Tech Topics, Thought Leadership

Disrupting Risk With API Background Screening Solutions

Posted Wednesday, November 15th, 2017 by Laura Sankowich

The Sharing Economy is Booming

The total number of independent workers in the US alone is around 54 to 68 million, and is projected to double by 2020 according to a report by McKinsey & Company.  Additionally, the sharing economy currently pulls $57 billion in annual revenue.  Industry research projects that it will reach up to $335 Billion by 2025 according to another study by PwC.

With potential for rapid growth and a huge pool of applicants in the sharing economy, background checks are essential to scale your company and keep your community safe.  Applying the right screening technology can also help streamline candidate verification and onboarding.

Background Checks are a Necessity

Ernst and Young reports that both consumers and providers are concerned with risk when it comes to the sharing economy.  Key concerns include quality of service from a user perspective and workforce management on the business side.

Background checks may hold the key to giving both businesses and consumers peace of mind.   Sterling recently commissioned a study that illustrates how consumer attitudes toward background checks.  We analyzed the feedback of 1,000 Americans regarding background checks as a condition of employment. 

“More than 95% of Americans think it should be mandatory to determine a person’s criminal history before hiring them. ”

More than 95% of Americans think it should be mandatory to determine a person’s criminal history before hiring them.  One in two consumers would prefer to do business with a company that made background checks mandatory. 

The bottom line? Comprehensive background checks are a necessity to grow communities.  Failing to conduct background checks at all, of course, represents the highest level of risk for your business.  Minimal screening might reduce risk, it will not catch all of the people that should be kept out of a community.

Comprehensive Background Checks

Background Screening In the Sharing Economy

Contractors, service providers, independent workers, freelancers, etc. present the same, if not more risk to your organization than traditional employees.  Negative events don’t just expose you to monetary loss or costly litigation, they can also damage your reputation in your marketplace.  Running complete background checks on all of your employees is the best way to protect your company and your customers. 

A Social Security number trace is critical to any criminal record search, and the foundation of an effective background check. It provides an individual’s address history, and is a roadmap to select court jurisdictions to research. If you only search an individual’s current county of residence, you could miss more than 50% of their criminal records. Additionally, it provides any critical alias names that have been associated with that Social Security number.   

API Background Screening Solutions

Technology is just as important as where to look and applying best practices behind a search.  API background screening solutions should provide seamless, web-based access to a background check solution and integrations to your internal platforms.  It should also utilize RESTful APIs to connect to mobile solutions, platform-as-a-service solutions and software-as-a-service solutions.  Lastly a solution should integrate into on-demand workflows as needed to reduce manual steps.

Focus on what will help your company process thousands of potential buyers when selecting an API-based background screening solution.  Your ultimate goal should be to onboard buyers and sellers better, faster and more economically.  Look for a solution that includes:

  • Intelligent analytics and workflows help to reduce data turnaround times.
  • Routing criteria that gets data into queues and supports the rapid return of accurate data.
  • Processing rules to help manage candidate decisioning and responses.
  • Workflows for continuous, post-hire monitoring to identify new activity on an individual’s record or change in criminal status.

Next Steps

To learn more about the Sterling On Demand API and how you can build background checks into your sharing economy or on demand platform talk to us.

Disclaimer: This publication is for informational purposes only and nothing contained in it should be construed as legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out this information. We encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.

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