A year in the life of the labor market is like a roller coaster ride.
Starting around April, the coaster begins climbing as graduation approaches and hiring picks up, hitting a peak in June. Hiring drops off precipitously after that, only to start climbing again in the fall. As budgets run out in November and December, it’s back down the hill for an extended flat period before hiring resumes in the new fiscal year.
When hiring spikes, so does the demand for pre-employment background screening, including resume verification. For CRAs and background screening companies, this creates a troublesome staffing challenge.
The tough choices for CRAs boil down to:
- Maintaining year-round the staff needed to avoid verification backlogs during the hiring spikes
- Keeping a smaller full-time staff and bringing in temporary workers when demand is high
- Relinquishing in-house control and outsourcing all verifications work
Neither option is ideal. Few businesses can afford to pay more staff than they require to be productive — not to mention the cost of benefits, office space, and equipment.
As for temporary employees, suffice it to say, employment verification is not a temp-friendly role. The typical CRA’s onboarding process for new verification team members can last as long as eight weeks.
And with regard to relinquishing control, that only feels comfortable if a partner delivers the scale and metrics that provide the knowledge that you’re getting a service that outperforms what you could have done yourself.
CRAs need a solution that lets them ride the yearly employment roller coaster without getting thrown off. Some CRAs may be looking for a way to outsource verifications altogether to focus internal resources on more profitable services. Whatever your business needs require, the answer is to partner with a data provider with the scale, technology, and processes to take on your verification orders, regardless of volume, at a moment’s notice while delivering the turnaround time, accuracy, and customization your end-users demand.
Why a third-party verifications data provider can do what your CRA can’t
If your background screening company hasn’t solved the seasonality problem, you might wonder how an outsourced provider would be any different.
It’s a fair question. But the right data partner can operate at much higher levels of scale and flexibility than the typical CRA. Here’s why:
1. Advanced call center technology
One of the reasons resume verification is so difficult to scale is because every end-user mandates their own specific calling pattern. Your verification team members must learn and execute — to the letter— each new customer’s requirements regarding how often to call a source, how much time to leave in between calls, and even what to say.
As the orders pile up, the complexity of managing multiple customized calling patterns grows, and efficiency can drop.
The best third-party verification data providers overcome this challenge with technology.
If you’ve ever observed a modern call center, you’ve probably noticed that the calling process is entirely automated. Behind-the-scenes technology routes calls to individual callers according to pre-programmed patterns. When a connection is made, callers simply have to read scripts off their screens; drop-down menus keep the conversations on track.
The same technology powers the most effective background screening data providers. Complex, client-specific calling patterns are coded into the system. So, from a researcher’s perspective, one call is the same as another. Callers can shift efficiency from call to call without stopping to consult documentation — everything they need is fed directly to them in the moment.
2. Optimized training
Earlier, we pointed out that the average new verification employee can take up to eight weeks to reach full production. Most of that time is spent learning the calling system, the various customized requirements for different end-users, and how to answer any of the countless responses sources might provide.
The state-of-the-art call center technology we just described can shrink the onboarding time for new hires by orders of magnitude. For example, here at InformData, our technology-based training system has new hires making calls at near-full production within four days.
This is possible because advanced call center technology takes complex decision-making and memorization out of the hands of callers. For the most part, training involves learning how to read a script and where to click. As a result, scaling up rapidly by hiring temporary workers and part-timers is fairly trivial for data organizations such as InformData.
3. Data-Driven insights
What calling time is most likely to ensure a response from a source? The afternoon, the morning? At the end of the work week or the beginning? How would you even find the answer to a question like that? The answer is in the data.
Most CRAs simply lack the volume of data necessary to discover meaningful calling trends. But outsourced providers, on the other hand, work with dozens — and potentially hundreds — of clients and can draw on millions of data points to answer questions ranging from the best time to call a source to which phrases elicit the best responses. They also have the expertise, experience, and resources to properly analyze the data, separating the noise from the signals.
These data-driven insights can be used to optimize the verifications process further. For example, if the data indicates that a particular source is most responsive in the afternoon, call center technology can be programmed to dial that source right after lunch.
By analyzing large amounts of data, outsourced verifications providers can also detect seasonality, which can help the data providers and their customers prepare for spikes.
Test drive verifications outsourcing before the seasonal surge
As we’ve established in this article, a third-party background screening data provider can be better positioned than most CRAs to handle the labor landscape’s roller coaster-like seasonality thanks to technological investments, optimized training programs, and data analysis.
Some CRAs outsource all their verification orders to a third party. But more commonly, CRAs will use outsourced providers as a release valve for their overflow orders.
However, we recommend not waiting for the next hiring spike to find out whether an outsourced provider can keep you out of the backlogs. Try a trial run when the stakes are lower. Then, when the coaster inevitably starts to climb, you’ll have a partner at the ready to keep you rolling smoothly along.