How to Choose the Best Background Check Service Provider for Your Business

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background check

By Kirsten Wiegman on September 21, 2023

Finding the right employees is a challenge every company faces, whether a startup or a large enterprise. One crucial step in the hiring process is due diligence around background checks. This article is part of a series designed to help you build the right program to support your company’s hiring strategy. Check out our previous article on how to build the right background check program here.

There are many options when searching for a new background check service provider. But how can you figure out which service is best for your business? It’s essential to consider your goals, internal resources, and processes. Whether this is your first time hiring a background check service provider or thinking about making a change, it’s an integral part of your Talent strategy.

Before we dig into the details, let’s discuss background checks and where background check services fit into the pre-employment and workplace safety process.

What does a background check consist of?

A background check is a screening that helps employers reduce the risk of hiring a candidate that exposes them to monetary loss or legal liabilities. The term ‘background check’ is an umbrella term: no one-size-fits-all screening exists for all employers. Background checks can include key elements such as:

  • Criminal history
  • Employment verification
  • Education verification
  • Professional licenses and certifications
  • Motor Vehicle reports
  • Drug testing and health screening
  • References

Background checks are often packaged with services and products that are most relevant to an organization’s industry and requirements. 

What does a background check service company do?

While some companies can obtain some of this information independently or request information from candidates as part of their hiring process, collecting and verifying it is time-consuming, error-prone, and not advised out of respect for candidates’ privacy and accuracy. Companies look to background check service providers to speed up the hiring process and protect the employer’s interests.

Most service providers differentiate themselves based on the packaging and deliverables of their offerings: timeframes, service fees, customer service channels for candidates and employers, service level agreements for client escalations, and overall cost. 

Before you sign up with your next background service provider, here are some things to consider ensuring you make the best decision for your business.

3 Steps to Choosing the best background check service provider

Identify Your Department and Company Goals

The first step in finding the right provider for your background checks is to revisit your company goals. What are the hiring expectations for the next 12 to 24 months? Does your company have plans for high-volume hiring or seasonal hiring? It is essential to verify whether your background checks will include standard elements regardless of position or if there are any special screening requirements for healthcare, finance, executive, transportation, or other industry-specific jobs with compliance requirements. 

Thinking beyond your hiring goals, when was the last time you reviewed your workplace safety processes? If you need to implement ongoing warehouse and transportation safety screenings, estimate how many screenings you will need for new hires and existing employees over the next 12-24 months. 

Finally, how much help does your HR department need to accommodate your hiring goals? Some background check providers offer a ‘full service’ option that allows you to outsource this step, saving you time. 

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