Background Check Assessment for HR Professionals

Identify the risks and opportunities in your background screening process

Determining the effectiveness of your organization’s existing background screening program isn’t always easy, especially when you consider the many variables affecting its success—state and federal compliance risks, the level of service and guidance you receive from your background screening company, and the background check process itself. Despite many factors, at the end of the day you rely on your background screening program to deliver accurate results, acceptable turnaround times, and an efficient process that helps you stay in compliance with ever-changing regulations.

According to the Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA), 96 percent of employers conduct some kind of background screening. However, conducting background checks doesn’t mean you have a screening program designed to optimally support the organization’s hiring and talent management goals.

Knowing where your program stands doesn’t have to be a guessing game. Use this interactive assessment tool to identify opportunities for improvement in your background screening program and ideas for addressing them.

Explore below for more details.

Review Your Existing Policy:

Your responses indicate your existing background screening policy may be driving inconsistencies in background check activities. If you don’t have an existing employment background screening policy, it’s important to create one and work with a background screening provider to set up products and services that align with the policy. A policy that includes employees and non-employees, such as interns, volunteers, and temporary staff, supports a safer workplace and helps to protect patients, customers, and other stakeholders.

It’s also a good idea to review your policy for consistency in background screening activities across job types. While it’s acceptable to screen specific jobs across an organization differently, having standardized background checks within a particular job type supports consistent policy application throughout the organization. 

Refine Your Screening Process:

Your responses indicate there are areas of opportunity to improve the efficiency of your current process. A key way to make the hiring process more efficient is with the use of an applicant tracking system (ATS). An ATS stores and organizes candidate data, but it also integrates with other platforms, such as background screening technology that can speed up the hiring process by limiting manual steps and double entry.

If you’re conducting parts of the background screening process in-house (for example, criminal record searches, driver record searches, or drug screening), doing so not only opens the organization to possible compliance risks, but it can also lengthen background check turnaround times. By consolidating services with one provider, you can complete background screening processes more efficiently and free up internal staff to focus on other activities. In addition, working with an experienced screening provider can help you identify specific ways to automate and standardize your existing process.

Understand Compliance Risks:

Compliance may be the biggest hiring risk for your organization because it’s the one that affects both the organization’s bottom line and its reputation. In the last decade, employers have paid out $174 million to resolve class-action lawsuits over alleged background check violations. Lawsuits that end up in the headlines can cause even more damage.

To improve the compliance of your background screening program, an audit can be a great first step to understanding how well your organization abides by laws such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), “ban the box,” salary bans, marijuana legislation, and other federal and state mandates. Background screening compliance includes everything from application and interview questions to the information included in background check reports. As a result, it’s important to work with a background screening provider that not only understands the associated compliance risks, but can also advise you in navigating them.

Look for Better Service:

Comprehensive background checks require accurate results in a reasonable period of time. You’ll benefit from working with a background screening provider that can deliver both. If it’s taking several days or up to a week to get background check results or even a status update on your case, you probably need a better service provider.

In addition to shorter turnaround times, you should also look for a screening partner that delivers reporting capability and measures success based on predetermined metrics. With a dedicated and responsive screening partner, you can have reporting and analysis that help you understand turnaround times, total spend across screening services, and the number and type of background searches conducted during a specified timeframe.

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