Articles & Blog

Shawn Rucks

Shawn Rucks

Friday, 04 August 2017 06:00

Technology Platform Ecosystems

In today’s vast technological marketplace, you are no longer shopping for hardware, you are shopping for an ecosystem. To get what we mean, let’s break this down to an item we all know of, a tablet. When you are shopping for a tablet, it is not all about the hardware. Yes, you want the tablet to have a powerful battery, and to not die under pressure, but more importantly, you want a tablet that has an ecosystem that fits your needs. If you are buying a tablet for reading books and magazine articles, for instance, the Amazon Kindle or Barnes and Noble Nook will be your premier choice. As both offer a large variety of apps and in-house books that will further your reading, and make things a little easier for you. However, if you are looking for a tablet that can do business or word processing you would be looking at the Windows Surface or Apple iPad line. The hardware around these machines are very similar, but what you are really buying is access to an ecosystem. Another further example is software platforms. If you have been scrolling around the web lately, you will be well aware there are thousands of software platforms out there that can do things. For example, if you are looking to work with salesforce.com, you are going to be buying into an ecosystem that includes such things as AppExchange, a marketplace for third party add-ons that will enhance your experience on the platform. Another great example is Microsoft when you choose a Microsoft suite of programs, you are getting data entry with Excel, word processing with Word, and a host of other programs such as PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote.

So, if you are a bank, small business, government agency or even a corporate entity that needs to be able to produce background checks simply, and effectively, you need to find an ecosystem that will allow you to do that and more. That is where we come in, deverus is one of the premier technological platform ecosystems for background checks.

Our company offers a variety of tools and apps that will help your business securely, and accurately produce background checks on future employees, and all with the knowledge that you have invested in a stellar ecosystem that will work seamlessly with your current programs. We offer five distinct parts of our platform and they are:

Verocity

A streamlining product that has built-in administrative tools to help you quickly automate quality assurance, report grading, report management, compliance, supply chain, communication and even integrations. With this product, you will be spending less time manually importing data, and more time focusing on predictive outcomes.

Mobile Swifthire

A simple to use mobile option that allows you to get things done in no time. Applicants are able to fill in their personal data at their own leisure which allows them, and you a faster turnaround in the hiring process.

Hubworks

An applicant tracking system that requires no programming from the client. It is a breath of fresh air in the background check business, and with our ATS you will be able to integrate data from a background screen provider in mere days, not weeks.

I9 Portal

An electronic solution to managing compliance with Form I-9 Eligibility Verification Requirements, allows you to automate workflow, reduce errors, create digital audit trails and even have a record available for compliance in a few minutes.

deverus Direct

An industry leading Criminal and Sex Offender product that pulls from over 1500 sources to produce a fully FCRA compliant program. This program provides our clients with increased data quality, stability, an international database that is unequal and most importantly better support and up-time than the other guys.

In today’s background check marketplace, it is extremely easy to get pulled away and distracted. There are so many options beyond the simple background check, and so much pressure for speed and automation, that we often find ourselves forgetting about the engines that make our business hum. Background checks are complex, but what goes into them is often taken for granted. This is why it is so important to embrace the concept of platform partnerships, rather than the dated notion of vendor relationships, in order to enable you to focus on your core business.

With this in mind, we have brought together some helpful ideas to better focus your core business by developing strong technology platform partnerships.

1. First, your company needs to be able to define its unique value proposition. Are you focused on operational efficiency? The customer experience? Mobile? Or perhaps the unique needs of the Gig Economy or Mobillenials? Once you have a well-defined and strongly differentiated core vision, you will be able to identify partnerships that will help you achieve your goals. Look for a platform partner that has similar values, and start the conversation.

2. Focus on your customer. When you are entering into a platform partnership, you want make sure you are building value for your customer. Think about what your most loyal customer wants and needs, and why they use your company. Work with a platform partner that is focused on helping you build value and grow, so your customers are surprised and delighted by what you bring to the table.

3. When you are seeking a platform partner, look for one that’s focused on the future. You want to make sure that they are using the latest technology, and are investing in developing products and services that are going to be future growth engines, and not just delivering what is going to get you by today.

4. Look for a platform provider that is dynamic, growing and bringing on new customers. Platform partners that are growing know more about what customers want and need than companies that are stuck in the status quo and they are innovating around those wants and needs. A growing platform partner is on the leading edge of technology and have the most efficient processes and best practices to get you onboarded.

