Budget 2015: 4 Steps to Define Your Screening Services Policy

Remember the Married With Children theme song? Performed by Frank Sinatra, ‘Love and Marriage’ became synonymous with TV’s Bundy clan (yes, the infamous hands-in-his-pants Al, wife Peggy and two devilish kids); never mind that the song actually won an Emmy in 1956.

 Here’s the show’s beginning credits for a refresher:

The song as a whole is spot-on, but it’s the line ‘you can’t have one without the other’ that pertains to what we’re talking about today.

The Two P’s

Every business needs to have a clear, compliant and cost-effective employee/applicant background screening program. As RJ, our Director of Marketing and Communications wrote in this blog post, you need to define the information you need to collect and cultivate your program based on these types of background checks:

  • Identity and Credit checks can give you basic information you need; confirming identity, right-to-work status, and credit history
  • Driving Record searches can provide you any citation and violations in an applicant’s past, as well as more specific CDLIS information if you need to comply with FMCSA requirements.
  • Criminal Record Searches could obviously provide valuable insight into an applicant’s past.
  • References and credentialing can verify education, employment history, professional licenses, military service, etc. and match it against claims made on resumes.
  • Clinical Services can offer not only substance abuse testing, but various medical screens and health services.

 Creating your program, however, would be next to impossible without a firm screening policy. What’s the difference, you ask?

 A background screening program is the methods you use to collect someone’s information (such as using a third-party screening service like Active Screening).

 A background screening policy provides a blanket set of instructions, guidance and rules that everyone in your company must abide by to instill consistency and efficiency into the hiring process.

 Without a clearly defined and universally known policy, you could be wasting a lot of your budget. Here’s 4 steps you need to take to define your policy and keep it budget-friendly.

 1.)  What’s your reach? You want to examine what your applicant screening process (if you have one) looks like in its current state. Undergo the steps as an applicant, then perform them as an HR rep. Do you find redundancies? Are there gaps? Does every applicant need to be screened for every position? Is it efficiently performed in house or would outsourcing be better?

2.)  Who should do it? One of the biggest choices you’ll need to make is to decide who will perform the background screening process. Is your HR department capable and staffed well enough to handle the workload? Or are they already overworked? Are they up to date on compliance trainings, Federal regulations and the evolving hiring law landscape? If they are an exceptional department, perhaps they can handle this massive responsibility. In more cases than not, though, HR departments are overworked and overwhelmed. Hiring an outside screening company to run the background checks can be more cost-effective and time-efficient than further burdening your HR folks.

3.)  Keep an eye on legal. You need to ensure you’re still within the boundaries of the law with any changes you make to your screening policy. It can be enticing to cut corners to save money, but if this breaks with compliance, then your legal bills will far outweigh any chump change you saved. Laws exist from local municipalities all the way to the federal government so you need to research them well.

4.)  Write it down. This step is key. Every single employee needs to know the policy, even if they’re not directly involved in hiring. But you don’t need to spend kajillions of dollars on printing out binders for everyone. Digitizing your policy on an intranet will make it easily accessible and easier to edit when changes occur. Plus, you can create a quiz at the end to ensure your employees actually read it.

 We understand this is a lot to chew. The staff at Active Screening can help. We’ve created an applicant screening guide that gives you the knowledge and tools necessary to optimize your screening policy and improve the overall quality of your workplace. Check it out and let us know if you have any more questions about your screening policy or your program. We’d love to partner with you.

In the meantime, we’re gonna go practice ‘Love and Marriage’ for next week’s office karaoke contest.

This entry was posted in Applicant-Entry Solutions, Background Screening, General, Human Resources, Seasonal and tagged , , , , , , , , , , by Patricia Carlson. Bookmark the permalink.

Patricia Carlson is a content writer who specializes in B2C and B2B inbound marketing. She blogs regularly for clients about the background screening and finance industries, and generates newsletters, white papers and email campaigns for a variety of businesses. Patricia also produces a heavy rotation of editorial material for home design, law enforcement, and family magazines. She’s been writing professionally for more than a dozen years, and for Active Screening for more than two of those. Check out LinkedIn for a roster of Patricia’s clients and links to published works. When she’s not interviewing sources or researching trends, she’s living a fast-paced Florida life questioning the antics of her two young children, partner and mischievous cat. Patricia loves to talk tennis and TV on Twitter – give her a shout @pattycfreelance.

