All Background Checks Aren’t Created Equal


All Background Checks Aren’t Created Equal

It is likely that one of the greatest myths about background screening is that there is a “standard” background check. In fact, background screening procedures vary wildly from one organization to another. Because of this variation, knowing the risks before beginning your own processes is vital to keeping your company safe.

Two of the riskiest background screening options are going it alone or purchasing a cheap package from a background screening company. Whether you’re just starting your business or have been operating for years, use the list below to make safer decisions about your background screening process.

Know the Risks Before You Do It Yourself

Background screening can be time consuming. If your company needs to drug test, verify employers, verify education, and check criminal records, it can become a pretty heavy lift to onboard employees. In addition to the amount of time and effort background screening takes, doing it yourself can post several risks, including:

  • Not getting proper consent documentation. While consent is not required if you are performing your background checks in-house, it is smart business to have it on-hand should an candidate choose to take legal action against your company.
  • Failing to stick to applicable laws. Local, state, and federal governments are always changing rules regarding background screening. Staying on top of these regulatory changes can be a job in and of itself and a huge burden for internal staff to handle. Violating these laws can open your company to criminal liability.
  • Any screening failure is 100% on you. If you don’t adhere to applicable laws and government agency guidance, your company will bear the brunt of the legal responsibility.

Decided that doing your background screening yourself isn’t right for your company? When picking a background screening partner, the cheapest option is often not the best.

Critically Evaluate Your Background Screening Partner

You may not be completely covered by your background screening partner. There are multiple risks involved with picking the wrong background screening provider, and these simple questions can help you determine if they are a good fit for your needs.

  • Do their services answer the questions your business needs? Each business will have background screening processes in place to answer different questions. For instance, a low-skill summer job may be more focused on verifying employment, while an upper-level job in academia may be focused on verifying educational history.
  • What is your employee experiencing during their screening process? This may not be something you took into consideration when signing your partner, but a background check is one of the first interactions your new employees will have with your company. It should be a hassle-free experience that demonstrates the professionalism of your company.
  • Why did you select this partner? Often businesses will sign up for a certain package and price and not know exactly what they’re getting. Very low cost background checks may not be compliant or only check a very limited number of sources. There is absolutely risk and liability in choosing the wrong partner. Trying to save money in the short term can lead to multi-million dollar costs in the long term.

Background screening can be tricky. Doing it right can be even more tricky! But from knowing the risks of doing it yourself to thinking critically about your background screening partner, it is possible to create a safe and compliant program. Ready to get started with a trusted provider? Contact ClearStar today.


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