7 Ways to Enhance Candidate Experience Through Background Checks

Matt Tarpey

Background screening is one of the final steps in the hiring process, and after all the time and energy you put into finding, recruiting and interviewing, it becomes even more important to maintain a great candidate experience.

Job seekers value communication. They like to know what’s going on and where they stand. For many job seekers, employment screening is the least understood part of the hiring process. It makes them uneasy, so clear communication from your end can go a long way. Here are a few things about your screening process your candidates want to know but might be afraid to ask:

1. Security and privacy

A background check is filled with personal information, and some candidates may be understandably concerned about protecting. Take steps to reassure your candidate about electronic data security and confidentiality of the information within your organization.

2. Credit history

Candidates often have special concerns about their credit. If a credit check will be a part of the background check, be prepared to explain why it is important for the specific position, and reiterate the steps your company takes to protect their information. Be sure that your policies and communications regarding credit checks are in compliance with the FCRA.

3. Process and technology

Many candidates may not know much about how the screening process works. Explain the process, the role of technology, what they will need to do, how they will be kept informed and where they can direct any additional questions they may have about the process.

4. Turnaround time

Even candidates with squeaky-clean records (or perhaps especially such candidates) may grow concerned if their results seem to be taking a long time to come back. Let them know that high quality background checks are not instant – they may take two to three business days, and in some cases longer. Be sure to assure them that this does not signal a problem.

5. Decision making

Similarly, candidates who aren’t familiar with employment screening procedure may perceive it as an entirely closed-door process and worry about “passing” the background check. Make sure your candidates understand that there is no automatic disqualification, and that, should their background check return potentially disqualifying information, they will receive a copy of the report and a summary of their rights to review. Candidates have an opportunity to dispute and correct information in the report and provide input.

6. Communication

The employment process may be part of your everyday routine, but it’s not for the candidate. If they’re left in the dark about where they stand, they’re more likely to move on and continue their job search. You’ve invested a lot to get the candidate to this point – don’t risk it all now! Finish the hiring process strong with consistent, clear communication.

7. Compliance

Background screening is governed by state, federal and even local law. Be sure you are in compliance with your legal obligations as an employer, and opt to partner with a screening provider who will help you stay on top of new and upcoming laws and regulations.


Demystifying the background check process helps alleviate stress and improve candidate experience, both of which improve your chances of attracting and hiring the best candidates.

Improving background check procedure is only part of the puzzle.


Check out the other ways to improve candidate experience.

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