7 Habits of a Highly Effective Background Screening Firm

background screening firmYesterday, I hustled out of church after purchasing three chicken and noodles dinners in support of our homeless ministry.  The sun was shining and I had two goals:  cut the grass and finish staining the deck. Unfortunately, after eating quickly, Mother Nature opened the clouds and dropped buckets of rain.  I have lost track, but this must be about the 1 millionth straight day of rain.

I eventually gave up hope of cutting the grass and staining the deck and settled into a comfortable chair and read the final 50 pages of The Girl With The Dragon Tatoo before sitting down to write this blog post.  It was just me and the pitter patter of rain.   The kids had scattered to grandparents or were napping.

I started thinking about a recurring conversation I have had with potential clients.  What makes us different than many of our competitors?  What they were really saying is that all background screening firms look the same on paper or a website?

Amen.  You have to cut through layers and layers of crafty marketing to determine what a company really offers.

This has placed us at a disadvantage because we are transparent but have not always done a great job of educating potential clients on what background check best practices look like.  That is changing and you will see a lot more video testimonials on our website in the coming weeks.

So I thought I would share the 7 habits of a highly effective background screening firm:

  1. They Do Not Offer One Click Background Checks as a Screening Program.  The lure of instant background checks is hard to resist.  Cheap and fast.  In your heart you know this is too good to be true and it is.  I don’t care what the firm is telling you.   ALL instant criminal database searches are incomplete.  These searches are a tool to be included in a package not a screening program.  A reputable background screening firm does not market these searches as screening programs.
  2. They are Focused on the Safety of Your Organization.  A quality background screening firm should place the safety of your organization as the top priority.  Firms that sell cheap criminal searches for $10 are placing profit above safety.  Every single employee at Safe Hiring Solutions from our CEO to administrative assistant has children or grandchildren in a school, church or volunteer organization we provide screening for.  Your safety and security is our mission.
  3. They are Transparent.  Conduct your due diligence when selecting a background screening firm.  Apply the same hiring process to your vendor selection.  A reputable background screening firm should be open and honest about background screening limitations, pricing and turnaround time.
  4. They are a Committed Partner.  Background checks require ongoing communication between the client and the screening firm.  You need a partner you can trust and who responds to your questions quickly.  Partnerships are based on honesty, trust and open communication.  We provide a client service representative to every client.  Our staff members work closely with you and monitor the quality and timeliness of your screening reports.
  5. 5.       They Provide Legal Guidance.  Navigating the Fair Credit Reporting Act, EEOC and individual state laws can be overwhelming for an organization.  Quality background screening partners will provide training, education and sample forms to steer you in the correct legal direction.  Ask firms about their policies related to legal compliance.  Do a Google search and you might be surprised how many large-brand screening firms have been sued for FCRA non-compliance.
  6. They Hire Great People.  Great organizations have great people.   We look for character, integrity and great personalities.  Skills can be taught.  We don’t have to market great customer service, we provide it.  Ask our clients what they think about their client services representative.
  7. They Use Cutting Edge Technology.  Highly effective background screening firms provide online software platforms with integrations to HRIS, applicant tracking systems and the ability for custom integrations.  We have gone one step further and developed an Applicant Tracking System that allows us to configure a link so applicants can sign an e-authorization, input their data and initiate the entire background check without paper or labor.

You obviously care deeply about your organization and the doing the right thing or you would not be reading this article.  So do not settle for anything less than a background screening firm that is committed to these 7 highly effective habits.

Download our 10 Things to Know Before Hiring a Background Screening Firm.