 
        
Active ScreeningBarbara S.
Healthcare Industry

"Here at Holland Hospital, we have been extremely pleased with Active Screening. The report results come back quickly, usually within 24 hours or less.  The staff at Active Screening is easy accessible, knowledgeable and responds to our questions promptly."

Active ScreeningLynn C. Staffing Industry

"Benton Mobley has been and remains my Main point of contact at Active Screening from the beginning; so aside from the comfort of dealing with the same person all these years, there is the most important fact of all;  customer satisfaction. Benton knows the business like the back of his hand; and that is what we need in our fast paced industry of staffing. He is the all-time BEST!  MY employer, Leslie, believes in the notion that great service deserves to be rewarded, so we are here for the duration.We get immediate and personalized attention for any and all concerns we need addressed, and in the staffing industry, this is vital."

Active ScreeningCayce R. Education Industry

"My experience working with Active Screening for our background check process has been very positive.  The reports are almost always completed in a very timely fashion. The information reported appears to be very thorough and accurate.  On the rare occasions that we have questions or problems, the customer service team is always very quick to respond and resolve the issue.  Overall, I am very pleased with the service I receive from Active Screening."

Active ScreeningCraig H. Staffing Industry

"Your customer service is excellent.  The turn around time on background checks is quite fast.  Excellent work.  I haven't had a single problem."

Active ScreeningJackie C. Education Industry

"I wanted to thank you and your staff for being so patient and working so diligently with the Human Resources staff during our recent endeavor to process all of our work study students through background screenings.  We have never had to process so many requests within such a short period of time before, but thanks to you and your staff we made it. Again thank you, we made a good choice in selecting Active Screening."

Active ScreeningLindsey W.  Financial Industry

"I wanted to share my appreciation for your wonderful service...switching background screening companies could have been a stressful task, but your company made the transition seamless. Your website was extremely easy to navigate and the turn around time has been great. I appreciate when information is missing or entered incorrectly during ordering, your company notifies me right away to ensure that my error does not hold the reports results, causing us a delay in hiring an individual...Active Screening has been great to us and I would definitely refer them to others."

Active ScreeningTerry S. Property Management

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Active ScreeningYulesis D.  Staffing Industry

“Interactive Response Technologies (IRT) has more than 2,000 employees at multiple locations across the United States. IRT has been using Active Screening to conduct criminal background checks since 2006. During this time, Active Screening has consistently returned accurate reports, usually with less than 48 hours turnaround. If there are any problems or inconsistencies with the reports, their staff has called to notify us so that we can attempt to rectify the situation. The staff at Active Screening is always courteous and congenial over the phone. In our opinion, Active Screening is outstanding.”

Active ScreeningAndy N. Software Provider

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Active ScreeningCassie J. Staffing Industry

"The Active Screening team is very informative; they provided a complete consultation on all the services, so I understood what I needed, and saved me hours and hours of my time learning the various services. Their reputation, as being on the cutting edge of employment screening best practices, certainly held true in this instance. The expertise they brought to the table was invaluable to our understanding of our applicants backgrounds. I highly recommend Active Screening to anyone with the task of screening large numbers of applicants and needing reliable customer support."

Active Screening

With over 20 years of law enforcement experience I can attest to the fact that the strongest predictor of future criminal behavior is a person’s criminal history. As the manager of campus safety at my church, I depend on Active Screening to provide a thorough assessment of every criminal history background check we request. For more than 3 years, Active Screening has been faithful to this task with timely, accurate and reliable service.

Active Screening

We have benefited from knowing that we are not exposing the communities we work with or ourselves to unnecessary risk. We continue to have a perfect record in that we have never had a serious incident with a trip participant causing harm or acting inappropriately with any community member or fellow team member- thank goodness!

Active Screening

I would highly recommend any association or organization who conducts background checks to use Active Screening. In addition to my involvement with WAHA, I am an officer in a corporation with over 500 employees who provide treatment, mental health, and correctional services for children and adolescents. Our company is mandated by law to do comprehensive background searches and I can say with the utmost sincerity that Active Screening product rivals that of any government or other private sector process.

Active Screening

We have used Active Screening and their solution VERITY to screen all our coaches and volunteers working with youth. The online system gives us an easy and cost-effective solution to collecting forms and payments from our applicants...and we simply login to view the results of who passed or failed. It's so easy....thank you Active Screening.