7 Signs of a Highly Effective Background Check Company

Your business can’t leave background checks to chance. The security and efficiency of any well-run organization depends on a reliable workforce. That’s why the company that you trust for employee background checks must be reliable as well.

How can you tell if the company charged with screening staff candidates or current employees is dependable? How can you be sure they will do a good job? Here are seven telltale signs that a background check agency is trustworthy.

1. Knowing the Laws

Criminal background checks are limited by a number of laws. These regulations vary according to the state and city in which your company does business. There are also different laws regarding employment background checks for certain industries. If these laws are not respected, as the employer, your company could be liable for mistakes made in the screening process.

For example, there are two legal restrictions which many employers are not aware of when it comes to background checks.

Work Applicants Must Give Permission for All Background Checks

It’s true that employee screening is a common practice. Yet, candidates for a job must give written consent for your company to run a background check. While your background screening company cannot provide legal advice, they certainly can help you facilitate compliance. Online disclosure and authorization forms should be part of the process and customizable so you meet the requirements on the law.

Ban the box Laws

In recent years, 34 states and 150 cities in the U.S. have made it illegal to specifically ask about criminal history on job applications. These are known as ‘Ban the Box’ laws. For example, Philadelphia’s Ban the Box law doesn’t allow employers to ask about past convictions in the work interview process. The goal of the Fair Criminal Records Screening Standards Ordinance is to focus hiring decisions on work experience and qualifications.

A reliable background screening company cannot take the place of your attorney or offer legal advice. However, a respectable background check company will be able to customize your screening process to meet the requirements of the federal law as well as your state or local ordinances. For example: If your state does not allow the use of conviction records older than 7 years, at your request, a competent screening company can strip those out before you even see them. This makes your job that much easier.

2. Relying on Multiple Sources for Background Information

Many employers think that performing a background search just requires looking through a single file or database. Unfortunately, the process is much more complicated. Criminal records can be found in databases, at the county, state or federal level. Employment history information, educational records and other public data are scattered throughout different repositories. This is also more complicated for individuals who have changed their name through marriage or divorce and have lived or worked in different cities and states throughout the years.

A reliable company understands the complexity and has a wide network of resources available to develop a complete background report.

3. Taking Time to Complete Background Checks

Truly thorough background screening takes time. The information that your company really needs to be able to make dependable hiring decisions requires deep investigation and collecting data from a variety of sources. Don’t trust an agency that is offering instant background reports or impossible turn-around times.

4. Delivering Thorough Background Checks

A solid background check agency goes beyond investigating resume references and performing social media searches.

New Hire Reference Checks

Employers can check references as part of their regular employee interview and screening process. It’s often helpful to speak with previous bosses and supervisors to find out if a candidate is a good fit for your company. You don’t necessarily need to hire a background check agency to contact the references listed. However, having a reputable screening company contact the references and previous employers ensures a consistent process enabling you to make informed decisions.

Social Media Checks

A reputable background service will know that Social Media searches are NOT a reliable source of information. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the FTC warn against reliance on social media because of its influence in discriminatory hiring processes. Furthermore, the information in the profile could be falsified and is difficult to verify.

A reputable employee screening service will avoid these tempting pitfalls. The agency will seek out verifiable data and go beyond what is easily found on social media or a quick reference check. This should include:

  • Public records – federal, state and local,
  • Conviction history,
  • Sex offender registry,
  • Credit history,
  • Driving records,
  • Verification of professional licenses, and
  • Previous employment information.

5. Adhering to National Guidelines

You should never trust a company that doesn’t comply with the FCRA guidelines related to credit screenings. It’s illegal to request background checks for work applicants from an agency that does not follow these regulations. Read the details of the contract to ensure that the background information that they provide can be used in the job hiring process.

When looking for a background check service provider, you should also make sure that the company is affiliated with the National Association of Professional Background Screeners.

6. Offering Flexible Checking Services

Different industries and career positions require different screening processes. For example, driving records are imperative for potential delivery staff. While criminal history is important to know when hiring healthcare and childcare workers. Credit checks aren’t needed for every type of position and may be illegal in some states and cost extra. That’s why you should hire a company that provides flexible background checking services to fit your business needs.

These companies create various screening packages that contain exactly what you need for each type of position ensuring a consistent and cost-effective solution.

7. Charging a Fair Price

Compiling a full, reliable background report requires careful work by trained professionals. Any screening agency that claims to provide free or cheap background checks is probably skipping some key steps. If they rely on sources that are not verifiable or provide incomplete screening, it could put your business at risk.

Protect your business by relying on VerifyProtect.com. Our staff understands the complexities and requirements regarding background checks. We will help your company save time and minimize risk during the employee hiring process. To discuss your business needs, call us at (888) 219-4945 or fill out our quick contact form.

Kristina Taylor
In 1989, Kristina began her career as a customer service representative at the newly formed American Tenant Screen, Inc. Ten years later, she pioneered tenant background screening on the Internet. As a long-standing member of the National Multifamily Resident Information Council (formerly the National Association of Screening Agencies) Kristina gains insight into the trends of the tenant screening industry to better understand the current and future needs of their clients.

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Popular Resources

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