Things You Should Know When Creating an RFP for Employment Screening Services: Part 2
August 20, 2009
In Part 1, we discussed two very important steps in the RFP process. We also highlighted why a company may chose to go to bid for their background screening services. Most importantly, we opined on the ability for this process to bring value to your organization. I will reiterate again, This is a very daunting process; one that takes months to prepare for and months to complete. This series is not a manual on how to write an RFP, the National Association for Professional Background Screeners has already done that. That can be found by Clicking Here!
Today, we will discuss the next seven important steps in your RFP process.
- Price. When evaluating price, be cognizant of your expected growth not only for the current year but what the overall growth strategy will be for the upcoming year or the next 3- 5 years. Remember, if it looks too good to be true, it usually is. If you demand accuracy and outstanding customer service, remember that there is a cost to that as well. One effective way companies accomplish this is to take the top and bottom bids and throw them away. Some companies will even notify the bidders this is being done in order to get more accurate information.
- Company History.- Asking for a CRA’s company history is very important. You want to make sure you are dealing with a stable and reputable business that will represent your company and applicants’ in a positive manner. An important question to ask is, “How long have they been in business?” This goes to the CRA’s level of experience within the industry. Are they actively involved in supporting the industry itself such as being members of NAPBS (National Association of Professional Background Screeners), ASIS (American Society for Industrial Security), SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management). Further, is the CRA involved in local chapters of various HR groups. This will show their level of awareness in terms of changing trends within the background screening industry and their ability to pass that knowledge on to you.
- Auditing Procedures. Auditing ensures that quality and oversight is of the utmost importance, but also lets you know that the CRA is actually conducting them! The CRA should have detailed auditing measures in place to check for consistency and accuracy in the work they provide. Ask for examples of times when auditing uncovered errors and what was done to rectify the situation.
- Reporting Capabilities and Ordering. Your vendor’s ability to provide a platform to be used in a secure and easy fashion is important to the success of your screening program. There are several ways to order services and retrieve results, but are they conducive to your hiring process? Is it secure and encrypted? Is it easy to use? What are their integration capabilities? These are all very important questions and the more detailed the answer, the better!
- Disaster Recovery- Disaster Recovery plans are crucial. A disaster recovery plan, if ever used, should appear seamless to the client. Not having one can have a serious impact on your business. Potential providers should have a detailed outline for occurrences such: as hardware failures, natural disasters, power outages, etc. A red flag should be raised if a CRA indicates that all of their data is stored in one place.
- Security of Information. Along with disaster recovery, security of information is just as important. With all the data breaches that have happened over the last few years, you want to find a company that takes a highly proactive approach to protecting personal information. Have the companies demonstrate their security by providing you with a sample security policy. Speak to your IT department for tips on how to ensure the vendor meets your minimum standards.
- Management Structure. Management structure is a key component in gauging how your potential provider will offer the support and assistance needed throughout the relationship. Is the company stacked with industry experts? Would you entrust your business and the future security of your employees to these individuals? Again, all important questions to ask yourselves.
- Customer Service Levels. As a potential customer, find out how the CRA will implement a plan to support your needs. It may seem like common sense and pretty basic, but open lines of communication between both CRA and client need to be bi-directional, otherwise the relationship can be doomed for failure and false expectations. Make sure their philosophy on how they service their customers fits in with your own company directives. Later we will talk about Service Level Agreements (SLA’s), it is important to make sure customer service is included in this document. Lay out your customer service expectations on day one, make sure they can deliver this and that there are no surprises down the road!
Written by John Sferry, Director of Business Development and Jason Morris, President and COO of EmployeeScreenIQ.
Founded in 1999, EmployeeScreenIQis a Cleveland, Ohio-based employment screening company offering a variety of employment screening services to mid- and large-cap organizations throughout the world, including those in North and South America, Europe and East Asia. For more information visit http://www.employeescreen.com
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