Today, most companies utilize some sort of background screening report in their hiring decisions. Whether it is a criminal records search, a drug test, or a reference check, companies are depending on the information found in a background check report to make good hiring decisions.
Some HR professionals choose their background screening vendors by price. The idea is that screening a person's background is all the same no matter which company does it, so why not use the cheapest one to save a few bucks?
There are a few very good reasons why companies should look beyond the lowest price to ensure they are getting the most accurate information possible in a background check. Taking all background screening companies as 'apples to apples' could serve employers badly, and result in ending up with a disastrous new hire.
Here are 5 reasons to not choose a background screening company by price alone:
#1: Information may not be secure. Lower priced companies may have cut costs in their security systems, which leave your applicants' information vulnerable to be stolen. Companies who do not invest in cyber security, and fail to put multifactored authentication processes into place, could be setting you up for increased risk of a security breach, which can cost you big.
#2: Information may not be accurate. Some background screeners return information that is not adjudicated. This can cause false positives during a background screen, which results in you making decisions based on incorrect information. There are several recent news articles about this very issue, with the employer ending up on the losing end of the litigation.
#3: Information may be sent overseas. The "cheaper" background screeners sometimes send files to India or the Philippines to be processed. This opens the job seeker's information up to vulnerability, which can result in confidential information being stolen.
#4: Inferior training and education. A reputable background check company will train their clients on how to order and read reports, as well as keep them updated about industry regulations. The same cannot be said about the vendors whose selling point is the lowest priced product.
#5: They may have an inferior staff. A company who sells by price alone may not employ the most experienced staff. Their employees could have a higher workload and be encouraged to 'cut corners' to turn out work as fast as possible. This can be frustrating and difficult for the employer's staff to 'get anything done', which can hold up the hiring process. In addition, staff members may not be trained in investigating an applicant's history, or be familiar with the FCRA. All of this can add up to big trouble for the employer who is utilizing this company for their screening of new hires.
These are 5 reasons why smart employers don't choose a vendor by price alone. The low cost in the beginning could end up costing a very high price in the end, in the form of bad hires, damage to the company's reputation, and even wrongful hiring litigation. Make sure you are making good hiring decisions by hiring a reputable company to perform your background checks.