Is Your Background Screener Doing the Job? Here’s How to Tell

Choosing and monitoring your background screening vendor is as important – and maybe more so even – than the interview you conduct with candidates. “The worst thing you can do,” says Fred Giles, chair of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners, “is to treat it (your background screening) like a commodity and choose the lowest bidder.” Once you have made a selection, monitoring the performance and maintaining regular contact is also a must. And, says Giles, “Most significant, most important, is that employers make sure to review the process, their process … Have a clearly defined process for evaluating the results … and an opportunity for the candidate to explain (any negatives).” In the wake of revelations that the nation’s leading security clearance background firm may have shortcut its procedures, now is a good time for all employers using a background vendor to review how the work is being done. Says Giles, “It is not unreasonable to ask that the work being done be documented.” Especially for certain types of employment – education, for instance – ask that the names of all contacts be included in the report. It’s also acceptable to have the vendor audit their work.” However, the best insurance, says Nick Fishman, an executive with EmployeeScreenIQ, is to be diligent in the selection of a background vendor.

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