Understanding the Value of a Background Check Provider
When assessing the value you receive from your background check provider, you need to look at more than the services you receive in exchange for your upfront financial investment. In fact, most screening companies provide the basic services of background screening—criminal checks, records search, and verifications, just to name a few. But to know if you are getting real value, you need to look beyond those basic services.
What you really want to know is how your hiring process and organization benefits from using a specific background check provider. For instance, does the provider have internal processes to help you operate a more efficient and compliant hiring process?
By looking at several key variables, from quality to compliance and technology, you can understand the return on investment (ROI) and value of a great background screening partner.
What ROI Should You Expect from Your Background Check Provider
On the surface, many background check providers may seem very similar. According to Gartner research, most B2B buyers struggle to see the difference between one supplier and another when looking at their websites alone.
However, providers do vary greatly. By reviewing the below factors, you can determine if a background check provider can deliver a strong ROI and meet your expectations for efficiency, quality, accuracy, and compliance.
1. Risk Management Support for Better Hiring Decisions
According to a 2021 employer survey, protecting employees and customers is one of the top reasons organizations conduct background checks. Background checks help you make better hiring decisions by providing a complete and accurate view of a candidate’s criminal, educational, and employment history.
When your provider has the processes to help you manage hiring risk, you derive long-term value over the life of the employees you screen and hire. Working with a provider committed to helping you navigate a variety of hiring and employment risks also delivers the following benefits:
- The assurance of having new hires who meet employment eligibility and credentialing standards set for your industry
- Avoiding the hire of individuals who could potentially harm other employees, patients, customers, or visitors
2. High Standards for Professionalism, Compliance, and Quality
Each provider has different procedures for collecting and reporting candidate background data, ultimately making it more difficult to distinguish between two or more providers. However, one great way to distinguish between providers who conduct background checks according to the highest industry standards and those who may not, is to look for accreditation by the Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA).
Background screening companies with PBSA accreditation have been vetted for their commitment to quality and offering customers the highest levels of service and accuracy in screening. To maintain accreditation, each provider must meet stringent requirements across the following areas, ultimately resulting in greater value for your organization:
- Information security
- Legal and compliance
- Client education
- Researcher and data standards
- Verification services standards
- Business practices
3. Compliance with Laws Affecting the Hiring Process
All background check providers must comply with the background check requirements set by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). An experienced provider should be deeply knowledgeable about FCRA requirements and should also have the processes in place to help you avoid costly penalties and lawsuits associated with noncompliance. In addition, your background check provider should also help you stay in compliance with other laws, such as:
It’s important to note: Keeping your hiring process in compliance isn’t just about meeting the requirements of existing laws. You should also expect your background check provider to help you stay abreast of changes on the legal and compliance landscape which could affect the way you hire, including pandemic-related court delays and new laws affecting court searches.
4. Insights and Guidance Specific to Your Industry
When you operate an organization in a regulated industry such as healthcare or financial services, you can derive tremendous value from working with a provider with experience in your industry. For example, an experienced provider can help you stay in compliance with exclusion and debarment screening requirements for healthcare, as well as compliance with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for financial services firms.
5. High-Touch Customer Service
When you need quick answers to questions or a screening technology customization, your background check company must be there to help without causing unnecessary delays in your hiring activities. Therefore, you should work with a provider who offers you the best customer service—responsive to your needs and proactive in making suggestions to improve your hiring process.
With this kind of provider, you can expect the following support and services:
- A dedicated analyst who manages background screening cases from beginning to end, and who reviews and analyzes background data for accuracy and completeness
- A dedicated account manager who can help with adding services and kickstarting account-level adjustments where needed
- Quarterly business reviews to help you identify opportunities for improvements and ways to incorporate best practices into your screening program
6. Breadth of Services to Meet Your Unique Needs
Any screening provider can offer a standard “package” of screening services, But a provider offering lasting value to your organization works to understand your needs, pain points, and potential risks without trying to direct your organization into a package. By understanding your needs first, the provider is better able to offer the services that make the most sense for your organization.
Instead of offering a value bundle filled with services your organization may not need or want, you should expect your provider to deliver value through services that address your unique hiring and screening needs in the short and long term.
7. Well-Integrated Technology
Background check technology automates processes for requesting background checks and reviewing and storing results. When combined with the judgment and analysis of background screeners, it can also deliver insights to help you make better hiring decisions and manage compliance risks as they emerge.
To better manage hiring risks and eliminate manual processes, look for a background check provider with integrated background screening technology. When your screening technology seamlessly integrates with your existing applicant tracking systems, you can do the following:
- Stay better informed about when background checks need to happen
- Know where candidates are in the screening process
- Get notified about background check results requiring your attention.
8. A Better Candidate Experience
Your background check partner should help you make sure candidates have the information and resources they need for an efficient background check process. By assisting with processes such as FCRA-compliant disclosure and authorization, adverse action, and paperless screening, a great provider can keep the screening process moving. As a result, you can offer a positive candidate experience and avoid losing candidates who could become frustrated with the screening process.
9. Industry-Leading Turnaround Times
As in many other areas of business, time is often money. But if your background check provider prioritizes turnaround time over quality and accuracy, your organization is not getting the value and ROI you may be paying for. Instead, you should expect great turnaround times combined with quality assurance controls to help deliver quality background check results, every time.
10. Customization to Meet Your Needs
Every organization has different needs regarding the type of background checks required for different roles and locations. For example, you may require employment credit checks for individuals in roles handling money, and drug screening for individuals in safety-sensitive positions. Additionally, you may require technology customizations to help you operate hiring processes across different locations.
Your background check partner should have the capability to offer customized solutions to meet your needs across all roles, locations, and hiring processes, enabling you to hire successfully across every area of your business.
Select the Best-Fit Background Check Provider for Your Needs
In background screening, no two providers are alike. But if you don’t know which characteristics to look out for, you can overlook some important differences and miss out on selecting the provider best suited to your needs. For specific insights and criteria to help you evaluate background screening providers, read our Competitor Comparison infographic.