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5 Important KPIs to measure background screenings

A KPI, or Key Performance Indicator, is a metric that’s directly relevant to measuring your business’ performance. By breaking down company-wide policies & processes into their most basic, measurable units, you can better evaluate how smoothly they’re really working. For best results, you’ll need a collective list of at least 5 KPIs tracking the performance of anything you wish to measure, and get a better understanding of the big picture. To be considered a KPI, an element must contain a goal – or an objective target you’re looking to measure, along with a well-defined source for your data, and regular updates on how those measurements change.

When it comes to background checks, analyzing KPIs can be a crucial step towards eliminating excess effort, and fine-tuning your entire screening process. They can tell you which aspects of your current program need to be re-scaled, and which need further investment – helping you save resources while hiring smarter and safer. While on the surface, this may seem like a lot of analysis for a simple process, the result could be better recruitment and more productivity for everyone.

In a competitive marketplace, having a finely-tuned background check policy means big advantages over the competition. The more efficient your screenings, the better-quality candidates you’ll be hiring (before anyone else). Below are 5 Key Performance Indicators you can use to adjust your own process.

Candidate Success Rate

This may sound subjective, but by measuring which candidates are ultimately not hired because of background checks can be a solid indicator of how well your background checks are really working. Track how many reports come back with pings, and more specifically track exactly what’s pinging. A pattern of candidates with traffic violations tells you something very differently than a pattern of candidates with criminal complaints, giving you a better understanding of exactly who’s responding to your listings. Conversely, if your track record shows many candidates pinged for a false job or false education history, you’ll know it’s time to adjust the interview process, and get more in-depth with the questions you’re asking.

Money Spent Per Screening

How much is all of this costing you, anyway? Feels like a question always worth answering, for any business. The more specific you can get about which departments spend what, the better you can adjust your overall office budget, along with the background check process itself. Break down your cost per screening so you can map exactly who’s spending what, and where.

You can also highlight how much of your screening budget’s allotted to in-house labor, and how much goes toward outside contractors and government fees. Calculating how much you spent on dismissed candidates will also give you a better understanding of your current process.

Discrepancy Rate

When candidates submit info that can neither be confirmed nor outright denied, you wind up with discrepancies in your background checks. If these begin to pile-up, even over a year of study, it’s worth asking why. Make sure you’re tracking this data so you know how to re-tailor your hiring practice. Disputes slow down the whole process significantly, forcing the candidate to submit verification in the best cases, and driving them away from the job in the worst.

If discrepancies are accruing over common factors, like education for instance, then you can alter your hiring process to either vet these factors more thoroughly, or disregard them entirely. This aspect gets more serious when it comes to unverified criminal records, so make sure you’re measuring exactly how precise your current system is when it comes to collecting data.

Time per Screening

From turnaround time on the candidate completing their background check, to the time it takes to do everything on your end, make sure you’re keeping a close eye on the clock. Time from interview to hire is the broadest measurement here, but it’s also with keeping track of how long a completed check takes to get audited, how long it takes to complete a drug test, or any number of micro-metrics that can help you better anticipate total time spent on a hire, along with any resources needed to speed it all up. The less time-lapses you have, the less time it takes to get a new coworker up to speed and helping the whole team.

Compliance Rate

Encapsulating everything else we’ve just talked about, make sure to measure which departments, or in some cases – which offices, are complying with all steps of your current hiring policies. Are some steps being regularly skipped? And if so, why? Compare all available data across all available departments, in order to see the larger patterns at work in your practice. Maybe the recruitment process only has to be fine-tuned in one office, based on their inconsistent data. Or maybe all offices, and the departments within, are skipping the same steps equally. If that’s the case, maybe it’s time to eliminate those steps altogether.

To Wrap It Up

All of these KPIs can be analyzed manually, but many are reported best by an applicant tracking system, which automatically keeps track of the metrics that matter to you. When it comes to background checks, it’s up to you to decide what needs to be fixed now, and what can simply be reprogrammed for the future. Whatever you do, just keep analyzing. The more precise you can be with the KPIs measuring your background checks, the more precise your background checks will actually be. So you can get on to the real business at hand.

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