There have been many recent articles about employee background check companies that do a shoddy job. Many people think starting a background check company is an easy way to make money, and it’s not difficult to set up shop – with a computer and access to records, anyone thinks they can do a background check. As a result, there are a lot of companies that offer cheap background checks, but the question that customers need ask is, how reputable is that company?

The fact that there are no licensing requirements or registration system in place for background screeners in most states or nationally should be of concern to both employers and legitimate background screening service companies. Furthermore, the states that do have some type of licensing most often place background check companies under Private Investigative services. The fact is, background checks for employment purposes are consumer reports, and are highly regulated at the federal level (as well as in certain states).

Numerous state laws and federal regulations, such as the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program (BSAAP) require background screening companies and their clients to follow a strict set of rules when conducting employee background checks. By not following these rules, they may find themselves in court. Employers expect to receive good information from their background check partner, and the quality of the information gathered reflects on the background screening industry, but compliance with the many state and federal rules and regulations when conducting these backgrounds is equally as important.

Corporate Screening Services ( has built its business on the following five principles- accuracy, integrity, trust, value and knowledge. We serve our client organization as their trusted partner, and work diligently to ensure the accuracy of the data and reports that we gather and send. So what are some of the qualities and features demonstrated by good background screening companies? I’d like to share that information with you.

Compliance with Federal and State Laws

Compliance is just as important as the background itself. Failure to follow the proper procedures laid out by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) or in state versions of this act may expose not only the background screening company, but also the employer to potential litigation as a result of a non-compliant background check program.


[INFOGRAPHIC] Key factors to consider when comparing background screening  service providers »

Thorough Quality Assurance

Accuracy and verification are the key qualities of good reports. Stories about substandard background screening companies are filled with details of people who were erroneously reported to have criminal records. This records mismatch may occur because the applicant has a common name and a search may turn up many results. It may also occur because the background screening company doesn’t have the ability or resources to delve further and ensure the information is correct. A good screening company looks for information that corroborates that the record matches the candidate. This leads me to my next point – thoroughness.

Employers and candidates expect accurate information to reported, and to do this, a company needs to be thorough. A good background screening company does the necessary research to ensure that the information found pertains to that specific applicant. There’s a lot of legwork involved in making sure that the information is correct, but leaving out important information or providing misleading data is unacceptable.

Leads with a Partner Mentality

Trust and knowledge go hand in hand. A good background screening company will take the time to understand a business’s needs and processes. The background screening company should act as a partner, and also understand the unique needs of your specific industry. This understanding should result in a tailored background screening program, suited to each organization’s business needs. Some questions to keep in mind when interviewing potential background screening companies:

  • Do they take the time to understand your sourcing, recruiting and on-boarding processes?
  • Will they work with you to build a program that meets the needs of all the stakeholders and aligns with your strategy and culture?
  • How knowledgeable are they of your industry?
  • New rules, regulations and laws are common. What resources do they offer to help your company stay on top of the ever-changing environment?

These are just a few of the things organizations should look for when selecting a background screening provider. Financial considerations are important, but when employers base their hiring decisions on the information they’ve received, they want it to be accurate.


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Dennis Drellishak Sr. is recognized as a leading authority in the business information services industry with more than 30 years of experience in high-level business investigations, pre-employment screenings and loss prevention programs. His talent for combining innovative technology with superior customer service has resulted in the development of ground-breaking client tools and services.

Under Dennis’s leadership, Corporate Screening ( has been named one of the top screening firms in the country, has been repeatedly recognized as one of the Weatherhead 100 fastest-growing companies in Northeast Ohio, and has received many other awards. Corporate Screening is a founding member of NAPBS (National Association of Professional Background Screeners).