The Certn Background Check Process

Certn background check

If it’s been a while since you’ve done one, you might still think of background checks as slow, inconvenient, and tedious. But Certn’s clients know the long waits, trips to your local police station, and all the paperwork that comes along with completing a criminal record check is over. Good news!

The candidate experience during the background check process often determines whether your candidate completes their job application or not. Here’s how Certn’s online background check process makes all the difference and helps HR managers nail hiring.

Background Checks Don’t Have to Suck

Background checks are essential yet often treated as an afterthought. Sure, you might be using them to tick a box to protect your organization from negligent hiring claims or maintain SOC 2 compliance, but when was the last time you thought about how effective your vendor really is? Could your background check process be better?

It’s okay. We get it. Not everyone can is as passionate about the background check process as we are. However, if you work in HR, you know the background check process impacts everything from your time-to-hire to your employee onboarding experience. It can be difficult for companies to find time to evaluate how your background screening vendor is measuring up, resulting in turnaround times that lengthen time-to-hire, frustrates candidates, and results in hiring managers playing customer support.

As we’ve documented in our case studies, we’ve had clients cut screening time to hours instead of days after making the switch to Certn. In fact, some clients have reduce their time-to-hire by 80% and cut hiring costs by 50%. Given this, we think it’s worth paying attention to how your company does its background screening.

What does the process look like with Certn? We’re glad you asked.

Certn background checks are fast, accurate, and secure — hiring managers are able to see results in as little as minutes. Plus, our platform interface, which seamlessly integrates into your existing system, is consistently rated Easiest to Use and Easiest Setup, so you can be assured there’s no more managing paperwork or tracking multiple reports. Our online background check platform prioritizes mobile use and offers instant identity verification, making it easy on the candidate side, too. Talk about easy!

What’s a Background Check?

Prepare yourself for a long answer to a short question. We can’t help ourselves, we love background checks!

In an HR context, Certn’s background check process collects and verifies a candidate’s information to help the employer determine the potential hire’s suitability for a role. Here’s more information on what jobs require a background check. Checks are also used to apply for rentals, obtain security clearances, and in immigration and adoption processes. In a nutshell, there are many different types of products and services that can make up a background check or background screening.

Again, in an HR context, the products and services you’ll find most useful will depend on the specific needs of your company and the nature of the role you’re looking to fill. Your legal team can advise what location- or industry-specific regulations that might impact which checks you can and cannot run, and our experts are available to provide advice on popular screening packages.

A screenshot of Certn's solutions as part of the Certn background check process

Criminal Record Checks: These are probably the most commonly ordered background checks. They uncover criminal history which leads to more informed hiring decisions and protects your workforce and your organization against negligent hiring claims.

There are important privacy considerations to keep in mind when requesting criminal record checks. You must ensure that you’re only collecting the information necessary to make a hiring decision, and never misuse or disclose any information obtained from these checks.

ID Verification: Identity verification is often done in conjunction with criminal record checks. Certn’s instant OneID identity verification confirms that the identifying information a candidate provides matches their government-issued ID. This verification can also help catch fraud attempts, or people using another’s ID; identity verification helps ensure that the correct person is being considered for the job.

Employment Verification: Validate the disclosed employment history of an individual. This kind of verification is important to verify that someone has the experience and history they say they do. Also, it’s often essential if you hire for a regulated industry like health care, financial services, or education. 

Education Verification: Validate the disclosed education of an individual. This verification is often paired with employment and credential verification, and is worth conducting as it validates that someone has the education they say they do. Don’t compromise the integrity of your company by hiring someone with falsified records!

Credential Verification: Validate an individual’s professional credentials or licences that might be required by your industry. This is yet another important piece of information to vet for highly technical positions. With a few clicks, employers can initiate a check to confirm the validity of a candidate’s schooling, certifications, and licences.

Reference Checks: In the Certn background check process, reference checks can be done over the phone or digitally over email. The customizable questionnaires are designed to get more information about what it’s like to work with an individual. Outside of HR, property managers use these to vet prospective tenants. Reference checks are an important part of any hiring process because they generate insights into a candidate’s character and behaviour that may not be gathered through interviews alone.

Credit Checks: Like reference checks, these can be used by both HR and property managers. A credit check is an inquiry on someone’s credit file and the reports include bankruptcies, public record and collection information, and a credit score (if it’s for tenancy). In the UK, credit checks are one part of ensuring staff meet the Fit and Proper requirements. This type of check verifies people’s financial standing.

Driving Record Checks: A motor vehicle record report shows an individual’s driving record. This includes licence status, traffic citations, and accident history. In Canada, a driving check is also called a driver’s abstract. Employers use driving record checks to evaluate their potential candidates for positions requiring the operation of a vehicle, such as delivery driver or chauffeur. It’s also important for employers in certain industries, such as transportation and logistics, to perform background checks on all employees before hiring them. Doing so helps ensure that only safe and qualified drivers are working for their organization and helps mantain proper insurance status.

