Unlocking Efficiency: Identifying Innovative Technologies for Faster Employment Referencing

By Tom McAuliffe

This blog post, written jointly by KONFIR and THE BACKGROUND CHECK ADVISORY aims to explore the benefits, such as improved data security and faster turn-around times new technology is bringing to background check programs, while also shedding light on the common pitfalls organisations face when looking to onboard new technology solutions.


In today’s fast-paced business environment, organisations are constantly seeking ways to streamline their processes and improve efficiency. This holds especially true for background checking and conducting employment referencing, where time is of the essence. 

Referencing in the UK has traditionally been a very slow and manual process, which involved reaching out directly to employers for written information on their current or previous employees, and the time taken is usually measured in days and weeks, not hours. Not only that, but response rates across the industry are also staggeringly low; most employers receive a reference response 60% of the time at best.

Solutions have advanced significantly in recent years and there are now products in the market such as Konfir providing employers and screening providers with instant access to employment history data. These solutions have proven to significantly reduce time to screen and time to onboard new hires. The tool leverages a combination of consumer-permissioned banking, payroll, and tax data to ensure employers have a complete view of a candidate’s verified employment history.

Anton Watson from The Background Check Advisory shares below that one of the keys to success for any background checking program is to ensure that they are at the forefront of new technologies, especially onces that speed up time to hire and reduce risk.

“You need to be able to identify and then successfully adopt these new and innovative technologies which significantly reduce time to hire. However, many organizations often face challenges when it comes to the complexities and time required to navigate their internal procurement and InfoSec requirements before they can implement these new solutions”.

External advisors such as The Background Check Advisory play a pivotal role in assisting companies with the process of new technology adoption, helping them overcome obstacles and ensuring a seamless review and onboarding process for new innovative technologies. They serve as strategic partners, helping businesses align their goals and objectives with appropriate technologies. Using their expertise and industry knowledge to help organisations navigate the vast array of options and recommend solutions tailored to their requirements. Collaborating with subject matter experts helps organisations make informed decisions and avoid potential pitfalls. 

Tom McAuliffe from Konfir, the leading provider of instant employment verification solutions in the UK sheds light on some of the essential steps needed when looking to identify new and innovative technologies for your employment referencing strategy.

  1. Establish your baseline
    1. Turn-Around Times: Measure how long your current process takes from start to finish. This will serve as your benchmark for improvement.
    2. Response Rates: Take note of how often you get responses to your checks without using workarounds or documents. If it’s less than 80%, you’re better off using a tool like Konfir.
    3. Focus of Checks: Are you only verifying employment, or are you also looking at employment gaps? Knowing this helps you choose a more targeted solution.
    4. Time Sensitivity: Identify if there are specific timeframes within which you need the checks completed. This will influence the kind of solution you need.
  2. Understand your needs
    1. Speed: If reducing the time to screen and onboard is a priority, look for solutions that offer quick or instant turn-around times like Konfir
    2. Fraud Reduction: Choose a solution that cross-references multiple authoritative data sources to minimise the risk of fraud. Avoid solutions that rely on manual processes.
    3. Cost-Efficiency: If reducing costs is a goal, look for a solution that offers automation and fits into your workflow.
  3. Assess your options
    1. Comprehensive Verification: Unlike traditional methods that validate what’s declared, look for a solution like Konfir that offer complete verified employment history through multiple data sources, including undeclared activity
    2. Coverage: Ensure the solution covers a wide range of the workforce. Konfir, for instance, covers 100% of the UK workforce.
    3. Efficiency and Accuracy: A good solution should not only be fast but also accurate, reducing the risk of errors and the cost of rework.
  4. Be confident in your decision
    1. Understanding the Solution: Make sure you fully understand how the chosen technology works and its benefits.
    2. Candidate Comfort: If candidates find the solution easy and non-intrusive, it will speed up the verification process.
    3. Compliance and Security: Always choose a solution that is compliant with regulations and offers robust data security, like Konfir, which is fully compliant with UK regulations.
  5. Consider your roll-out
    1. Opt-out or opt-in: Determine what kind of relationship you have with clients and whether you make the new technology a standard for everyone’s benefit
    2. Pricing of new capabilities: If you are not more efficient, will you pass on that saving to customers, maintain pricing or even increase it with a better offering
    3. Sales and marketing: Having technology is only as good as the ability to communicate it to your customers and prospects. Make sure to invest in marketing, communication and importantly sales enablement.


Identifying innovative technologies for your background check program is more important now than ever before. With cost and time-to-hire pressures high on the agenda in today’s fast-paced business environment, organisations must constantly strive for new ways to streamline their processes and improve efficiency. This holds especially true for conducting employment referencing, where time is of the essence.

Innovative new companies such as Konfir, the leading provider of instant employment verification solutions in the UK and The Background Check Advisory, independent background check subject matter experts are driving the industry forward into the digital age, successfully advancing time to hire and improving new hire and employee risk mitigation.

Back to blog home