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Global Background Verification & The Changing World of Screening

Guy Abramo, President and CEO of HireRight, spoke with some of the leading banks in Europe to share HireRight’s perspective on verifiable credentials and what they mean for background screening and Finance industries. Here are some highlights from his talk.

June 8, 2021
Guy Abramo, President and Chief Executive Officer at HireRight

Recently, I presented a keynote talk at “Powering Up the European Banking Workforce,” an invitation-only event for leaders from the European Banking sector discussing the Internet of Careers®. Here, I spoke about HireRight’s involvement with the Velocity Network Foundation and outlined some of the benefits of verifiable credentials to both customers and candidates. These verifiable credentials are changing the future of background screening, enabling candidates to own and store their credentials, giving them more control over their personal data and how it is shared.

I was thrilled for the opportunity to speak with some of the leading banks in Europe – and to share HireRight’s perspective on verifiable credentials and what they mean for both of our industries. You can keep reading below for more highlights from my talk or watch the video on-demand. So, why would HireRight – the leader in global background screening with more than 30 years of experience – want to embrace this kind of innovation?

It’s simple. We intend to lead the change in how our industry works. So, we decided to roll up our sleeves and embrace the future made possible through verifiable credentials.

The simple truth is the world is already going in this direction – either with us or without us. Economists talk about a current Fourth Industrial Revolution that is already driving disruption within labor markets worldwide and resulting in a growing demand for innovation. We see the results in a shift toward extended and contingent workforces and the growth of an increasingly mobile gig economy. Within the European banking industry, I know that you are facing increasing complexity in the screening process as a result of the industry’s growing global footprint and mounting data management needs.  In this new reality, we believe that career credentials and managing them efficiently and securely will become one of the most valuable assets for workers. Understanding that – and knowing that businesses, governments, and other key stakeholders within the global job market need to accelerate their agility and technology to win against these trends – HireRight knew that we would rather be leading this than following.

In 2019, we proudly joined forces with Velocity Career Labs and 15 other leaders from across the Human Capital Management (HCM) and Education markets to launch the Velocity Network Foundation in the pursuit of a globally accessible, open-source, blockchain-powered so-called Internet of Careers®. We believe that our efforts will transform the world of work.

Given that, what do verifiable credentials mean for our customers – and ultimately, their candidates?

What Do Verifiable Credentials Mean?

  1. Identity Confirmation

    – First, it means the ability to lock an identity on one person. Powered by blockchain and cryptography, employers and educational institutions can better trust that information shared by applicants, candidates, students, and employees are true, untampered, still active, and issued by the said issuing organization. Given the banking community’s commitment to integrity in hiring, both for regulated and non-regulated roles, this process will help you be more confident in your candidates’ qualifications for the job.

  2. Improved Accuracy

    – We also think verifiable credentials mean improved accuracy through verification – particularly in the realm of education, which we all know can be the most falsified piece of documentation. Through verifiable credentials, employment records and education simply cannot be faked if verified by the issuer. This also applies to certificates issued from key industry groups, such as the European Banking Association, that may attest to a candidate’s membership and suitability.

  3. Compliance & Risk Reduction

    – Additionally, we see verifiable credentials as reducing risk through decisions based on reliable data and related support of global regulatory compliance efforts. Specific to the banking sector, verifiable credentials support regulated references and streamline the overall screening process. Employers, like banks, may be able to get key hires onboard much more quickly – supported, of course, by other elements from the traditional background screening process.

  4. Improved Turnaround Time

     – Ultimately, this leads to a reduction in turnaround time for the screening process, even in a global environment, as there is no need to re-check static data. This particularly applies to delays caused by organizations that simply may have gone out of business or are unreachable, or in countries where the screening process can be more protracted. For example, in China, we know it can take up to three weeks to complete a reference check. But, with verifiable credentials, once confirmed, the information gleaned from the reference will be available going forward.

  5. Candidate Autonomy

    – And those are just some of the benefits that we perceive for our customers – employers like you. But this technology will also change the future for candidates and students, making it possible for them to claim and manage their career credentials – including their verified education, work history, skills, and talent assessments – all allowing them to choose with whom to share this information and for what purpose.

From a GDPR perspective, verifiable credentials support the candidates’ privacy and give them the opportunity to agree on how their data will be used and shared – leaving the candidates feeling more empowered and in control.

So, you may now be asking – “With this streamlined process and greater candidate autonomy, where does HireRight fit into the screening process?” Well, I can tell you, that our role – and frankly our broader commitment to our customers – will remain completely unchanged. HireRight will continue to deliver the same value by acting as an independent verifier, supplementing gaps in provided information to help you hire with confidence and clarity.  Simply put, we just see verifiable credentials as helping us offer you and your candidates an even more secure, streamlined experience.

These and many more reasons are why HireRight is a proud founding member of the Velocity Network Foundation – and why I was so pleased to join them and speak about our work.

You can find out more about our work with the Velocity Network Foundation, the Future of Screening at HireRight, verifiable credentials, and the Internet of Careers® in the below resources:

Additional Reading

Release Date: June 8, 2021