Background Check Technology: Proprietary vs. Off-the-Shelf
When you’re considering which background screening provider is right for your organization, the technology the provider uses matters more to your screening and hiring process than you might think.
If your provider uses background check technology built off of a template designed for several other companies, it may feel like your organization’s needs are being forced to fit into a cookie-cutter solution created for someone else. Conversely, when you work with a screening provider with proprietary background check technology, you’re getting responsive functionality and customization with your needs in mind—and this is just one of the many benefits.
Differences Between Proprietary and Off-the-Shelf Screening Technology
Proprietary background screening technology is built to meet the needs of the screening provider’s clients: you. Therefore, your needs and expectations drive the processes, functionality, and capability of the technology and not the other way around.
Processes and Functionality
By creating a solution that conforms to the realities of the hiring process and incorporates the candidate experience, a screening company with proprietary technology can offer scalability, speed, integrations, and customizations to support your screening and hiring process as it evolves. Instead of dealing with clunky work flows designed for other screening companies, you have the benefit of functionality created with your hiring process in mind.
On the other hand, off-the-shelf background check technology is built to meet the needs of multiple screening companies. All of the system’s processes and functionality are designed to address as many common needs as possible, leaving little room to address the unique needs of employers and candidates. The tech firm behind the software drives how customers interact with candidates, not employers or end-users.
If you work with a provider who uses off-the-shelf screening technology, it can feel like some completely unrelated third party is deciding what you need in background screening support. This is because, with off-the-shelf solutions, one size must fit all. The end-user experience is not designed to meet the needs of individual clients, but the needs of a mass of screening companies whose challenges and needs vary.
Programming and Updates
Also, because off-the-shelf tech solutions are driven by third-party developers and not by actual screening company clients, those platforms can become so automation-obsessed that the human element—judgment, insights, expert advice—can be lost. In an attempt to satisfy several screening companies, off-the-shelf screening technology can be cluttered with too many features, which often makes the user experience overwhelming and hard to navigate.
If your screening provider uses off-the-shelf technology, it is likely to be one of many tech company clients waiting for a solution or upgrade from the system developer. Because you are not the direct customer, it’s possible any of your requests for system enhancements or customizations may be ignored, because there haven’t been enough similar requests from other companies.
Benefits of Proprietary Background Check Technology
According to a Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) study, it takes an average of 42 days to fill an open position. You don’t want it to take even longer because of inefficient or rigid screening technology.
Whether you make dozens of hires each year or hundreds, you need to operate an efficient hiring and screening process that works well for your talent acquisition team and candidates. The last thing you need is to feel like your background check technology is working against you rather than for you.
When you work with a screening provider using proprietary technology to offer greater accuracy and value in pre-employment background screening, drug screening, and workforce monitoring, the technology is designed to conform to your needs and expectations. Here are the key benefits you can expect from your screening provider’s proprietary background screening platform:
No Automation for Automation’s Sake
Proprietary screening technology recognizes the synergy of innovative technology with the human component. As a result, the technology doesn’t work alone, and you don’t have to change your hiring process to match the technology. Rather, proprietary technology is a tool to support your existing processes and automate workflows where it makes sense for your hiring and screening program.
A trusted background screening partner will leverage technology and time-tested expertise to enhance your screening program instead of bombarding you with automation tech you don’t need. You don’t need to wade through a jumble of features that aren’t relevant to your organization. Instead, proprietary screening technology is designed to conform to your automation needs and preferences.
Because proprietary background check technology is built to meet the needs of employers, upgrades and other changes are more targeted and take less time to implement. A screening company in control of its own technology can also pivot quickly to accommodate system changes due to legislation affecting background screening.
For example, a screening provider using proprietary technology could quickly reconfigure your screening system to take into account changes in the following state laws:
A Direct Line of Communication to Meet Client Needs
When working with your screening provider’s proprietary technology, you can make requests and discuss the feasibility of systems changes directly. Unlike working with a provider with an off-the-shelf solution, where requests have to be delivered up the chain to a third-party development team, a screening provider with proprietary technology has in-house development teams who collaborate and deliver a technology solution directly to you.
The background screening solutions you rely on today may not be the same ones you’ll need in the future. Proprietary screening technology solutions are designed specifically to your needs and can scale to support your organization and hiring process as they expand.
Proprietary technology allows for customization more readily to match variations in your hiring and screening practices across geographies and job functions. For example, the technology can operate with built-in rules for managing criminal history searches and verifications according to job type. This capability supports your HR and talent acquisition process efficiency, and it can also help you meet your goals for a superior candidate experience.
Proprietary technology can support a complex background screening program with hundreds—or even thousands—of hires. It can accommodate seamless integrations to help you screen individuals across multiple functions, locations, and job categories. For example, proprietary technology can quickly flex to help you incorporate contingent workforce screening and continuous monitoring into your existing screening program. You can also easily configure proprietary technology to apply pre-selected background and drug screening services to candidates in specific job types.
With an off-the-shelf solution, you could end up waiting weeks to see if the necessary customization is even possible. But a provider with a proprietary system can begin work immediately on a custom integration to address your needs.
Improve Your Pre-Employment Background Screening Capability
Among the many characteristics differentiating an exceptional background screening company from the others is integrated, smart technology. But it’s not just the technology that offers value to your hiring and screening process. A great provider develops technology geared to address your needs, and combines the tech with judgment, effort, and expertise to help you manage hiring risks and run an efficient hiring process.
To be truly effective, your screening provider’s background screening technology should seamlessly weave into your hiring processes to help you achieve your goals. To learn more about other ways to compare background screening providers and technology, download our “Competitor Comparison” infographic.