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What to Look for in a Background Screening Company

What to Look for in a Background Screening Company

Anyone involved in the hiring process of new employees knows that the process can be grueling, frustrating and fraught with pitfalls. Yet, it can also be extremely rewarding when you find the right hire. One who is a good fit and brings an enormous upside down the road.

Utilizing a background screening company can relieve some of the risk by identifying common red flags through employment and education verification, as well as things like criminal behavior, credit issues and driving habits. When your company deems it is time to use these services, what should you look for? Many companies boast that they are full-service, background firms. But in doing your homework, here are five important boxes to check off:

Competitive Prices

Pricing is critical to anyone’s bottom line and should be a strategic point when choosing your firm. While price should not be the end-all in your research, a competitive pricing schedule should at the very least, play a role in the final decision. And as we all know, background screens are a not one-size-fits-all process. So be sure the company you choose has flexible contracts to meet your changing needs.

Reliable Turnaround Times

Downtime through workforce attrition is expensive. Lost revenue, low productivity and morale can all affect the bottom line. Ideally, the hiring process should always run quick and smooth, but in today’s world we know that isn’t always the case. While there might be some unique reports that can cause unforeseen delays, the overall consistency within the turnaround times shouldn’t be overlooked. Finding a reliable company that provides rapid turnaround times with a high level of consistency is as critical as price (time is money!). It can also relate to better morale in the workplace as workloads, burdened by lost staff, return to normal at a quicker pace. Make sure the one you choose delivers what it promises in a well-executed and timely manner.

Excellent Customer Service

Nothing can be more frustrating than trying to communicate with a contractor without success. When deciding on a firm, ensure you will have access when you need it. It should be a firm that understands your company’s focus, customer base and other needs. And it should be a company that is responsive and compassionate to your requests and questions, preferably with a dedicated account representative. Will you have full access to records 24/7 – from anywhere? Will you be able to speak to a live person? Questions that you need to ask up front.

Ability to Integrate with Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)

Collaborating with a background search firm should take away the headaches, not cause more. That is why it is vital that your company of choice has the ability to integrate with your existing and/or third-party applicant tracking systems. Ask a lot of questions here. The last thing you need is for a software compatibility issue to slow your process. The firm you select should have the ability to adapt and integrate to your system. Period.

Reports that are Easy to Comprehend

Background searches that entail bad credit, criminal behavior, employment and education verification and other areas of concern can sometimes be overwhelming – particularly when working through a large group of applicants. Reports that are easy-to-read and comprehend is your fifth box to check in your search. Reports should give employers an “at-a-glance” view of applicants without having to dig too far down in the weeds to find the answers you need. Inquire also about the ability to customize results to fit your desires.

Hiring is hard. But as mentioned, it can also be highly satisfying when you find the right fit. Utilizing the tools of a reputable, professional screening company can help you meet your goals, and smooth out the process along the way. Knowing the right questions to ask when making that choice is a small investment to make moving forward.


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