Two people shake hands to signify partnership

Getting started with a new partner

It’s often painful, but it doesn’t have to be. If you shorten the onboarding cycle, I strongly believe you can reduce the stress.

In more than 17 years I’ve onboarded my fair share of customers, ranging from employers who conduct one or two checks per year, to those requesting hundreds or thousands per month. We’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to the project management side of this process, and today I’d like to share some best practices to help employers get laser-focused on making the transition an efficient and stress-free experience.

Typically, when an employer commits to a vendor change, it’s a project that lasts several weeks or months. This slow-but-steady cycle is primarily a result of competing business needs. In other words, we’re not the only show in town, and on top of that, there are often multiple parties involved on the employer side, adding a multiple to the equation.

The word equation is italicized because if you look at the process as if were a mathematical formula, say a fraction, it would do well to illustrate the concept. If InCheck is the numerator, and the value is always 1, and the employer is the denominator, let’s also go with 1, you have a quotient of 1. Which is usually the most successful scenario when it comes to a new client onboarding process. One person on each side working together without distraction results in the fastest, most efficient and effective implementation process. However, when the denominator becomes 2 or 3 or more, the quotient of course is less and less, or, in this example, often a slower and less efficient onboarding process.

This formula or equation is the basis of our suggestions for effective onboarding and implementation practices.

  1. Commit to the change. If you’re committed, why wait, when you know that waiting creates unnecessary pain. In other words, a longer cycle grows arms and legs and falls prey to competing business priorities.
  2. Pick an implementation date and work backwards. Stick to the date at all costs. Communicate the date internally.
  3. Schedule training dates and times with key stakeholders the week before implementation.
  4. Select a point person from your organization – all communication will flow to and through this person.
  5. Obtain all information related to background screening packages and protocols as far in advance as possible, and be prepared to share that with your provider.
  6. Have your list of users prepared, and understand their access levels/permissions that will need to be replicated in the new system.
  7. Obtain the invoicing process details from your accounting team so you can readily communicate them to the new vendor.

The best work is done with purpose. Committing to the process helps create a purpose. It’s also a great opportunity to display your project management abilities within your organization. A tight, efficient and thorough onboarding process will also engage your vendor and set the tone for a better working relationship. When a project drags on, the chances of details being lost in the process increase significantly. Keep the timeline in focus and work with a purpose, and you’ll find the burden and stress of a vendor change project can be minimized.

Finally – there’s a reason you’re making the change. Why delay the inevitable? Whether it’s improved cost, service and/or turnaround time, your purpose should be to see those improvements through as quickly as possible. Our sales and account services teams are experienced and here to help. As a trusted partner, we’ll guide you through the process and help at every turn.