At deverus, we offer technology platform partnerships that lead to success. We have been providing quality background checks since 1998, providing cutting edge technology as a partner and extension of your business. Check out deverus, we stand ready to work with you.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017 01:10

It’s an ATS World

Many industries are experiencing rapid changes in response to advanced technology, and the world of recruiting and HR management is no exception. What we see happening in the background check industry as it relates to Applicant Tracking Systems is a call for the industry to stand up and take notice—and take control.

Since utilizing Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) is now the standard for HR, there is downward pressure on background check companies to up their game. The industry has been competing on both price and ability to integrate with the ATS world. The reality is that price has painted the industry as a commodity player and ATS integrations are going to be table stakes. The looming threat that ATS companies will start to bring background check technology platforms on board means margins will be further compressed and the value that background check companies bring will be marginalized and at risk.

Commoditization has been a cold, hard fact in the business, but it doesn’t have to be. The reality is, we’ve been competing on price, and background check companies have struggled to offer much in the way of differentiation to create value. A background check is a background check, right? Not so. The ATS world is just one of the market trends we see disrupting the category and there is a shift in power since background check companies haven’t effectively kept pace with rising expectations. The gaps are being filled by new players and new technology. HR departments are relying on ATS to automate and streamline their lives–the HR experience has improved, so it makes sense that background check experience needs to follow suit and position itself as a value player, not a commodity player.

At deverus, differentiation in an ATS world is about focusing on the user experience. That means we are committed to you, your customers (HR and staffing companies), and their customers (applicants), to deliver a clean, clear, intuitive user experience that provides transparency, disclosure and education to move through the applicant lifecycle. Whether it’s on a mobile device or on a computer, we have been maniacal about designing and delivering software that improves the user experience, creates differentiation and adds value for background check companies.

In today’s business world, and especially in the background check business, everyone is looking for an competitive advantage. With globalization, and the ability for companies around the world to offer new solutions to your clients, a competitive edge is worth its weight in gold. Staying ahead often comes with recognizing and accepting that change must take place in in order to grow and stay on top. However, it’s difficult for companies to embrace the that short term pain associated with change is worth the long term gain for growth.

Looking for Clues that Change is Needed

When you think about your business, you’ll notice that many processes, procedures, training and technology have become embedded in the company culture. Over time, it becomes apparent that what worked in the past is now outdated. What used to be the best way to do something has now become labor intensive or time consuming. And this starts to chip away at your competitive advantage. Pay attention to the signs that change is needed when your employees are solving problems with workarounds or ‘outside the system’ maneuvers, or they have to make excuses for how long something takes. Also, look for the signs that your people have become so invested in the way things have always been done, they don’t recognize the need for change.

A Phased Approach

Because change itself and the change management associated with it can be so difficult, many companies take a phased approach in order to make it more manageable and less disruptive to day to day business. One of the most effective and efficient paths to implement change is through technology. Our experience has been to lay an advanced technology platform alongside existing systems so you can begin to transition with confidence and train your team without compromising business. This gives your team the breathing room to see how new technology helps them be successful without downtime or risk. Your employees will rapidly recognize the efficiencies and ease of updated technology which will open their receptiveness to future updates and upgrades.

Change is Hard, Failing is Harder

The fact is, since the idea of real change can be so overwhelming, most companies tend to delay putting an action plan in place. Unfortunately, some companies wait too long to initiate change and discover it’s too late. After all, making meaningful change requires effort over and above your day jobs and that can be challenging, time consuming and potentially risky if not done well.

The ability for a company to see through the haze of short term pain, and come through with long-term gain takes focus and drive. We offer one of the most intuitive background check technology platform solutions on the market and stand ready with proven implementation and onboarding plans to help you manage change and achieve your goals.

Candidates may not pay your invoices, but they are your core customers in a certain sense. While HR managers and hiring directors ought to be a key focus of your UX design, it also pays to pay a little more attention to the experience of candidates. Whether or not your background check process has direct candidate input or not, candidates can make or break your process. If you make it easy for candidates to navigate your background check procedures, they will reward you with faster completion rates, better data, and reliable results your clients can trust.

Candidate Success is Your Success

If you provide background check services for businesses and other organizations, it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture. Working closely with your clients often means taking a step back from direct contact with the candidate pool. It’s important to remember that candidates and their experiences can shape the ultimate success of your service offering. If prime candidates get frustrated or delayed with a poorly-designed background check process, they may get discouraged and look elsewhere for employment. If your processes aren’t attuned to the needs of candidates as well as employers, you run the risk of delivering bad results. Delays, errors, and omissions cost you and the hiring company time and money – but they hurt candidates, too. Losing days and weeks to slow background checks can be very frustrating when you’re ready to work.

