( How Technology is Changing Background Screenings )
Once upon a time, background screenings were an arduous paper-based process. These days, however, technology has transformed the ways in which screenings are done. Most significant is the ways in which technology has improved the speed and accessibility of screenings. Background investigations used to take days, weeks, or even months, and now they can be done in minutes. Furthermore, technology has made it possible for individuals and small businesses to undertake background checks where previously, the cost and processing time would have made it prohibitive.
The speed and accessibility of background checks are primarily due to websites like Check People, which provide a background report on specific people in minutes. These websites utilize a number of technologies to deliver accurate and timely reports. This includes such things as continuous monitoring, artificial intelligence (AI), and predictive technology.
A person’s information is always changing. What is accurate, one moment may no longer apply to the next. For instance, a person may be debt-free one week and then take out a large mortgage the next. This is where continuous monitoring technology comes in. Many background screening programs utilize this tech to alert anyone who has performed a background check on an individual of changing circumstances.
Continuous monitoring works by running a constant check on individuals. This tool is usually only available as part of a paid report, and searchers may have to pay on an annual or monthly basis. Monitoring continually for things like changes to a person’s criminal record is considered prudent. However, many people have raised concerns over employers having continuous updates about life events like marriage, divorce, finances, etc., stating that this is an invasion of privacy.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning
The sophisticated algorithms of AI and machine learning are redefining background checks. These technologies help companies quickly sort through tons of data.AI is able to select and analyze relevant information and actionable points, and machine learning helps make the process faster and more reliable. Essentially, these algorithms take a large amount of data and match it with data points to create a comprehensive report on an individual’s background.
AI also ensures that background checks are free from bias. Since AI is fact-based and data-driven, there is less of a chance of unwanted discrimination. Furthermore, AI can access global data, enabling background screenings on foreign candidates.
However, AI is not infallible. It can make mistakes (like mixing up the records of people with similar names) or give out sealed or expunged records. This is why professional screeners are still necessary despite the changes technology has wrought on background screenings.
Applying predictive technology to background screenings involves combining AI and machine learning to make relatively accurate predictions of future behavior based on the information in a person’s background check. This technology can identify potentially risky behavior and assess the risk it poses in various scenarios. For example, predictive technology can predict whether someone’s financial history makes them more or less likely to steal from the cash register if they get behind on their payments.
While this tool seems useful, there are some that argue that it promotes bias and is not entirely accurate. It is touted as a tool to alert background searchers to potential issues, but there is a possibility for abuse in how these predictions are used. After all, this technology is not a psychic medium. A person’s data doesn’t define them, and it doesn’t take into account a number of variables such as circumstance. For this reason, although this technology is useful, it should be taken with a grain of sand.
In addition to speed and accessibility, technology has made background screenings more comprehensive. With continuous monitoring, AI and machine learning, and predictive technology, background checks can reveal almost everything there is to know about a person, including their future and continuous behaviors. This technology does come with some issues, however. For instance, it is not infallible. It can report the wrong information or make inaccurate predictions. This is why the oversight of a professional screener is still necessary.
Furthermore, this technology raises questions about privacy. How much of our personal privacy are we willing to sacrifice in exchange for security? Yes, it’s true that people who have nothing to hide shouldn’t be worried, but when machines can tell potential employers what our possible future behaviors might be, this should worry everyone. Therefore, we should be cautious about embracing all the changes technology has wrought on the background screening industry.