5 Questions Employers Should Be Asking Their Background Check Provider

Kevin Bachman


Clients ask a lot of questions. How long do background checks take? How much do they cost? Can we integrate with their Applicant Tracking System? (Yes). Is my data safe? (Yes again).

At EmployeeScreenIQ, we pride ourselves on answering client questions. Keep them coming! But one thing we’ve noticed over the years is the questions have become more tactical, more about impact to a pre-existing piece of technology or administrative workload. They are really important questions, but I don’t have as many strategic conversations about background checks anymore. As questions have become more diverse, they have also strayed from what I think is the primary objective of any screening program. How do I do the best, fastest, most cost effective and compliant background check possible?

Below are 5 questions employers should be asking their background check provider:

1. How do I stay compliant?

There are a myriad of regulatory agencies, state governments, local governments and consumer rights advocates, all with a vested interest in ensuring this process is as accurate and transparent as possible. We share that same goal. Take every precaution to safeguard your company and ask your current partner to evaluate your process. Close any holes that exist. Most are easy and don’t cost money. In this business, bad things that emerge out of a non-compliant program are significantly worse, more expensive and negatively impactful to your brand than almost all other bad outcomes.

2. What should I be doing?

The background screening landscape changes quickly. Products and services that didn’t exist five years ago are routine, inexpensive, fundamental components of today’s screening program. When did you create your screening program? When was your last account review with your provider?  Make sure your program reflects today’s standards.

3. What shouldn’t I be doing?

Employers might be surprised to hear that some services become obsolete, or in the mind of a screening partner, aren’t all that valuable. Get the most bang for your buck. Employment verifications are extremely valuable. A reference interview (with a co-worker) isn’t as valuable. A budget might force an employer to cut corners on executive level hires, but if they’re using those dollars to over screen entry level hires, there’s an opportunity to fix two problems at once.

4. What role can technology play?

Technology, both on the client and the screening side, has reshaped the industry. Background checkers have access to more information, faster. But on the employer side, technology can inadvertently force companies to make choices. Ask for too much information up front through an ATS? Applicants may quit the process. Collect too little, the risk of a bad hire increases. Embrace a process that saves a HR staff 10 minutes per background check (yeah!) But not if it dilutes the quality of the background check by 50% (boo!) It’s a balance. Make sure you strike the right one.

5. Who am I doing this for?

Identify key stakeholders within your organization and know whose interests win out when they conflict. A deeper background check may take longer and cost more, but risk is better managed and on the whole, the company may be more compliant. Once in a while, a candidate may take another job while waiting. Is everyone who is involved in the process ok with that? Or is that a situation to avoid at all costs? Game out these scenarios and make decisions through that prism.

At EmployeeScreenIQ, we have the luxury of seeing how thousands of companies run their screening program and as experts in the field, we have solutions and recommendations at our fingertips. Take advantage of our expertise. Go ahead. Ask away.

Kevin Bachman
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Kevin Bachman

Senior Vice President of Operations at EmployeeScreenIQ
Kevin is responsible for creating strategy and setting long term goals to manage and optimize organizational workflow. Kevin ensures the company exceeds performance benchmarks by designing and implementing a robust set of analytics and metrics. As a member of the executive committee, he helps shape corporate strategy and sets the direction of key client initiatives. With 13 years industry experience, Kevin is a member of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS), previously serving on the best practices committee and co-chairing the Litigation Avoidance sub-committee.
Kevin Bachman
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