Incorporate Candidate Complaints and Feedback

One of the best ways to improve your background check process is to listen. Make sure you ask your clients to report any problems they might hear from candidates. Errors in coding and unclear instructions can easily derail the hiring process. Make sure you are listening to your clients and give them the opportunity to speak out if their candidates uncover any issues with the process. When you respond quickly and solve problems right away, it makes your whole background check system work better and more efficiently. Don’t shy away from candidate feedback. Strive to learn from your users and improve on your existing process design through open client communication and user feedback.

Happy Candidates = Happy Clients

Your clients hire you to help them sift through their applicants to find the best candidate for the position. A good C.V. and a winning smile are important, but employers must rely on people like you to verify each hire. Companies, government organizations, and charities all require trustworthy people for their teams. Background checks are a necessary step in the hiring process, but most employers can’t afford a lengthy and painful process to vet their candidates. Likewise, the candidates themselves want to work and need a successful background check before they can start earning a living. It’s up to you to design and execute a background check process to help people and companies work together successfully. Focus on the client and the candidate, and they will reward you with repeat business, recommendations, and a successful future.

It’s tempting to rely on a good track record and consistent historical results in any field, but businesses are especially prone to equating past success and future performance. Any financial institution or investment broker understands that a long track record of good results is a good predictive tool, but it’s not the be-all-end-all of performance potential. In today’s business world, you will find countless examples of a solid business model failing in the new world of volatility and upheaval. In this article, we’ll walk you through a few reasons why you can’t rely on your past success to guide your future performance.

Business Cycles, Transformative Change, and Your Business

Like most industries, background check businesses experience cyclical trends and volatility in terms of overall economic metrics surrounding unemployment, real estate, and seasonality. Savvy business owners have learned to react and adapt to changing conditions. Weathering the storm is part of the job. The new reality of economics and business cycles means that your profits are more volatile than ever. Look at some of the most popular mobile apps today. Many of these billion dollar software companies (Uber, Airbnb, etc.) didn’t exist ten years ago. Just think of all of those previously successful business owners and established companies displaced by new entrants to the market. Past success offers no guarantees in the disruptive and transformative world of commercial competition these days.

Prediction, Performance, and Profits

Although it is human nature to find comfort in reliable, reproducible, and consistent trends, it’s often a trap that leaves you vulnerable to sudden shocks. Your competitors and new players to the market are waiting to seize your market share with new technologies, innovative solutions, and transformative products. With the ubiquity of smartphones and pervasive wireless broadband internet, the possibilities (and potential threats) are limitless. Nearly every corner of the business community is watching the world change rapidly around them. It’s no longer enough to develop a good business model, implement your plan, and sit back as the profits roll in. Companies big and small are actively pursuing your customers, your territory, and your earnings potential. It’s up to you to find new ways to predict and adapt to changing business conditions. Past success is something to build on and get your foot in the door, but it’s not good enough to rely on doing business the same old way. New competition and innovative business models are a constant threat in today’s cutthroat economic conditions.

Use the Past. Don’t Rely on It.

If you enjoy success with a good team and a solid business plan, you ought to be proud because you know that results come from hard work and good planning. Unfortunately, you can’t sit back and rest without risking your continued success in business. Your competitors want your clients, your suppliers want your profits, and your employees want a raise. The pressure is immense, and it’s tempting to celebrate when you enjoy healthy profits and a dominant position in the market. Don’t rest on your laurels. It’s all too easy to get comfortable after a bit of success. Build on your strengths and focus on continuous improvement. Strive to make sure you keep your eye out for new ways to promote and expand your business. Are you staying current with industry trends? Do you invest in R&D with an eye to the future? Are you aware of the latest pressures in the background check industry? Are you experiencing transformational change in the market? It’s up to you to stay ahead. No one is safe in the brave new world of market disruption and constant upheaval across all industries. Even the biggest companies in the world like banks, automakers, oil & natural gas have to contend with serious threats from smaller, more nimble, and innovative players that threaten their market dominance and perennial profits.

Now is the time to dig into your business model and examine your vulnerabilities and opportunities. Today’s entrepreneurs are just waiting for the right moment to turn industry complacency upside-down. The new business environment demands constant vigilance and an eye on the horizon to stay ahead of new market entrants and technological innovations that are threats to your profits and client base.

