Just because you are local, doesn’t mean your employment screening firm must be. While local is always nice in terms of familiarity is concerned, capabilities are far more important. Just because your local screening firm might screen a lot of people in your particular area, doesn’t mean they have the expertise, capacity or capability to conduct background checks for your applicant’s that may live or have lived outside of your area.
One of the best practices in conducting an effective screening program is to check every county where you applicant has resided, worked or gone to school and every name they have used over the past seven years. So, it is imperative to identify and select a provider who can cover the entire country. It is also important to select a provider who has a basic sense of the federal, state and local laws that govern the use of background checks. In most cases, the Fair Credit Reporting Act will pre-empt state of local laws, but not always. So conducting a check in California for instance is completely different than conducting a check in Ohio.
In addition to client references, you might ask the following questions of a potential provider that seek to highlight experience in this regard:
- Do you have a national client base?
- Do you have national coverage? (duh?, sorry for the obvious one but you never know)
- If you do have national coverage, do you regularly cover all areas of the country?
- Please highlight some of the differences or challenges you run into in different areas or regions of the country (beware of the provider that tells you none).