Calling all HR professionals. Please have a read and give us your view


As a recruiter you need to balance, risk, cost and candidate experience. You need to get the role filled, but you need to ensure that you have conducted the background checks in line with policy. Some checks such as an employment reference can really be hard to obtain – some taking weeks to get in full, and if you find the candidate has gaps, what do you do then? It is like starting all over! You need the candidate to start, but you can’t until the screening is completed.- So what’s the answer?

After years of stagnation, recruitment is evolving and fast. Simplicity and speed are desired by both the employer and candidate. We have seen the digitisation and automation of key areas of the screening process. But you can only be as quick as your slowest part and that is referencing. So what might the future of employment reference look like?

A long-engrained emphasis was placed on a traditional employment reference. A previous employer was actually asked, “Did they work here”, “in what job”, “where they any good”? Over recent years that’s all changed, so much so has an Employment reference actually become a time and date stamp?. You could argue it is just a data check now, right?

There is no longer a subjective view, or unconscious bias from a previous employer. So why do we need to ask them for the information? Most of the information comes from HR departments, who don’t have the time to deal with such information requests. So your waiting for something no one has time to prioritise and the same information is available elsewhere.!

As a product person I spoke to our HR team and sensed their frustration on obtaining and giving employment references, this seems to be shared by many I have spoken to in the market. So I asked myself can traditional manual referencing be replaced by data. Of course it can, the data is out there, but so are the barriers to using it. Be it HMRC, payroll or open banking all the information is there, but how would you as an employer use that data to support your recruitment journey?

At Experian we aim to digitise and automate the screening process using the power of data and technology. My role as a product manager is to break down those barriers and create something you all want to use. But we cant do it without your help.

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Post tagged in: Employment Checks