Background check service providers do well when they focus on the client’s needs, but they often overlook the importance of a positive candidate experience. Making life easy for candidates improves response times and overall satisfaction with the process. Background check firms that focus on both the employer and the applicant experience will outperform service providers that cater to employers exclusively. Below, you’ll find four ways that your company can improve the user experience for applicants and employees during the background check process.

1) Improve Accuracy

There’s nothing more frustrating for employers and applicants than dealing with the fallout of bad information. If your applicants have a common name, it’s especially important for background check firms to provide accurate and reliable information. Misinformation and poor quality reporting impact the turnaround time and overall satisfaction with your background check procedures. If your firm focuses on providing high-quality, reliable, and accurate information, both employers and applicants will have a much easier time as they navigate your background check process.

2) Improve Responsiveness and Dispute Resolution Process

Mistakes happen, and it’s up to you to work with employers, employees, and applicants to sort out any errors or omissions in your reports. Some background check firms take weeks or even months to resolve disputes and correct any mistakes. These delays hurt employers and prospective/current employees, and it’s a major source of frustration for all stakeholders in the hiring process. If your firm can improve your responsiveness when problems arise, you can significantly improve the user experience for all parties.

3) Reduce Turnaround Time

Hiring new staff and vetting your current labor force are crucial functions for HR departments, and background checks often create bottlenecks and delays in the process. If your firm can improve your reporting turnaround time, your clients and their applicants/employees will appreciate your efforts to provide outstanding service. Focus on your processing times and identify the ways you can improve your responsiveness. When your team can reduce the time it takes to provide reports without impacting reporting accuracy, your clients and their stakeholders will appreciate the fast and professional service you provide to them.

4) Focus on UX (User Experience)

Many companies fail to “put themselves in the user’s shoes” when they design their background check forms and processes. When your application developers and form designers keep the end user in mind during the design and layout process, everybody wins. When users can easily navigate your procedures, you improve response times and overall accuracy. Be empathetic to your users and they will reward you with fast completion times and highly-accurate reporting. Failure to incorporate UX-focused design will lead to frustration and overall dissatisfaction.

The candidate experience should be at the foundation for all background check service providers. When a candidate is hired after taking part of a positive experience they are able to immediately start with an assured piece of mind. They’ll feel familiar and welcomed from day one. When candidate experience is handled properly, what once was a vulnerable position for the candidate, can become a cornerstone in your hiring process. Thus, attracting the best candidates to your business and creating a positive reputation that leads the industry.

The ability to complete the hiring process in a matter of days is a goal for many companies and governments, but in reality, it takes weeks, and all because of background checks. Background checks are a strenuous part of the hiring phase, and yet are a necessary step for most reputable companies. With outsourcing, so prevalent in today’s economy, the difference between a top background check company and their competition is typically the speed in which the check is completed. With this in mind, we are going to look at why speed to market is one of the keys to a successful background check company.

Within the hiring process, the background check is normally one of the first things that are completed. It will allow a company to know for certain someone’s credentials and previous work experience is accurate, and will further ensure a candidate is the right fit. However, this also means that depending on the process the company is using, the process could be stopped until the background check is sent back. Thus, the speed of return is a crucial factor when a prospective client is choosing a background check company.

As well, as a background check company, you need to see your turnaround time as not only a selling point but a metric that will showcase your productivity. Most background checks come in at a fixed rate, and the more time that a check sits on your desk, the worse off your productivity is in this regard. You need to be able to move checks through at a quick enough pace to continue to pay the bills and provide a profit margin that will let you expand with ease. Customers are not the only people who should be looking at return on investment, as a company you sometimes need to look on the inside and see where you are wasting opportunities. To make money in this business you will need to improve speed to market. It is that simple.

Finally, one has to only look at your own worth as a company when trying to evaluate how important speed to market is for your company. Speed to market is the essential factor that will be used when comparing background check companies from a perspective client. If you are able to guarantee speed, all while maintaining a consistent record in providing accurate checks, you will be well in the clear. No matter if you are looking at automation, or an expedited check, you need to be able to improve your speed, all while keeping up the standards of said checks. This is the golden rule in background checks, and to be successful you will need to maintain these standards of speed and accuracy.

Speed to market is one of the essential parts of a successful background check business. Without a speedy return, you could face issues such as holding up the hiring process of potential clients or a loss of productivity. As well, if you are to be successful in this business, speed to market with accuracy is the way to succeed, and that you can take to the bank.

