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September 30, 2020

7 Questions Your Background Screener Should Be Able to Answer for You

Questions for background screening vendorRunning a background check on your potential employees is a smart, easy, cost-effective way to gain insight into their history, experience, and behaviors. Serious issues that may not be apparent on a person’s CV or in the interview may be uncovered with a simple criminal records search or employment verification.

A third-party background screening vendor is essential in gaining the best, most accurate information while not draining your manpower. However, each background screening company is different. You should look for one that will be your valued partner. Sometimes it’s tempting to just choose the lowest price, but you might end up with a vendor that is unreliable and unresponsive.

When you’re choosing your vendor, here are 7 questions the background screener should be able to answer for you.

Company Protocols

A background check company should hold themselves to stringent standards regarding security and adherence to the FCRA.

What are your adverse action procedures?

A credible background screener will be able to lay out exactly how the procedures should work, and their part in the role. Think twice about a company that cannot give you a detailed answer to this question.

Where do you get your information?

Your background screening reports are only as accurate as their source. Some vendors rely primarily on database searches, which may miss crimes and convictions. Make sure you understand your vendor’s processes of gathering data for each component of information you use to screen.

How safe is our data?

Does the background screening company have multiple factors in place for keeping your company's, and your applicants’, data safe from a breach? Do they operate overseas? A reputable company should be able to present you with a data security policy that describes exactly how they keep your data safe throughout the investigative process.

The Organization's Credibility

You want every vendor to be trustworthy and transparent, and your background screening vendor is no different.

Is your company accredited? 

Gaining accreditation from the Professional Background Screeners Association (PBSA, formerly NAPBS) proves that the organization has passed the standards set by the organization. Only a small percentage of background screening companies are accredited, so this is good information to find out.

What services do you offer? 

There are a plethora of background check services. Depending on your industry, you may only need criminal records searches, or you may want a full background check including drug and occupational health screening. The vendor you choose should offer everything you need, since a single source supplier is much more seamless for your processes.

Customer Support

As the customer, you don’t want to languish on hold when you need answers. This can hold up your entire hiring process!

How experienced is your staff?

A background screener vendor hopefully employs staff that are highly trained with several years of experience in the industry. Licensed Private Investigators on staff is a big plus. Newer employees may not be able to extend the service standards you need.

What kind of customer service support do you offer? 

Will there be a person or people dedicated to your account? Or will your calls go into a phone tree, and you never get to know any of your contacts? Also, do they require you to communicate a specific way, or can you call, email, or text them based on your preference? What is their call return time?

Asking these questions up front gives you a good idea of the type of accuracy, turnaround time, and customer service you can expect from your background screening vendor. If they are hesitant about answering your questions, they may not be the best choice for you and your company.

Susan McCullah

Susan McCullah is the Marketing Project Manager for Data Facts Background Screening Division.

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