4 Tips for a ‘Millennial-Ready’ Screening Process

Baby boomers are no longer the largest living generation in the United States. Millennials have taken the top spot. By the year 2020, an estimated 46 percent of the workforce will be made up of those 80 million young adults, born between 1976 and 2001, who will seek employment. More and more of these millennials are entering the workforce each day. With their increase in numbers comes changes to a workplace that must naturally adapt to a change in the demography and psychology of this generation.

A recent Gallop report cited by Harvard Business Review found millennials are looking for jobs that best align with their needs and life goals. Harvard Business Review also stated, “More than ever, employers need to know and act on the factors that make their company appealing to these candidates. They have to make it easy for prospects to choose them over their competition.”

In terms of background screening processes, there are some top factors we believe will be critical in the months and years ahead to meet the demands of this generation:

1. Give them a Frictionless Digital Experience

Millennials are digital natives. They are comfortable performing all sorts of tasks and transactions on their web and mobile devices from start to finish. So, when it comes to onboarding and background screening, there should be no need for snail mail, in person signatures, and redundant data entry. Instead, everything from identity validation, to obtaining consent, to data capture should be made possible within their chosen device.

2. Assure their Privacy

A recent Gallop study on data security called data security “not a big concern for millennials.” This might make you think you don’t need to be concerned either. But when you read more closely, you’ll find that millennials place great trust in the companies they do business with, and while data security might not be their top concern, data privacy is a serious trust issue. The way we look at it, millennials expect you to have their privacy and security covered. Breach this trust and you’ll risk jeopardizing your relationship with candidates and prospective applicants alike. Put the security in place and let your candidates know exactly how you are working to protect them.

3. Show You Respect their Rights

It’s one thing to slip the FCRA-required “applicants’ rights” documentation into a sea of other onboarding paperwork. However, millennials will appreciate knowing that your company is truly concerned about the integrity of their data and about ensuring any negative information you find on their background check is verifiable and disputable by them.

The prevalence of identity theft has highlighted this issue more and more, and you should know that it’s possible that the ‘hit’ you discovered on a candidate’s credit or criminal history report could very well not be the person you think it is.

Yes, you are required to let ALL candidates and employees subject to background checks know that they have a right to dispute the information found in their background check. We would contend that you can go even further with this and show your true concern for data integrity by clearly communicating, supporting, and providing service to assist anyone who has a concern about their background check and to give them a clear path to clarify or explain what may have been found.

4. Tread Carefully in Social Media Screening

Considering the high adoption of social media among millennials, you might be tempted to dive headfirst into that treasure trove of information when considering a candidate. Be careful. Take time to brush up on the appropriate use of social media for background screening to avoid claims of discrimination or unfair hiring practices. (See our Social Media Screening Guide for more information.)

The next generation of your workforce is knocking on your doors. Are you ready to give them the experience they expect? Let us help you craft a background screening program that will impress and engage today’s candidates. Request a conversation.

About Michael Gaul

A security industry professional since 1988, Michael has extensive expertise in the fields of human capital risk management, physical security, and background screening process management. Michael leads Proforma’s sales, marketing, and strategic customer relations efforts.


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