Evaluating Your Screening Provider
There's More on the Table than Just Screens

Background screening providers can offer more than just background screens—they can help you hire the best talent and maintain a competitive advantage.  Unfortunately, many human resources professionals consider screening a commodity; they believe that the screen and the provider are all essentially the same.

To receive demonstrable value from background screening, HR professionals must evaluate more than just the screens and the cost per screen. They must also evaluate the service behind the screens. In the background screening, three essential aspects of service are:

  • Ongoing evaluations
  • Dedicated account representatives
  • Industry best practices information

Ongoing evaluations
Most background pre-employment screening providers offer a package of screens which typically include criminal records and DMV checks. More than 20 percent of those who recently purchased a screening solution received a package. While purchasing background screening services in packages can provide substantial cost savings, the HR professional and the screening provider should work together to ensure that the screens provided are appropriate and adequate for the position.

If the screening provider is inflexible and offers only packaged screens with no potential for change or re-evaluation, companies may be paying too much or receiving too little. In some cases, customers discover that necessary information is not provided. They must then pay their screening provider and find this information on their own.  The solution: ongoing evaluations by the screening provider.

Ongoing evaluation creates the opportunity for customized solutions. The screening provider will listen to what products and services their clients are using and watch for any potential changes in their company. Using this information, they adapt their service offerings so that the client is spending only what they need to and receiving the best service for their business.

Dedicated Account Representatives
Another frustration for many HR professionals working with a screening provider is the infamous help desk. If there’s a problem with the screen, the customer is subjected to the help desk—once they finally reach a person, they discover that person has no knowledge of their particular account and cannot connect them to someone with relevant information any time soon. For HR professionals attempting to fill a critical position, this waiting period is unacceptable. The alternative: a dedicated account representative.

A dedicated account representative will be aware of all the relevant information for that account, and they will provide a direct line in case of problems with the screens. Most importantly, the dedicated account representative will also have the power to correct the problems even if they have to rely on assistance from other departments within the organization.

Industry best practices information
Many HR professionals who utilize background screens simply accept that their provider is doing those screens according to industry best practices. However, many screening providers take shortcuts in their screens, such as using only the national database for a criminal records check or simply calling the number listed for references rather than contacting the HR department at the company in question. This created unanticipated legal problems for the customer. The solution: best practices information and industry updates.

Customers should expect that their provider will deliver regular updates specifically related to their clients’ application and hiring process. Industry leaders also provide white papers and articles showcasing their latest research. In a recent interview, ISP President Jeff Collins said, “Continuing education is essential—working with your screening provider should be like having a consultant on retainer. This should be the relationship with every vendor you have, but I don’t think enough people demand this.”

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About Integrated Screening Partners
For employers dedicated to identifying higher quality employees, Integrated Screening Partners (ISP) has become the preferred source. We understand the importance of investing in human capital and our goal is to provide the essential information you require to make the right hiring decisions in the shortest amount of time possible. Our global client list includes Fortune 100, small and midsize companies as well as education institutions and trade associations.

We can provide the service you didn't even know you were missing. To learn more, contact us for our best practices report, “Baseline Legacy Solutions – What You Are Missing From Your Current Provider” and a customized report to help you recruit, hire and retain the quality employees you need to succeed.

Disclaimer:The contents of this eNewsletter have been prepared for educational and informational purposes only. The content does not provide legal advice or legal opinions of any specific matters.  Transmission of this information is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, a lawyer-client relationship.  You should not act or refrain from action on any legal matter based on the content without seeking professional counsel.  You should contact your lawyer immediately regarding any and all HR matters.