Again, the products and services that are included as part of background screening, for employment or otherwise, should be tailored to the role or opportunity. Driving record checks, for example, likely aren’t relevant for a cashier position but may be necessary for a delivery person. Likewise, a credit report may be relevant for landlords performing a tenancy check but not for organizations hiring a receptionist.

Our screening experts are here to help. Part of the Certn background check process involves determining which background checks you need. If you hire for the same role over and over or have a continuous screening process in place, you can save custom combinations of products as “Packages” in our app for future use, making it even easier for you to order from our platform.

Curious? Book a demo today to see how it works.

Certn Background Check

Here are more answers to frequently asked questions about screening in general and the Certn background check process:

When They Do a Background Check What Do They Look For?

The answer is…it depends. As we detailed above, there are many different types of screenings that make up a background check. Each one looks at unique details that should relate to the opportunity the individual is applying for. In this blog post we outline what do background checks reveal. Take a look!

Can You Do a Background Check on Someone?

No. In Canada and other jurisdictions, people have to be informed that background screening is part of the hiring or screening process and provide consent before any background check can be conducted. You can’t run a check on someone in secret.

How Do They Conduct Background Checks?

Background checks are conducted through a structured process that involves gathering information about an individual’s background, qualifications, and suitability for a particular role or position. Certn’s all-in-one platform takes information shared by candidates, like their full name, date of birth, address, and past employment information, and uses those identifiers to perform background checks and verify the information. Certn’s online technology connects directly to police databases and other data banks, which reduces delays and helps shorten turnaround times. These databases may include criminal records databases, sex offender registries, motor vehicle records, employment history databases, educational institution databases, and professional licencing boards. In the case of reference checks, members of Certn’s verifications team might intervene to help facilitate the information gathering.

FYI – Before initiating a background check, all employers must obtain written consent (online check boxes count). This consent allows the employer or a third-party background screening vendor to access the candidate’s personal information and conduct the necessary checks.

How Long Does the Background Check Process Take?

Timeframes for check completions are dependent on the types of checks ordered along with where someone has lived and worked. With Certn, the process for a criminal record check can vary on average from a few minutes to a few days. This is an obvious improvement over the traditional in-person model where the background screening process can take weeks. Take a look at our case studies to learn more about how Certn clients benefit from faster and easier online background checks.

You also might be wondering, why are background checks important? Well, read on below!

Why Are Background Checks Important?

Background checks play a pivotal role in HR processes as they provide critical insights into candidates’ backgrounds, helping hiring managers make more informed hiring decisions and safeguarding organizational integrity. By conducting thorough background checks, HR departments can verify the accuracy of candidates’ qualifications, employment history, and credentials, mitigating the risks associated with hiring unqualified or dishonest individuals. Moreover, background checks help identify any criminal records or other red flags that may pose a threat to workplace safety or company reputation. By upholding rigorous screening standards, HR professionals demonstrate their commitment to due diligence, compliance with legal regulations, and the protection of employees, customers, and organizational assets. Ultimately, background checks serve as a vital tool for HR in fostering a secure, trustworthy, and productive work environment.

Here’s more information on specific use cases:

Verify Candidates to Know Who You’re Hiring

Along with the usual criminal record checks, a leading vendor in background screening industry will also have some kind of ID verification and education, employment, and credentials verification because these services make up most basic background screening programs. At Certn, we can complete all these types of verifications so you know exactly who you’re hiring.

Don’t worry, running multiple checks and verifications won’t slow you down if you use Certn. Our mobile-enabled platform collects information on candidates in an automated way, saving your company time and money and saving candidates the hassle of re-entering the same information over and over.

Background checks are essential for verifying who you’re hiring and creating a safe work environment, so let Certn handle them for you!  With our comprehensive background check services, you can trust that the people joining your team have been thoroughly and accurately vetted.

Hire Smarter

One bad hire or misfit can cost a company quite a bit once the costs associated with recruiting, hiring, compensation, lost business opportunities, and severance have been factored in. In fact, those costs typically amount to approximately 30% of the bad hire’s salary. To avoid costly hiring mistakes upfront, it’s important to have a well-defined recruitment process in place. Using smart and effective recruitment strategies with proper background screening (hint, hint) can help ensure that you hire the right people for the job.

Build a Strong Employer Brand

A candidate’s experience is important when going through the hiring process. It starts with the application, then moves onto the interview, and even continues with the background screening and onboarding process. Yes, the administrative side of hiring matters for employer brand!

In a competitive job market, the hiring experience is even more critical for employer brand reputation. Is it fast? Is it easy? Do candidates have to jump through hoops? Even if the candidate isn’t hired, the process could dictate whether or not they will apply to your company again or what they say about you to family, friends, and colleagues. If the candidate’s hiring experience isn’t strong, you might miss out on top talent.

