How To Choose a Background Screening Partner [Video]

About 12 min

How To Choose a Background Screening Partner [Video]


There are thousands of background screening companies out there. How do you weed through to find the right partner for you? There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all. It will take a little leg work, but Jennifer Gladstone spoke with some experts about how to make the task a bit easier.



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Hiring is serious business. And background screening your applicants is an important piece of the puzzle. But that piece doesn’t always fit the way you hope.

While there is pressure to get positions filled quickly, doing it WELL should be your top priority.

But how do you find that right fit? It starts with asking the right questions.


Montserrat Miller// Partner, Arnall Golden Gregory

Talking to them about the types of screens that you’re going to do, turn-around time, obviously cost is an issue, a question that you would want to ask.


Kerstin Bagus// ClearStar

You want to talk to them about their compliance and how do they manage their compliance program… there’s not necessarily one right or wrong way to do it. Who really is in charge of compliance, do they have someone in charge of compliance – that would be a helpful question to ask!


Compliance is one of the most important aspects of any screening program. A quick Google search of FRCRA and EEOC lawsuits shows that the plaintiff’s bar sees deep pockets and won’t hesitate to sue.


Montserrat Miller// Partner, Arnall Golden Gregory

But when it comes to compliance, the important thing is that as an end user of reports,  you need to understand “what are my responsibilities under the Fair Credit Reporting Act,” and that’s where I would start.


Those responsibilities include providing proper disclosure and authorizations for every screen you conduct. It also includes having a compliant adverse action procedure. Your partner can help you with these, but in the end, it’s up to you to create a compliant program with your legal counsel. Information security is another hot issue right now – you’re handing over your applicant’s most sensitive personal information. You need to make sure your screening partner does everything in its power to protect it.


Phillip Gordon// Littler Mendelson

Consider doing some due diligence. It could be a short questionnaire that you provide to the CRA, asking them, do they have a comprehensive written information security program in place, do they have a security incident response plan, just some basic questions to make sure you get a feel for what they’re doing, and that they’re focused on protecting the data that they will receive about your employees or applicants.


There are thousands of background screening companies out there. To narrow things down a bit, it’s a good idea to look for one that has gone through the effort of becoming accredited by NAPBS -- the National Association of Professional Background Screeners.


Mary Poquette// Poquette Screening Solutions

There are 63 screening companies that are accredited to the NAPBS standard. And the reason that that matters to an employer, is because that screening company not only has agreed to follow 58 very specific standards in terms of how they operate, how they protect consumer data, their knowledge of the law and so on, but they have also been audited against that standard.


Kerstin Bagus// ClearStar

An accreditation talks to the procedures and the policies of the security of the way that you do your background check, and there’s a certain elevated standard that you’ve agreed to meet when you’re an accredited company. So that is a benefit to the end user, and also to the job applicant – to the candidate – in working with an accredited company. Personally, I think it’s very important for the background screener to be not only a member of NAPBS, but to be actively involved in NAPBS. That speaks volumes.


You can learn more about choosing the right background screening partner at and at

Selecting A Background Screening Partner


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