5 Secrets to Quality Employment Background Checks

Alex Krokos


Just as finding and hiring the right candidate is no simple task, the secret to quality employment background checks isn’t easy either. Your background check results depend on a variety of factors including, your background screening provider, the accuracy of your results, background screening compliance and candidate experience.

Want to know the secret to quality employment background checks? As you might have guessed, it’s not a secret after all. In fact, you can easily pinpoint the quality of your background checks based on a few characteristics.

1. Finding the Right Screening Partner

Remember that it all starts with the right background screening partner. I use the term partner because your background screening company should be just that—a company who cares just as deeply about your candidates and hiring process as you do.

In addition, a good screening partner will be more concerned about providing you with the right screening package—not just selling you the most expensive background checks. Every company requires different information on its candidates, and therefore, should also have a customized screening program.

2. Getting Accurate Results

Along with the right screening partner should come accurate background screening results, using best practices. This includes providing a thorough background check on every candidate, whether it’s a criminal record search or an employment verification.

Without going into too much detail, accurate background screening results means that your provider doesn’t take shortcuts. For example, criminal background check results should never include unverified criminal records. If a background screening company is simply pulling results from a database and handing them over to employers as results, you know something isn’t quite right.

Ultimately, a background screening company should ensure whether or not a record belongs to your candidate by verifying with the most up-to-date record, which is typically done through the county court. To learn more about best practices in criminal background checks, read our guide, Time for a Wake Up Call: Are Your Criminal Background Checks Giving You a False Sense of Security?

3. Keeping Up with Background Screening Compliance

For many employers, background screening compliance is the most difficult part of the process. However, it’s also crucial to ensure that your company isn’t subjected to an expensive lawsuit for not following appropriate state and federal screening laws.

How can you ensure you have a compliant screening program? To start with, your screening provider should be a wealth of wisdom when it comes to compliance.

For example, compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) are vital for keeping your background screening program on track. Imagine if you discover a job candidate has a criminal record due to information uncovered during the background screening process—and you decide not to hire them because of it. Depending on your company policy or the industry you’re in, you may or may not be protected from a discriminatory lawsuit.

Other compliance issues include, the use of a hiring matrix, individualized assessments, the adverse action process and candidate disputes. Knowing if and when you should be using these methods is essential to uncovering the secret to quality background checks. Learn more by downloading our white paper, Keep It Legal: 5 Steps to Compliance When Your Candidate Has a Criminal Record.

4. Ensuring a Positive Candidate Experience

As you may already know, the candidate experience is important for a variety of reasons. For one, the reputation of your company is at stake every time a candidate applies for a position. From the application to the interview to the background check, the hiring process is not only your assessment of the candidate, but also the candidate’s assessment of your company.

The job market is no longer as fragile as it once was, and candidates have more options than they did a couple years ago. Particularly if they have a bad experience with the background check, they might just change their mind about working for you.

So, how does the background check come into play with candidate experience? There are several considerations to keep in mind before, during and after a background check. To learn more, download our guide, Improve Your Candidate Experience: 13 Tips for a Winning Background Screening Process.

5. Receiving Great Customer Service

Believe it or not, your background screening provider’s customer service department is a key indicator of quality background checks. If you’re constantly calling or chasing after customer service for answers about your results, something isn’t right. For a company providing a service to you, you shouldn’t have to beg for answers.

In addition, when you do speak with someone, if they can’t provide you with information about why a background check is delayed or explain the results to you, how do you know the results you’re receiving are high quality?

The bottom line is that customer service should be aware of every step of the background screening process and should also be proactive in updating you on the status. In addition, they should be making recommendations based on your custom screening package, so you can get the best results from your program.

Each of these components are essential to your screening program’s success. Now that we’ve shared the five secrets with you, do you think your background checks are up to snuff?

Alex Krokos
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Alex Krokos

Marketing Specialist at EmployeeScreenIQ
Alex has a strong track record of success in content development, graphic design, social media management and relationship building for more than five years. She began her career as a freelance graphic designer and marketing consultant, where she lead projects from conception to completion for organizations in multiple B2B and B2C verticals and helped integrate and launch emerging marketing into small businesses. She has also worked as an account executive for a Cleveland-based public relations firm.
Alex Krokos
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