Selecting a Background Screening Provider
Searching for a background screening provider should be a careful, thorough process. There are a number of important characteristics you should seek out in a provider:
Information sources – Reputable screening providers go straight to the source, procuring records from courthouses or record repositories, contacting employers and educational institutions directly, and probing licensing bodies for information on certifications or credentials. Any databases or online resources used by the provider should be compiled at the original source, updated on a continued basis, and regularly tested for inaccuracies or outdated information.
Accuracy – Another key factor in better guaranteeing the information you receive on your applicants and employees is of the highest accuracy is to ensure your selected screening provider has an established quality assurance process in place. Investigators, data, and final reports should all be properly monitored with proven methodologies to reduce the likelihood of incomplete, outdated, or inaccurate information being released to you.
Compliance – Methodologies and information should be completely compliant with all necessary national, state, local, and industry-specific laws and regulations, such as the U.S. Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and European data protection laws. Reliable employment screening providers procure information in strict accordance with these laws and regulations, reporting information that you can actually use to make legal and effective hiring decisions. The best screening providers have in-house legal counsel that monitor legislation to ensure their adherence to these regulations, as well as keeping you updated of such changes to better strengthen your organization’s compliance.
Global capabilities – Today’s world is increasingly multinational, as more people have lived, worked, or studied outside the country in which your organization is based. Your screening provider should be able to procure information on these individuals. Make sure you ask how they’re getting this information – through in-house resources or contracted third parties? A provider who professes international capabilities should also demonstrate extensive language expertise and knowledge of cultural protocols.
Experience – The best background screening providers have lengthy histories of providing background information to their clients. Don’t forget to ask for references, as track histories are important indicators of a provider’s reliability and record of customer service.
Understanding of your industry - You should also be careful to work with a screening provider with numerous clients in your industry sector. This expertise will prove valuable in guiding you to decisions on who, what, and how to screen.