CHICAGO, May 28, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The global COVID-19 pandemic has hit small and mid-sized businesses hard, with 31% closed in the last three months and 62% citing government or health authority orders as the cause.i
As states around the country begin to lift shelter-in-place orders, small business has an enormous sense of urgency to re-open and play their important role in helping some of the 20.5 million newly unemployed consumers get a paycheck.ii That’s why TransUnion (NYSE: TRU) today announced its plans to support the hiring ecosystem by offering small businesses and their prospective employees free access to certain of its ShareAble for Hires employment screening tool packages, now through the end of July 2020.
By implementing TransUnion’s web-based ShareAble for Hires small businesses can safely and securely conduct background checks on prospective employees within minutes vs. days. The solution is completely transparent and provides job applicants with a copy of reports obtained.
“Small businesses and those previously employed by them are among the groups facing the greatest financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Steve Chaouki, President of U.S. Markets at TransUnion. “TransUnion is offering ShareAble for Hires for free to small businesses so they can get back up and running quickly, and help people get back to work fast. That’s the power of Information for Good.”
Small businesses and their employees facing greatest challenges
While many Americans are facing financial challenges, small businesses have been among the groups most negatively impacted by the pandemic. TransUnion research found that the volume of employment screening for small businesses with 50 or fewer employees declined by 65% in mid-April compared to average volumes observed in prior months during 2020. This is a reflection of small businesses hiring at a lower rate than what was observed prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As of early May, employment screening has only recovered to a 55% to 60% decline. Comparatively, TransUnion found that large businesses experienced a 35% decline at the apex in mid-April and have, as of early May, recovered to levels that are 20% below what was observed earlier this year.
As small businesses face challenges, so do the people who work for them. A recent TransUnion survey in May found that 70% of consumers working for a small business (with under 50 employees) said their household income was negatively impacted by COVID-19.
Of this group, 17% said they have lost their job as a result of the pandemic. Additionally, 69% of those persons who stated their income was negatively impacted, said they are concerned about paying their current bills or loans. In fact, 86% of impacted small business employees state that they will not have money to pay their bills within three months.
“Small businesses are resilient and once they come back, we anticipate so will jobs,” said Jason Norton, vice president of emerging global solutions at TransUnion. “Last year, alone, 44% of hires in the U.S. were performed by businesses with fewer than 50 employees. Our intent is to help this major employment engine run once again by providing this important screening tool at no cost.”
ShareAble for Hires allows small businesses to hire immediately
ShareAble for Hires is unique in that it is the only such online background check tool that 100% of small businesses can use with no waiting period or setup fees while delivering reports within minutes. Transunion’s Basic and Plus packages, which normally cost between $35 and $50, will be free of charge through July 2020.
Information about the packages can found here. Small businesses interested in using ShareAble for Hires will simply need to click on the following link and conduct a three-step process.
First, the hiring manager at the small business creates a free account and sends a screening request to the prospective applicant. There is no waiting or membership process. Then the applicant receives the request to fill out their personal information, consents to share their reports with the employer and their identity is authenticated. Finally, reports are delivered within minutes to both the small business and applicant.
“We are confident in all of our ShareAble for Hires offerings and the types of screening small businesses choose to use is completely dependent on their individual situations. What’s most important is that small businesses are able to make timely hiring decisions with employees they can trust to help them succeed,” said Norton.
More information about ShareAble for Hires and this special offer can be found here. Businesses interested in learning how to navigate the impacts of COVID-19 can gain insights from TransUnion webinars, blogs and more here. Additional resources for consumers looking to protect their credit during the COVID-19 pandemic can be found at transunion.com/covid-19.
About TransUnion (NYSE: TRU)
TransUnion is a global information and insights company that makes trust possible in the modern economy. We do this by providing a comprehensive picture of each person so they can be reliably and safely represented in the marketplace. As a result, businesses and consumers can transact with confidence and achieve great things. We call this Information for Good®.
A leading presence in more than 30 countries across five continents, TransUnion provides solutions that help create economic opportunity, great experiences and personal empowerment for hundreds of millions of people.
i State of Small Business Report, Facebook, May 2020
ii Department of Labor Report, May 8, 2020