Oct 25th, 2021 publishUpdated   Oct 26th, 2021, 8:23 am

The business world relies on mitigating risks, which is why background checks are such a valuable resource. The strong influence of the internet continues to transform the way these checks are performed, from the verification process to the instantaneous response time. While data development and analysis have already changed the way we run a background check, artificial intelligence continues to transform the way businesses and individuals receive their information.

Background checks include comprehensive and detailed lists of information about an individual. These include financial accounts, criminal records, employment history, educational background, and verified personal details. Essentially, these will consist of a complete snapshot at a time of a person’s life.

What Does Artificial Intelligence Mean for Individuals?

Ensuring the accuracy of background information needs to be a high priority for individuals wanting to safeguard information. While these reports are available in real-time (or within minutes of purchase), it’s not infallible. Instances of critical errors have been documented, with criminal records of similar names being cross-referenced and identified wrongfully. Likewise, report generation has also included sealed records or expunged charges. The easiest way to limit these errors is with direct monitoring and reporting. If you notice any errors or issues with your background check, report them to the company immediately.  

Expedited Results

The original timeframe for background reporting was weeks. Data and information were manually processed and referenced. Individual files had to be reviewed through public records, while international documents could delay the months-long hiring process. Artificial intelligence has streamlined the referencing and retrieval process, changing the turnaround from weeks to mere minutes. As a direct result of this newly developed timeframe, employers can hire people for positions faster than before. These new timeframes also reduce the level of risk. Employers are no longer forced to hire employees without proper validation of skills and qualifications, nor are they expected to hold positions open until these screens return.

Improved Data Analysis

What used to take weeks to interpret is now available instantaneously. AI allows companies to sort through the data in seconds, choosing relevant information and actionable points of interaction. Background check companies are able to crawl through thousands of websites, compile critical points of data, sort through for relevance, and generate a report within seconds. This automation and referencing reduce the likelihood of errors while offering a comprehensive snapshot of an individual.

Access Current Details

Someone’s data can change quite quickly, especially when it comes to financial data or employment history. By using artificial intelligence, reports stay accurate and current, despite significant changes. This information is compiled as it’s documented, cross-referencing for accuracy. By using this information, employers can mitigate risks overall. They may require annual background checks or ongoing verification of credentials. For example, a finance company requiring annual scans will check for significant changes in the credit report and criminal aspects. If an employee has substantial overdue debt, bankruptcies, or fraudulent charges reported, they may be terminated.

Extended Reach with Search

Hiring from outside the state (or internationally) can pose significant problems when it comes to the relevancy of background checks. With a higher dependence on artificial intelligence, information can be gathered from a global spectrum. This includes a globalized market of content. Although every country has legal considerations for pulling these details, the data is available and accessible if needed. Theoretically, this implies an overseas employee could have the background screening completed, reviewed, and approved – before the candidate ever leaves their country.

Removing Bias from Scans

Previous screening processes left hiring managers and security employees as the controlling factor behind employment. Whether a bias is deliberate or unconscious, unwanted discrimination can face profound legal implications. This employment discrimination can include religion, national origin, gender, race, or disability, protected under the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). By relying exclusively on automated reports, information is compiled in an automated and fact-based manner.

How to Remove Errors

Finding errors within a background screen is frustrating, but it’s not a permanent mark. Once your information has been verified, you’ll want to contact the appropriate agency to notify them of the error. The first step would be informing the background check company. Once they’ve been told, reach out to the credit reporting agency to continue your dispute. For credit disputes, contact Experian, TransUnion, or Equifax. If your file contains wrongful collection activity, you’ll want to reach out to the company directly (or the original creditor) to have that removed. Criminal activity reporting under a different person (in the case of a similar name, for example, will need direct contact with your local or state police department.

Artificial Intelligence has Permanently Changed Screening Processes

Overall, AI has made the screening process more accurate, efficient, and much faster. It holds the ability to screen and analyze large amounts of data (millions of records) in an expedited time, with relatively minimal error. Many companies rely on the development of AI through daily functions, which makes sense when considering background screening. Although there have been a few discrepancies in documents, the technology continues to evolve, improving and streamlining the process.