Certn’s online background checks and self-serve applicant portal significantly enhance the candidate experience by providing transparency, efficiency, and convenience throughout the screening process. With Certn’s platform, candidates have direct access to initiate and monitor their background checks, empowering them with visibility and control over the process. This self-serve portal enables candidates to securely submit necessary information, such as personal details and consent forms, at their convenience, eliminating the need for manual paperwork and streamlining the onboarding process.

Additionally, Certn’s user-friendly interface and intuitive design ensure a seamless and straightforward experience for candidates, minimizing confusion and frustration. By offering an efficient and transparent background check process, Certn can help enhance candidates’ overall impression of your organization, fostering trust, satisfaction, and a positive employer brand image.

Avoid Negligent Hiring Claims

It’s not surprising that up to 93% of employers conduct at least some kind of background screening when you learn about employers’ legal obligations for creating a safe environment. Comprehensive background screening helps employers avoid liabilities by highlighting any criminal history that could pose a threat. Due to its failure to conduct an adequate background check on an employee, the cable company Charter Communications was ordered to pay more than $7 billion in damages to compensate for the actions of its employee.

Negligent hiring is a serious risk that must be taken seriously when bringing new employees on board. Again, employers are legally required to take all necessary steps to properly vet and screen potential hires, which includes running background checks and conducting investigations such as reference checks. This help employers protect themselves from claims of negligent hiring by demonstrating that they took reasonable care in choosing who to hire.

Peace of Mind

Screening and the Certn background check process also helps foster a safe work environment for employees. As an employee, don’t you feel more comfortable knowing that all candidates must complete a background check before being hired?

In summary, the background check process helps:

  • Verify that candidates have the experience and credentials they claim to;
  • Identify errors or falsifications that candidates may have put in their applications;
  • Protect your company from fraud attempts;
  • Choose the right fit for the role;
  • Build a strong employer brand;
  • Protect your company from negligent hiring claims; and
  • Give you peace of mind.

They also help with SOC 2 compliance.

How To Choose a Background Check Vendor

Certn is here to help!

To evaluate whether it’s a good match, ask yourself these four questions about your background screening vendor:

  • Is it an accurate background check?
  • Is the service comprehensive and easy to use?
  • What’s the satisfaction rating of the customer service?
  • Is the company fast and responsive?

Accurate Background Check

Do you trust the company and the results? The whole point of background screening and doing criminal record checks is to have an accurate picture of the person who’s applying. Therefore, it’s important to trust your provider, from the validity of the results to their compliance practices and how they store sensitive information.

Comprehensive and Easy to Use

Can your candidate complete the necessary forms electronically and respond to questions on a desktop or mobile device?

80% of Certn background checks are done on a mobile device, so we know that our platform needs to be compatible and user-friendly. In fact, our platform is so incredibly easy to use that we’re consistently rated easiest background check provider according to All that saved time adds up, especially when compared to other approaches that involve multiple back-and-forth interactions, the collection of several different documents, and other cumbersome processes like working across different platforms.

High Satisfaction Rate

You don’t want to waste your candidate’s time or waste your money. Ensure that the candidate is receiving all the necessary information to complete the background check in a timely fashion. With a clear, streamlined screening process, background check companies should be able to provide accurate and efficient results within a reasonable time limit so you can meet your time-to-hire goals. On, Certn has a 9.6 quality of support rating (compared to the 8.7 industry average). This rating demonstrates our commitment to providing excellent customer service. Our clients and their candidates have access to 24/7 support if they need help along the way.

Fast and Responsive

In today’s competitive hiring environment, we know employers are always looking to gain an advantage, especially when hiring a global workforce. As an employer, you need results fast, and in a form that’s easy to analyze. To that end, it’s important to have a background check provider that offers comprehensive global coverage… but not at the expense of fast results. Certn provides checks for over 195 countries and territories. The best part? You can order all of your checks in one place. Hiring international candidates and expanding your talent pool doesn’t mean having to use multiple platforms or remember multiple logins.

If you’re still wondering how to choose the best vendor, tare over 25 more questions to ask in this blog post called Choosing the Best Background Screening Vendor.

Certn Background Check

A background check is a way to make informed hiring decisions built on trust and transparency, not a way to prevent someone with a criminal record from gaining meaningful employment. It just means that when you do hire someone, it’s in a way that is compliant and responsible.

We know our clients love the Certn background screening process. We also know that you might not want to just take our word for it. Fortunately, you don’t have to, because plenty of our clients have already shared what working with us is like!

iPhone screen showing the Certn background check process

So, what do some of our 20,000 clients say?

“It’s quick and easy to set up a variety of background checks. Then it’s as simple as a click of submitting and Certn does the rest.” – G2 Reviewer

“Quick and easy. The interface of the website is beautiful.” – G2 Reviewer

“Beating the competition in terms of pricing, speed and ease of use.” – G2 Reviewer

Want to see it all for yourself? Book a demo and see the Certn background check process in action.

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