How to Choose a Background Check Company

As a human resources manager or business owner who is responsible for selecting the best candidates for your workplace, a background check company is a partner to rely on to get the job done right. A good background check company will deliver quick, accurate, comprehensive reports to mitigate your risks and help you hire the right people.

You can ask for referrals or conduct an online search, and here are some of the factors to consider when you choose a background check company:

  • Price – A base price and fees that are added are two things to consider when determining the price a background check company offers. Make sure you understand what additional fees are added. Also don’t look for the cheapest price, but ensure you get quality screening. The cost of screening is a fraction of the cost of terminating an employee and recruiting, hiring, and training a replacement.
  • Accuracy – It is important to realize that background checks can contain inaccurate information, and unlike for credit reports, there is no central clearing house where inaccuracies can be contested. Make sure the company you choose has a reputation for accurate reports and provides specific information on how it prepares its reports.
  • Services offered – Background check companies vary in the types of services they offer. Comprehensive services can provide a personal and criminal background check, verify professional and educational qualifications, and check employee references, credit reports and drug screening. Choose a company that provides the specific services you need.
  • Responsible use of criminal databases – Employers may rely on a national record search to save money, but a responsible background check company will check local court-level records to get the most accurate information.
  • Legal requirement – Background check companies should advise you on all the legal requirements and government regulations on employment screening. They should ensure you have the employee’s consent before you conduct the check and provide guidance about your responsibilities when using reports and your obligations if you make an adverse action decision.
  • Location and service area – Some background check companies only offer state or local background checks, so if you need national or international information, find a company that offers these services.
  • Report format – Utilize a background check company that will provide reports online, will send data in a report format, and provides automated processing and up to the minute searches on individual candidates or several candidates at once.
  • Speed – A good background check company can turn around accurate information within a week or less but may need more time for in-depth searches that check references.

NAPBS membership – Background check companies that belong to the National Association of Professional Background Screeners are current with the best practices and changing legislation.

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