10 Factors to Consider in Selecting a Background Screening Firm


PreemploymentDirectory.com has identified the following practices of highly effective background screening firms. While every employer has unique requirements these practices provide a solid set of criteria for employer’s to use in selecting a qualified background screening firm. Les Rosen, past president, National Association of Professional Background Screeners states in an article in Occupational Health & Safety, ‘Background Screening and Safe Hiring: An Introduction:’  “An employer should look for a professional partner, not just an information vendor selling data at the lowest price. An employer should apply the same criteria that it would use in selecting any other provider of critical professional services. For example, if a employer were choosing a law firm for legal representation, it would not select the cheapest-it would clearly want to know it is selecting a firm that is competent, experienced, and knowledgeable, as well as reputable and reasonably priced. The same criteria should also apply to critical HR services.”  A good background screening firm can keep you out of hot water, while a poor one can get you into hot water.

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1.       Provides ‘Full Service’ background screening including the following:

-          Verification of identity, e.g., social security trace, etc.

-          Criminal and civil background check including current warrant

-          Reference check and previous work history

-          Verification of education and professional license records

-          Motor Vehicle records

-          Terrorist Search

-          Credit history

-          Other searches as deemed necessary

1.       Certifies that all information sent to client will be in compliance with all
applicable federal, state and local privacy, EEO, consumer reporting and
other appropriate laws.

2.       Certifies that all staff, permanent and temporary, have had criminal
background checks conducted on them and have acceptable histories.

3.       Response time meets your hiring needs (turn around time to provide data
for a decision to be made).

4.       A written procedure exists that defines their process for protecting applicant
information, destroying necessary information and protecting the privacy of
sensitive data.

5.       Has certification in states that require Background Screening firms to be

6.       Fully explains limitations of National Databases to clients.

7.       Has the capability for their database to interface and/or to be integrated with
the your HR and/or Employment information system(s).

8.       Has the capability to collect direct information from court houses in
jurisdictions appropriate to meet clients needs.

9.       Has specific procedures and processes in place to shield client from
acquiring or viewing ‘protected information’ or information that might
expose the client to legal liability. Documentation exist verifying that staff
is properly trained in appropriate information management.

Excerpts from theComprehensive Guide For Selecting a Background Screening Firm’  which can be downloaded at www.PreemploymentDirectory.com