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 to ensure 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. 

Review Your Existing New Hire Onboarding Processes

If you want to improve the hiring process, the background check is only one piece of the puzzle. The candidate experience is crucial to your brand and their introduction to your company culture. We recommend you conduct a post-mortem on your current hiring process:

  • What’s working? What’s not working?
  • Survey your recent hires to get feedback on their experience
    • An employee Pulse or NPS-type survey will give you a quick read on their sentiments
  • Where can you improve the candidate experience? How can you speed up the process? 

In addition to checking in with recent hires, now would be a great time to check in with your Legal counsel to review the background check process. Have state laws surrounding privacy and decriminalization of drugs changed since your last legal review? What is your company’s stance on considering criminal history and drug testing? How can your DEIB strategy inform your background check and hiring processes? Rachel Morafcik, CEO of InCheck, recently shared her perspective on the business case for DEI

Consider the Customer Experience

The Talent team experience is just as necessary as the candidate experience. After all, your hiring teams are likely resource-strapped and juggling multiple tasks and stakeholders. Your background check service provider should be an extension of your hiring team. When considering your options, you should consider how you want to interact. Is the service 100% online, or can you reach them by phone and speak with someone? How do they handle communication with candidates? Is it also via text and email, or can they contact a customer service representative? 

While most background checks are routine, it helps to know how your provider handles escalations. Customer service and relationship management are critical, especially when the hiring market is competitive.

Choosing a background check service provider is a strategic investment in your talent strategy’s effectiveness. With many options available, aligning your choice with your unique goals and resources is essential. You can streamline the selection process by identifying your hiring projections, specialized screening needs, and the HR department’s capacity. 

Enhancing the candidate experience and evaluating your legal compliance are vital components of this journey. Ultimately, prioritizing the customer experience, seamless communication, and robust support from your provider ensures a smoother hiring process, contributing to your company’s growth and your candidates’ satisfaction. 

At InCheck, we help companies with ongoing hiring needs and limited administrative staff; InCheck’s background screening programs can be deployed quickly and easily. If you’re interested in learning more about our services and how we can help you, please reach out to schedule a call with an In Check expert.

Disclaimer: This blog is for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice.

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