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Monday, May 29, 2017

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Selecting a Screening Partner? Ask These 5 Questions

Finding a quality screening partner can make all the difference in conducting accurate, compliant employee background checks. With the right resources, businesses can ensure they maintain a safe work environment, avoid negligent hiring lawsuits and increase employee retention, all while remaining cost efficient.

Aligning with the wrong service, on the other hand, could lead to anything from hiring convicted criminals to unnecessary spending. It is important, then, for employers to scrutinize their screening partners as much as they review their new hires, and they can do so by asking these five questions:

1. Does the partner provide full-service background checks?

According to Business News Daily, there are two types of screening partners: full-service companies and do-it-yourself background check providers.

Partners who help perform screenings are likely to have expertise in staying compliant with the Fair Credit Reporting Act and other regulations, helping employers avoid illegal hiring practices. Additionally, working with an experienced partner who can craft a background screening package to suit specific needs allows for greater focus on important candidate criteria.

While DIY websites may sometimes be cheaper, they can also come at the cost of thoroughness. Also, unless a company is up-to-date on all federal and regional regulations, going it alone can result in costly penalties and even lawsuits if laws are not followed to the letter.

2. What is the turnaround time?

Efficiency is important when finding the right screening partner, as delayed feedback can bring the hiring process to a standstill. According to recruiting news resource ERE Media, inefficient hiring practices can negatively impact businesses. For one, it may only take candidates who are in high demand a few days to secure a job, and slow-moving recruiters won't be able to snag top performers. Plus, companies hire to fill a need, and the longer that position sits open, the less productive the business becomes.

While thorough review of candidates is essential, it is also vital to streamline the process. The right screening partner should be able to offer effective and efficient service.

3. What are the partner's quality assurance credentials?

Considering background screening reports are regulated by federal and state governments, employers should ensure their screening partner can provide compliant and quality results. To evaluate this, companies should check out the consumer reporting agency's credentials.

For example, being recognized as accredited by the Background Screening Credentialing Council means the organization underwent a thorough internal audit that evaluated its policies and procedures. This audit ensures the consumer reporting agency can adequately protect consumers through data security and access control standards, remain legally compliant, educate clients and uphold high business standards.

4. How flexible is the service?

No two companies are the same, and the industries they operate in offer even more substantial differences. For instance, a grocery store hiring a new clerk may have no interest in the candidate's motor vehicle history, but a delivery service may need to know specific details regarding an individual's driving record. That's why it's important to have a screening partner that can adapt the background screening process to meet the company's specific needs.

5. What does customer service entail?

Conducting background screenings involves more than just looking at a candidate's criminal record. There are laws to comply with, and employers want to be sure they have the most accurate information possible. Additionally, when a company receives information that could impact the hiring decision, they need guidance on what steps to take next. Because of all the intricacies of this process, it's vital to partner with a screening service that has excellent customer service. Is the screening partner easy to reach? Do they provide 24/7 access to important materials? Do clients receive dedicated account managers and background specialists?

OPENonline is a full-service screening partner that ensures consistency, accuracy and compliance while delivering optimal customer service. For more information, visit our website.

NOTE: The information in this blog is not legal advise. For legal advice, please seek legal counsel.

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