Companies that employ on-demand workers rely on checks of criminal records, employment verification, and driving records to spot red flags during the hiring process. The trouble is, those checks are a one-time deal — if a contract worker commits a crime a few weeks into a job, their employer usually remains none the wiser. Case in point? Last year in Massachusetts, more than 8,000 ridesharing drivers failed a state background check for infractions like license suspensions, sexual offenses, and violent crimes.
San Francisco-based Checkr, which counts Instacart, Grubhub, and Uber among its base of more than 10,000 customers, today rolled out a new product that seeks to address this problem. It’s called Continuous Check, and it dynamically spots potentially disqualifying records to ensure that problematic workers are quickly identified and flagged.
“With today’s on-demand workforce, there’s a need to move beyond static background reports to dynamic screenings,” Checkr cofounder and CEO Daniel Yanisse said in a statement. “Through Continuous Check, Checkr is creating a new standard of safety for the [gig economy], and beyond that will provide critical insight into changes in someone’s background that may affect their eligibility to work.”
When Continuous Check identifies that an employee was involved in criminal activity, like a new or pending charge for a DUI, it notifies the worker’s employer, who can investigate further. That’s heaps better than the current arrangement — as many gig economy employers only rerun background checks once a year.
Continuous Check was co-developed with Uber, Yanisse said, and the ridesharing company is the first to deploy it. It’ll roll out to the rest of Checkr’s clients later this year.
“Safety is essential to Uber, and we want to ensure drivers continue to meet our standards on an ongoing basis,” said Uber VP Gus Fuldner. “This new continuous checking technology will strengthen our screening process and improve safety.”
Checkr didn’t immediately respond to questions about the service’s pricing, but historically, Checkr has billed its clients per individual background check, which includes education verification, reference checks, and drug screening.
Checkr announced a $100 million funding round last year led by T. Rowe Price, Accel, and Y Combinator, bringing its total funding to about $150 million. The 180-person company says it runs more than a million background checks a month.
One thing’s for sure: Checkr is well-positioned for growth. The gig economy isn’t slowing down anytime soon — it accounts for almost 4 million workers, according to Intuit, a number that’s expected to grow to 7.7 million by 2020.