An Attorney’s Top 5 Questions to Ask a Background Check Company

An Attorney’s Top 5 Questions to Ask a Background Check Company

By Jennifer Gladstone

When the National Association of Professional Background Screeners gets together twice a year, the topic of conversation is how to make background checks, drug tests and Form I-9 services better for you—our customer. We delve into the intricacies of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and other laws that tell us what we can and can’t report. The laws can be convoluted and they change often. Our job as the Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA) is to make the hiring process easier and keep our clients from making mistakes that could cause a good applicant to lose a job offer or land the employer in court.

Choosing an NAPBS Accredited background screening firm is a great first step when looking for a screening partner. But your job does not end there.

Scott Paler, a partner with DeWitt Ross Stevens, S.C. in Wisconsin is one of the most highly-regarded attorneys in the background screening industry. He works with employers to help them create sound screening programs. The first step for finding the right partner is asking the right questions. We asked Scott to give us an easy list to help you ask the right questions of yourself and your prospective partners.

1. What types of searches do you, the End-User, want to perform?

All background screening companies do not offer all of the same searches. For example, some offer credit checks. Some don’t. Some offer substantive reference checks. Some don’t. Some offer drug testing reports. Some don’t. End-users should select a company that offers the services that they need or want.

2. Does the background screening company offer the “bells and whistles” that you want?

Most background screening companies do not just offer reports, but certain supplemental services. For example, some screening companies offer clients the ability to handle the background screening consent process electronically. Some don’t. Some offer to help clients send adverse action communications to candidates that may be excluded based on a screening report. Others do not.

3. Has the background screening company handled clients with similar volume and in the same industry?

If so, it will likely be better positioned to understand concerns up front and tackle problems down the line.

4. What is the background screening company’s dispute rate?

In other words, what percentage of the time does the consumer question the accuracy of information reported. The lower the dispute rate, the more an end-user can count on the results it received.

5. How much does the background check cost?

Price obviously matters. Although pricing is probably less varied today than in yester-year, there are still distinctions among providers.

It might also be important for you to know how long a background check should take. Download the whitepaper and learn more

About the Author

Jennifer Gladstone

Jennifer Gladstone

Jennifer Gladstone is a news anchor and journalist with more than 20 years of experience in front of the camera. She's worked in several markets, large and small, and has performed nearly every task needed in a newsroom. As EBI’s Screening News Editor, she keeps EBI’s customers and blog subscribers up to date on the latest screening news and legislative alerts affecting companies of all sizes.

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