Jason Morris is a screening industry pioneer and veteran and one of Citadel’s advisors and investors. We sat down with him to get his take on...
Citadel stands to make verifications profitable by Dave Dickerson
Citadel is the type of innovation that industry needs and it solved current and most recent employer verifications.
When Dave Dickerson worked for a public records aggregator in the 1990s, he learned that gathering information on someone—where they worked, lived, or what their public records revealed—could take weeks, be expensive and involve numerous people to track down this data. He realized that the process for gathering this information for employers — was ripe for disruption. And that’s when he founded Accurate Background, a company that now provides employment screening services to more than 16,000 customers and is a leading global provider of background checks, drug and health screening, and Form I-9 verifications.
“What mattered to me then still matters today,” Dave explains, “A candidate-first approach to obtaining information.” Employment screening is a critical step where every job seeker finds the right fit, and every company can make informed hiring decisions and onboard people quickly.
Before founding Accurate, gathering information was a manual process that created frustrations for both the candidate and client. The first area Dave focused on was criminal records. With criminal records he found that he could streamline accessing these public records using technology. What used to take several days could now be accomplished in hours.
When it comes to employment verifications, the processes have not evolved as fast. Verifications are still a manual process. To verify employment using traditional methods, a verifier has to connect with a recruiter, liaise with a candidate, and then track down and reach former employers, often making several phone calls, faxing documents, or exchanging many emails. Whenever a verifier has a follow-up question, they have to ask the recruiter or HR rep, who then contacts the candidate. This process can take several days and sometimes up to several weeks, and it slows down the hiring process.
Instead of relying on the traditional back-and-forth between recruiters, candidates, and verifiers, Accurate created a candidate portal that would allow candidates to provide information directly to the verifier.
“We’ve greatly improved the candidate experience thanks to our candidate-first approach, technology innovation, and efficiency gains from records becoming more available online for criminal records,” Dave says, “But other than improving the candidate experience, not much has changed as it concerns employment verification. These types of verifications are still manual or involve using expensive databases that lack coverage.
When Dave heard about Citadel and how they were advancing employment verifications through technology and focused on improving the candidate experience, he wanted to learn more. “Citadel not only keeps the candidate top of mind and provides a great user experience, but they also pass on cost savings to employers by making an instant connection to payroll providers, eliminating the traditional back-and-forth of employment verifications,” he says.
Removing the barrier: Most recent employer
Going directly to the source of the data—payroll providers—improves the candidate experience and removes risks to candidates’ privacy, too. “Where Citadel differentiates itself is with its current and most recent employer verifications,” Dave explains. “Legacy verification systems can’t ensure access to that data, which puts candidates at risk—nobody wants a verifier tipping their current employer off to their job search,” he says.
Traditionally, if a candidate doesn’t want a verifier to contact their current employer, the verifier must reopen the file after the candidate has already joined the new company. “That’s the only way to do it without leaving a footprint or exposing the candidate—and it’s broken,” Dave says. With Citadel, current and most recent employer data will be instantly accessible, keeping the candidate’s job search private and saving time and money on reopening files.
Verifying candidates faster—and for less
For Dave, Citadel represents a shift for the industry: “Citadel stands to bring much-needed innovation to the employment and income verification space because it relentlessly focuses on accelerating the verification process,” he says.
He believes Citadel will lead the shift towards focusing on recent experience—current or most recent employers—a better representation of a candidate. "I think that Citadel's focus on the candidate experience with features like an easy sign-on and simple links will make it the preferred employment and income verifier for employers and their candidates,” he says.
What's more, Citadel stands to make verifications profitable—and more cost-effective—for employers and verifiers. "Verifications are only profitable when you make one call and verify the connection," he explains. "Any time you have to follow up, the verifier is losing money, or the employer pays more—Citadel solves for that and delivers data faster.”
Citadel is starting with employment and income verifications, but there are so many opportunities for growth, such as applying the software to education, credentials, and license verification. “I’m excited to be an investor and advisor to Citadel and look forward to lending my experience to a company that embraces my fundamental belief of putting the candidate first while revolutionizing the industry at the same time.”