HR Happy Hour Toasts GoodHire For Humanizing Background Checks

HR Tech   |    Background Checks   |   

“These are not the boring background checks of your dad’s or your mom’s HR.”

That’s how HR luminary Steve Boese introduced his recent conversation with GoodHire Cofounder Brian Monahan on the HR Happy Hour podcast.

And, to be honest, that’s how a lot of people think of background checks. Boring. Outdated. Necessary, but hardly inspiring.

Though Steve’s a long-time industry analyst and chairman of the HR Tech Conference, GoodHire’s fresh approach to background checks managed to surprise him.

“Normally we wouldn’t dedicate a show to talking about background checks. All our listeners are familiar with them, and many think of checks as a ‘commodity’ technology. However, GoodHire is taking a markedly different approach that I think HR practitioners will be interested in hearing about,” he said.

That approach explains how GoodHire True Me candidate experience ended up on Human Resource Executive’s Top HR Products of 2016 list.

A Candidate Experience Revolution

“The most important difference is the structure of how we run the checks,” Brian, GoodHire’s “chief idea guy,” explained. “Instead of it being a process that HR departments run in the back end, separate from the candidate, we bring the candidate directly into the center of the equation.”

Humanizing background checks means, in part, that the candidate is an active participant, aware of every stage of the process starting with giving consent and filling out their own information. The simple, mobile-optimized forms can be filled in on a smartphone in minutes, and having the candidate enter their information minimizes errors that can arise when busy HR staff fill in the forms.

When results come back, all candidates (whether their background check shows a flag or not) get a copy at the same time the employer does. By reviewing the results, candidates can spot any errors in the report and work directly with GoodHire to address them, removing another burden from HR and keeping the process moving quickly.

EEOC Individualized Assessment For People With Criminal Records

If there are criminal records, gaps in employment, or other potential flags in the results, candidates can use GoodHire’s unique Comments for Context feature to add context to explain the circumstances and any steps they’ve taken since.

Comments For Context empowers candidates to communicate about sensitive topics while helping employers address the EEOC’s individualized assessment mandate. Individualized assessment means that employers may not simply screen out all candidates with criminal records. Instead, they must consider the seriousness of the offense, the relevance of the crime to the job, and how much time has passed since the offense or the completion of the sentence.

Ultimate Guide To Background Check Compliance

If you don’t take these steps, you open your company to the risk of discriminatory hiring lawsuits, Brian explained. And, you may be unnecessarily screening out a huge portion of the workforce, since 70 million Americans are estimated to have a record.

Many of those records are for nonviolent offenses, such as drug possession. And with laws around marijuana changing quickly, some records may be for offenses that wouldn’t be prosecuted in certain states today.

Giving employers a way to consider the real person behind the record is a key component of humanizing background checks. And one that benefits both job seekers and employers.

The Future Of Background Checks: Personal Sovereignty Over Data?

As groundbreaking as GoodHire True Me is, the podcast conversation eventually turned to what else Brian sees for future of background checks.

Without giving the whole conversation away (it’s informative and entertaining, so definitely worth a listen), here’s a hint: think personal data ownership, portable personal checks, and other gig economy-driven innovations.

During the 30 minute chat, Steve nimbly steers the discussion to cover:

  • Trends in background checks and the future of employment screening
  • GoodHire’s origin story, mission, and product road map
  • The technology differences between GoodHire and traditional background check vendors

And, believe it or not, that’s just scratching the surface. Steve summed up the wide-ranging conversation this way:

"GoodHire is unlike the background checks you've heard of before. Their innovative, candidate-focused, technology-enabled approach is very interesting. I like what you’re doing at GoodHire, keep it up! I hope your candidate focus becomes the new norm."

If you’re not already a regular listener to the weekly HR Happy Hour podcast, now’s a great time to start. In addition to interviews Steve conducts, you’ll also hear talks led by Trish McFarlane and George Larocque.

Listen to the talk with GoodHire here, and subscribe to the HR Happy Hour podcast here.

Fair Hiring Compliance Candidate Experience

Kim Moutsos

Kim Moutsos


Editor in chief of the GoodHire blog The Works, Kim Moutsos seeks out the latest advice on hiring, compliance, background checks, and the future of work. When she’s not reading, writing, or wrangling other writers, she’s likely on one of her daily runs (over 777 consecutive and counting).

Keep Your Eye On The Law

Subscribe to The Works for monthly updates and insight on changing hiring laws and background check best practices.

Our Contributors

Arte Nathan

Arte Nathan

President & COO at Strategic Development Worldwide
Deb McGrath

Deb McGrath

Founder and Chief Instigator of
Tony Le

Tony Le

Sr. Director, Global HR Operations & Talent Acquisition at IAC Publishing
Celinda Appleby

Celinda Appleby

Head of Global Recruitment Branding, Oracle

See All Our Contributors

Related posts

Compliance  |  Background Checks  | 

A Recipe For Adverse Action And Ban-The-Box Compliance

Double, double toil and trouble...

Although Shakespeare surely had something...

Compliance  |  Background Checks  | 

FCRA Disclosure And Authorization Tips – Straight From The FTC

It seems like just last month we featured cautionary tales of FCRA...

Hiring  |  Background Checks  | 

4 Honest Answers About Diversity And Inclusion In The Workplace

Accusations of “extreme” pay discrimination at Google grabbed headlines...