Budget 2015: Have You Screened Your Background Checks Provider?

We spend a lot of time on ActiveCare discussing the importance of vetting your job candidates and existing employees. Just in the past six months, we’ve helped you to:

One thing we haven’t done yet was explain why you should, and how to, vet a background screening company. This is a crucial step as you enter your budget talks for 2015 because it’s super smart to re-evaluate any current collaborations or contracts you might have. Can you increase efficiency? Turnaround time? Can you reduce mistakes? Costs? There are some key questions you need answers to as you examine your screening company or investigate new ones for next year. We’ll spell them out for you here.

How do I find a reputable background screening agency?

Word of mouth is a great place to start. Is there a networking group to which you belong? We’re thinking of places like the Chamber of Commerce, Small Business Exchange, One Million Cups, young professionals associations. Chances are several other businesses within that group have screening needs and use an outside agency. Talk with them. Ask them the questions that are most important to you – only you really know what you’re driving factors are when considering a screening company. Or, if you don’t use a Credit Reporting Agency (that’s fancy speak for a company like Active Screening who conducts background checks) and are interested in making the switch, inquire as to what prompted your colleagues to finally make the leap, too.

If you prefer to do some solitary research, check out the National Associational of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS).

What are the agency’s priorities?

Setting up an interview with a potential screening agency is a MUST! There is only so much you can glean from an agency’s website/blog (even one as awesome as ours!) so we encourage you to investigate from all angles. Don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions. Have they ever been cited for improper techniques? Do they vet their own employees? How experienced are their investigators? Are they accredited by NAPBS?

If the CRA continually stresses its lightning-quick turnaround time, alarm bells should be ringing in your head. There is no such thing as instant results. If they claim that, move on.

Where is your research performed?

Knowing the difference between outsourcing and offshoring can make the difference between being a reputable and secure screening agency or being one of these. You’ll want to brush up on the differences… click here for a reminder. While outsourcing your screening needs to a CRA can often improve your hiring efficiency and make the candidate experience much more enjoyable for everyone involved, offshoring can present a bunch of dangers, the most egregious being a lack of security with a candidate’s Personally Identifiable Information (PII). If the CRA you’re considering off-shores background checks, or even part of them, do not take off, taxi back to the gate. These foreign countries are not held to the same federal regulations U.S. companies are when it comes to handling PII. Read this to hear more about the dangers of offshoring.

Do they offer comprehensive checks?

If you’re going to choose to work with a CRA, you want it to make your life easier, not more complicated. That’s why it’s imperative to find a CRA who offers a smorgasbord of vetting options, instead of having to hire one CRA to handle criminal checks and another to handle driving records. Here’s a list of what we feel is a solid checklist of services:

  • Identity & Credit
  • Driving Records
  • Criminal Records
  • References & Credentialing
  • Drug Testing
  • Clinical Services, including for DOT Employers
  • I-9 Verification

Oh, and while you’re at it, you might as well go ahead and ask if the CRA put all their own employees through a thorough background check. If you’re going to talk the talk, you better walk the walk.

Are they accredited?

The NAPBS offers top honors to only the best CRA’s in the business. Active Screening is one of them. We are one of 47 background screening companies in the nation who have earned this prestigious seal of approval. If you truly want to work with screening companies who are exceptional at what they do, choose one who is accredited by NAPBS.

What other budgeting questions do you have for us? We’d love to help you find a way to improve your screening processes for 2015. Leave your comment below!

This entry was posted in Background Screening, Industry Solutions, 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

"Working with Active Screening over the last year and half has been a wonderful experience. They deliver fast and informative results at the best price. Their level of professionalism and the speed they respond to our issues is a benefit that any company can value from. I would highly recommend using Active Screening and their amazing team."

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

 "Active Screening has helped us screen our applicants in record time for more than two years.... we are very impressed with the professionalism and speed with which their service team responds to our questions. They understand our needs and are a pleasure to work with. I highly recommend them."

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.