With staff taking less time to verify employment, their overall costs decrease while still providing a fast and reliable service. And without paying the $40 to $50 per verification, Plexus Global can pass on savings to their clients, improving satisfaction and retention in the long run.

In the early nineties, Carlos Lacambra was a private investigator for business crimes. During and since that time, he’s conducted thousands of interviews and learned a lot about people from all walks of life. It was through that experience that he developed his love of people and helping them. “I believe in investing in people,” he says, “So I’ve made my career about helping people find the best and mitigate risk through hiring risk mitigation solutions.”

Carlos does that now as the President of Plexus Global, which provides a suite of hiring risk mitigation programs, such as background checks, drug and alcohol testing, and occupational health screening and assessments. With their high-tech and high-touch approach, they maximize the benefits of technology to minimize costs and lower turnaround times while consistently delivering the high service levels expected by their diverse clientele. As President of the company, Carlos oversees strategic initiatives and company-wide operations.

The reality: Background checks cost time and money

Higher prices

But the reality is, background checks aren’t always that easy to conduct. For Plexus Global, challenges come in the form of the cost of running checks—from both a time and money perspective. In 2020, when The Work Number (TWN) raised its prices, Carlos tuned in: increased costs for accessing data would mean higher prices for Plexus Global customers and he didn’t know what to expect. The new pricing also exposed a reliance on TWN and a need for an alternative. “We didn’t want to be spending $40 to $50 on every check that passed through TWN—doing so would make us less competitive and risked upsetting our clients,” Carlos explains.

Manual—and tedious—processes

Costs aside, running background checks is also hard because the process can’t be fully automated. Criminal and credit checks are close to being automated, but employment verification still relies on an outdated system, manual searches and verifications, and remains prone to human error. For a long time, Plexus kept a log of every search and verification they ran in the hopes of speeding up checks that they could automate themselves, but they still didn’t see the gains they hoped for. Simply put, the team wanted a way to shorten the time spent on employment verification and remove the manual steps of the process.

A poor user experience

Finally, the way Plexus Global was running employment verifications was frustrating and, at times, uncomfortable for its customers’ applicants or candidates. “Ultimately, though candidates aren’t the ones paying us, they can feel hesitant to share their information or frustrated by having to enter their information on multiple platforms,” Crystal Updegraff, a Client Support Specialist, explains. “It’s repetitive and tedious to input sensitive information over and over again, and we sometimes lose candidates due to the multiple touchpoints,” she adds. Between emails, phone calls, and links to forms, many candidates were getting confused about what information they had to provide and why. What’s more, with multiple email requests coming through, candidates felt hesitant to share confidential data for fear the request was a scam.

To provide employment verification, Plexus relied on TWN as the first step in a waterfall process. If TWN didn’t verify a candidate, team members like Crystal would then call the candidate’s previous employers to obtain information. “Finding employers involved a Google search to track down phone numbers and added friction to the overall verification process,” Crystal explains. “Overall, we weren’t as efficient as we could be and had to treat verifications on a case-by-case basis, which slowed us down and negatively impacted the applicant and client experience.”