User-friendly reference and background checks

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The reference and background checking process traditionally meant hassle for all involved. For candidates, it means asking past managers to give a reference for them. For referees, it means taking the time to write or speak about the candidate’s work. For recruiters, it can mean days of emailing, calling and chasing—it can take up to 28 working days to get a reference back—to finally get through to the right person and collect the information that the hiring manager needs to proceed. It’s a process fraught with inefficiency and opacity.

Zinc was designed to solve these problems, a tool that simplifies the process making it easier for everyone to participate and drastically reduce companies’ time to reference.  We want to deliver a smooth user experience for everyone involved and therefore an intuitive user interface was paramount.

Putting the candidate experience first

Reference checks and candidate experience don’t often go hand-in-hand, but that’s exactly what we’ve done with Zinc’s automated reference and background checking kit. With an intuitive, smooth app, it’s easy for candidates and referees to use, making the reference and background checking process a point of delight in the hiring process.

Zinc’s platform is the first to gift workers their data and truly allow them to view, own and reuse their references. In the future, we envision Zinc being used for all types of career data, making it easier for both candidates and employers to verify skills and experience.

Hiring processes can take a long time and often, once the recruitment process finishes, referencing and background checks take on average 3 weeks to come back. Further delays are often caused by difficulties in getting hold of the right person or the time taken to receive references.

Currently, all reference checks are stored on the candidate’s Zinc profile (should they choose to keep their reference checks). When candidates have their verified profile of career data including references, and background checks, it will make the hiring process much more efficient, secure and transparent, reducing anxiety for candidates through a shorter time-to-hire.  

Levelling the referencing playing field

Unconscious bias can creep into the hiring process. This problem goes much deeper than the obvious race, gender and age prejudices. As humans we hold many unconscious preconceptions that misguide our decision-making. This has led to the introduction of techniques for blind hiring, in which an external team makes decisions on hiring for another team where the worker will be placed, or because we cannot ignore all the biases they bring.

When designing Zinc’s platform, we wanted to counter unconscious bias as much as possible. To achieve this, we worked with referencing expert Alexandra Kelly to design open questions that do not show a preferred outcome and remove any aspects that could lead to discrimination.

Candidates have the right to ask to see their references, but they rarely do so. Zinc turns the traditional referencing model on its head. Rather recruiters saving references as PDFs on company hard drives, or in long email chains, with Zinc candidates control their references and permissions for who views them in their own shareable profile. With the candidate in control of their own personal career data, it’s even easier to comply with.

Making reference checks simple

It’s not only the candidate experience that matters to us, we want to ensure that Zinc delivers a top-notch experience for everyone involved in the referencing and background checking process. Because of this, 90% of our reference requests are returned within 3 working days, slashing the time recruiters take collecting and chasing references manually.

Zinc works seamlessly with the software recruiters use daily so requesting a reference is merely a click away. Once the questions have been decided on, the references and other background checks can be triggered directly from the ATS dashboard.

Much of the hassle involved in collecting a reference comes from trying to get in touch with the right person and sending out reminders. With Zinc, all of this manual work is automated with prompts to the referee and to the candidate to ensure the reference checks are completed in good time.

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