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Background check service with facial biometrics launches in U.S. with former LinkedIn VP on board


Canada-based background check provider Certn has launched its people screening platform with biometric facial verification to the U.S. market, and has also added former LinkedIn Vice President Steve Cadigan to its board of directors, the company has announced.

Up until just a few years ago, background checks often involved manual source checks by telephone and fax, and front-end applications that looked like relics of the Windows 95 era, according to Certn. These traditional background checks also turned into a “digital strip search,” according to Certn Co-founder Andrew McLeod, making both potential employees and employers uneasy.

“Our solution provides an elegant candidate experience that feels just like entering and uploading a resumé,” says McLeod. “It’s easy to understand, very transparent, and people can ask questions through live chat as they go along. Yes, there’s a ton of public information out there, but we’ve developed a lot of search intelligence that’s able to deliver a thorough reading without being creepy and intrusive.”

Certn uses artificial intelligence-powered facial verification to verify the applicant’s ID document and help eliminate false positives. The service then scans more than 200,000 sources from 240 countries in 77 languages, searching court, corporate, and government records, adverse media coverage from more than 110,000 databases, and high-risk social media behavior. The company does not scan social media images, but only the text associated with them, flagging high-risk content without invading applicant privacy, according to the announcement.

Steve Cadigan has agreed to join Certn’s board, and will apply the experience gained when he was VP of Talent for LinkedIn from 2009 to 2012, as the company scaled from 400 to over 3,000 employees.

“Certn has a massive opportunity in the States,” Cadigan asserts. “I am extremely impressed by the team, the technology, and the solutions that Certn brings to the HR universe. In today’s fast-paced, data-intensive reality, HR leaders need to arm themselves with tools that help them find critical insights in a noisy reality. The imperative to deeply screen candidates at lightning speed while also delivering an elegant candidate experience differentiates Certn from the competition. I am excited for what is in front of us. Joining the Board was a very easy decision for me.”

Several services offering biometrics identity verification as part of background checks have been developed recently, including a continuous check with facial recognition from Biometrica, and a mobile fingerprint solution launched by First Advantage and powered by Tascent.

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