforms. Mail hardware like laptops, headphones, and other equipment directly to their homes.
  • Set up “get to know you” video conferences with team members. Making new hires feel welcome and accepted takes on new importance without in-person contact. One-on-one calls with managers or group video conferences help people bond and feel a part of their new company. Creating separate online channels or group chats for new hires also can help introduce them to company culture.
  • Ensure new hires understand how their role fits into the bigger picture by providing a broad company overview followed by specific information on their jobs. Include information on company structure, resources to answer new hires’ most pressing questions, and an overview of products and services. While these measures are taken even when it’s business as usual, the current pandemic has highlighted the need to address a personalized approach, such as assigning an “onboarding buddy” who can point the new hire in the right direction for specific support.

Now is the time for all of us to pull together to ensure the population stays healthy, that people safely receive the essential goods and services they need, and to do whatever is possible to help businesses stay afloat in this most challenging of times.

Because the situation is changing daily, it’s imperative to stay informed as much as possible. Be sure to check out how to clear a path for Background screening amid Covid-19 for real-time updates.

Vincenza Caruso-Valente

Vincenza Caruso-Valente
Vincenza Caruso-Valente is general manager, retail and staffing, Sterling. Find her on LinkedIn.

Vincenza Caruso-Valente

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