In talent acquisition, technology helps you automate key processes for posting positions, evaluating candidates, and onboarding. The platform you likely use daily, your applicant tracking system (ATS), helps you manage the bulk of your recruiting activities without having to deal with mounds of paper résumés and applications. 

According to Glassdoor, the average job opening attracts 250 résumés. Your ATS is the primary tool for helping you find the one in 250 who will be your next hire. When you integrate your ATS with your background check provider, you can complete background checks with greater efficiency and quickly move candidates from conditional offer to hire.

With some careful planning and a trusted background screening partner, you can integrate your ATS and background screening processes seamlessly. Thereafter, you will enjoy a hiring process designed for greater efficiency and a better candidate experience. 

The Benefits of ATS and Background Check Integration

Nearly all organizations conduct background checks, and many also use an ATS. According to a 2020 survey from the Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA), 94 percent of organizations conduct employment background checks. In addition, 98 percent of Fortune 500 companies and 40 percent of companies overall use an ATS. 

Your ATS and background check process are already working side by side in the recruiting process. Candidate data flows through both, so integrating them just makes sense. In fact, the more your background screening process integrates with your ATS, the more you can achieve a robust and productive hiring process. The benefits of integrating background screening with your ATS include:

  • Improved productivity: Integration allows you to set up data flows directly from your ATS to your background check provider, reducing double-entry and manual data transfers. With the help of dashboards to see where candidates are in the background check process, you can take action more quickly and improve your time to hire. 
  • Better compliance: Consistent use of required background check disclosure forms and signed authorization forms supports a compliant background screening program. Integration with your ATS helps you keep better track of forms and makes them easier to store and access when needed.
  • Well-informed hiring decisions: Integration provides a more complete view of a candidate, helping you avoid going back and forth between the ATS and your background screening company. In one convenient location, you can access all the candidate data you need to finalize the hiring process, including background screening results, interview notes, and candidate contact details. 

7 Tips to Support a Successful Integration

Integrating your background screening processes with your ATS is more than a technical exercise. Sure, it requires some work to get two systems to speak to each other, but there are also steps you can take to realize all the benefits of integrating. Here are seven actions you can take to unite your background screening program with your ATS:

Involve all stakeholders.

While HR manages the hiring process, other stakeholders should weigh in with their ideas and questions before and during the integration. Staff from legal, compliance, and other functions in the organization can help you examine “what-if” and worst-case scenarios, so you can proactively address possible obstacles. Your stakeholders can also help you flesh out your objectives and requirements for fully integrating your background screening provider into your hiring process.  

Know what processes will benefit from integration.

When you clearly outline the purpose of integrating, you can have a better sense of success after integration has occurred. After all, the integration only makes sense if you can see the benefits. The following are some examples of the workflows you can expect to improve after integrating:

  • Completing disclosures and authorizations
  • Requesting candidate background checks
  • Generating status reports
  • Storing background check reports and forms
  • Adverse action processes

Keep it all in the cloud.

Desktop integrations can lead to downtime for system updates and upgrades. They also limit who can access background screening data. When you integrate cloud-based background screening technology with your ATS, you get 24/7 anywhere access to your candidate background screening data. Candidates can also send and receive information about their background check, helping to cut down on email and phone tag.

[INFOGRAPHIC] Key factors to consider when comparing background screening  service providers »

Understand security protocols.

Your ATS already holds sensitive candidate data, and the need for data security is even greater once you integrate background check information. Social security numbers, home addresses, and phone numbers are just a few of the personal details you need to keep secure. As you get familiar with the ways your ATS will sync with background screening data, make sure the integration prioritizes data security and you have the protocols in place to protect candidate information.

Know how the integration will work.

You’re not a developer, but you should still have a practical understanding of how candidate recruitment and background screening data will integrate. For example, you’ll want to understand if the integration with your ATS will rely on data exchange in batches, or if data from your background check provider will flow automatically to your ATS. With a true integration, you’ll have a real-time view of background screening results and won’t have to wait for the next batch upload.

Understand the impact on candidates.

When your background screening provider is as committed to improving the candidate experience as you are, you can expect your integration to deliver a better experience for candidates. According to an IBM study, a positive candidate experience makes a person 38 percent more likely to accept a job offer. You don’t want a frustrating background check experience to be the reason you lose a good candidate. The following services and features will help you make the background check process easier and faster for candidates:

  • Candidate data from the ATS will populate background check forms, so candidates won’t have to fill out new forms or re-enter the information they’ve previously supplied.
  • Electronic disclosure and authorizations make it easy to inform candidates about background checks and get their consent.
  • Mobile access and paperless drug-screening help candidates find testing sites in their area and schedule appointments.

Review existing processes periodically.

The integration of your ATS with your background check provider shouldn’t be a set-and-forget exercise. Over time, you’ll need to keep track of legislative changes and opportunities to improve workflows, making periodic reviews a necessity. Regular reviews of your background screening program will also help you understand where the integration is working for you and where additional tweaks might be needed. Your background screening provider will have the opportunity to audit your overall program, coordinate system upgrades, and help you deepen the impact of your background screening activities over time.

Integrate Your ATS and Background Check Provider for Hiring Success

In today’s competitive job market, your background screening process needs to be designed for maximum efficiency and compliance with federal and state law, so you can make great hires with minimum delay. By integrating your background check provider with your ATS, you can simplify hiring workflows and make it easier for candidates to undergo background checks. 

When you select the right provider, you get the benefit of accurate background checks, responsive support, and services to help you improve your hiring process. Access our infographic to learn more about what to look for in your background screening provider.

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