Managing legacy systems is often an important part of IT professionals’ and managers’ responsibilities. Every industry must update their software and systems at some point, but few companies can afford excessive downtime and beta testing during the implementation phase. Often, the best option is running new platforms and legacy systems in parallel to maintain your operation effectiveness. The following guide can help you manage your transition and maintain high service standards for your clients.

Step One: Have a Plan

Planning is crucial for any business, but managing parallel systems requires a thoughtful and meticulous plan to maximize your efficiency and minimize errors and frustration. Before you jump in head-first, take the time to plan your approach and seek expert advice from IT professionals. Once you decide that running parallel platforms (new and legacy) is the way to go, take the time to lay out a detailed plan for managing two systems simultaneously.

Step Two: Identify Priorities and Pain-Points

During the planning stage, it’s crucial to identify your priorities and rank them in order of importance. What can migrate to the new system? What are the crucial functions of your legacy system that you must maintain? Can you afford any downtime? What are the pitfalls of each system and how can you intervene to avoid problems down the line? The more time you spend planning and prioritizing, the easier it is to implement your strategy and succeed.

Step Three: Focus on the Users

At the end of the day, your users’ success is your success. If you make it easy for users to use the new platform and your legacy applications/systems, your chances of operational success are much higher. User experience (UX) is often overlooked, but it’s a key piece of any system or application design. When you focus on UX, your employees and clients will appreciate your thoughtfulness and commitment to good service.

Step Four: Monitor and React Quickly

As soon as you identify problems or opportunities for efficiency, it’s imperative that you react quickly. If you rely on brute force and sheer effort to overcome obstacles, you risk burning out your staff and frustrating your client. Form a plan to address issues quickly and effectively, and you’ll be in a great position to react to problems. Get feedback from clients and staff, and make sure you stay on top of any issues that arise during your implementation phase.

Step Five: Look Ahead

As you begin to replace your legacy systems, you’ll quickly realize that a forward-looking vision makes life easier for everyone interacting with your platforms. Plan ahead, and trust in your team to provide feedback and input as you go forward. Don’t stick your head in the sand and rely on doing thing “the way they’ve always been done.” Stay up-to-date with new software development and keep an open mind as you analyze your options as an IT professional or corporate manager. Success in business is akin to a marathon, not a sprint. Keep yourself informed, and stay in touch with platform designers and technical support as you look to the future of your business.

Creating and developing a platform can be a painstaking process to do in house. Not only will you have to interview and hire developers, writers and testers, you will need to maintain the system indefinitely. When this happens it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that you are CRA and not a technology shop. It’s hard to do both really well. This is why so many other companies are looking at outsourcing to a third party as a possibility when it comes to the development of background check platforms. In this article, we are going to look at why this is, and why deverus is the top choice in the industry.

First and foremost, the cost savings that are available by going to a third party are enormous. The Web or mobile-based development has allowed the world to compete, and why should you face the high cost of developing a platform at home? There are a handful of firms that have some amazing programmers that will be able to deliver a top of the line platform at the fraction of the price you would expect to pay at home. However, there is only one choice you need to make, and that is to trust your background checks with deverus. These savings will allow you to focus on advertising or any other part of the business that might need a little extra cash. Outsourcing is a win-win situation.

Secondly, the ability of these third parties to work around the clock, and deliver a project on time is unheard of from local companies. The advantage of utilizing deverus is our ability to deliver a top of the line background check, each and every time. Although there may be some issues with time zones, the bottom line is you will receive a top of the line product on time, and without delays. This will not only allow you to be in a position to hire someone when the company needs it but will free up valuable time for your Human Resources staff.

As for ensuring a great experience, the work that comes out of deverus is top notch. The company strives to perfect the background check business and continues to deliver candidates profiles on time, and on budget. With our state of the art system, ability to check multiple databases, and our commitment to accuracy, you are in good hands.

Finally, as a business, you are always looking for ways to better your return on investment, and the ROI from utilizing deverus is one of a kind. Not only will you be able to save on in-house expenses, but you will be able to hire, with confidence, the right candidate for the job. No longer will you have to expel man hours calling references or previous jobs, leave that to deverus and focus on building your business.

Outsourcing for a background check platform is becoming more and more common, and for good reason. The ability to have a product delivered on time, and under budget is never a bad trait to have as a company. Just remember to do your homework when looking to outsource, there are scammers and dirty companies roaming the web, but when you trust deverus with this check, you are golden.

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