Across the globe, more and more jobs become automated every year. In 2013, Oxford University published a study that predicted 47% of U.S. jobs could be automated within the next two decades. Naturally, the effects of this movement are mixed. There are a lot of advantages to automating the processes in almost any field. On the other hand, this also impacts job loss. Positions that appear more efficient and accurate when done by a computer will likely become obsolete for humans.
When it comes to background screening, the key is to combine automation with human oversight. Personal identifying information, public records, and resumes all have the potential for human error or manipulation. This means that you’ll never be completely sure that the results of a fully-automated background screen will be accurate. Is that a risk your business is willing to take?
Personal Identifying Information
Personal Identifying Information (PII) lays the foundation for any background screening report. This is the first thing a researcher will review before any searches are ran. It is essential that a live person compares what an individual has put on their application versus what appears on a report. Oftentimes, this information doesn’t match and the researcher will need to follow up with the applicant or employer. An automated system won’t catch an error like this. Nor would it determine if someone entered this information incorrectly in an effort to conceal an identity.
Public records also have information real people manually enter, increasing the risk of error. A mistake on one piece of information can have a domino effect on an individual’s public records. For example, say a police report spells an individual’s name wrong. If that case goes to court, a clerk will enter all the information on that report into the criminal database, including the misspelled name. An automated system wouldn’t find this record simply by scanning the database. When a real person is reviewing records, they will be able to spot discrepancies like these and take the appropriate action needed to confirm the information.
Information on resumes can often be misleading or even made up. So, having a live person verify employment history and education will ensure that we catch and address any error that may appear in an automated system. Applicants and employers can have peace of mind knowing that a researcher has contacted institutions and workplaces directly to confirm any applicable information. Overall, having a team of researchers working alongside automated databases is the best way to conduct thorough, best-practice screening for any industry.