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September 24, 2020

Do Your Background Checks Cost Too Much? Read This

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We’ve all heard the saying “you get what you pay for” but do any of us follow those words of wisdom all the time? Cheaper prices are tempting because it lets us keep money in our pocket to spend on other things.

This is especially true in the business world. When we are operating under a budget and the powers-that-be get upset when we disrupt it, the lowest price may be a big selling point.

But is that the right way to judge?

Usually the answer is no.

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 some of your budget?

There are a few very good reasons why companies should weigh other factors besides price to ensure they are getting the most accurate information possible in a background check. 

Here are 4 reasons why your background checks really DON’T cost too much.

Securing your information is critical. Lower priced companies may cut costs in their security systems, which leave your applicants' information vulnerable to be stolen. Companies that don’t invest in cyber security, and fail to put multifactored authentication processes and user monitoring perimeters into place, could be setting you up for increased risk of a security breach, Even a small breach can cost you several years’ worth of background check bills in legal fees alone.

Accurate data is essential, too. 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. After all, the reason you use background checks in the first place is to make a more informed hiring decision, right?

Off-shored data policies are iffy. The "cheaper" background screeners sometimes send files to India or the Philippines to be processed. This makes the job seeker's personal identifying information (PII) vulnerable to hackers. Keeping the PII in the United States is worth a few extra cents per report.

The background reports are only as good as the people compiling the information.  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 you to reach anyone for help or 'get anything done', delaying your hiring process. In addition, staff members may not be familiar with the FCRA. All of this can add up to delays, loss of productivity, and less-than-accurate reports.

When you think your background checks cost too much, you need to look at other aspects besides price. The dollars you save with a rock-bottom priced vendor could cost you big later on. Bad hires, damage to your company's reputation, and even wrongful hiring litigation can stem from background checks that are inaccurate, incomplete, or unsubstantiated. Give your company a better chance of making good hiring decisions quickly by looking at the processes and the end product of a background screening vendor, not just the price.

Susan McCullah

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

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