4 Things That Can Save You Stress When Choosing a Pre-Employment Screening Company
- Kevin Rosenquist
Growing up my mom had one of those little novelty signs on
the side of the fridge. It said “Raising kids is like being pecked to death by
a duck.” I remember laughing then thinking, “wait a minute…I’m one of her kids!”
Now I’m older and, while I don’t have any kids yet myself, I have enough
friends with little ones and see the antics of my nephews to understand the
I’ve also known enough people in HR to think they likely
also relate to feeling like they are being pecked to death by a duck daily. You
all have my utmost respect. I had a job where we didn’t have a dedicated HR
person so it basically fell to me. I will tell you I did not care for it. With
that in mind I thought I would throw out a few suggestions to consider when
choosing a background screening company.
With any luck, maybe I’ll help ease a little bit of that stress.
1. If you value personal service, avoid the humongous
Don’t you hate when you call a customer service line and go
through five menu prompts only to be put on a long hold and forced to listen to
songs no one likes? No, I do not like Pina
Coladas and while I don’t have a problem with rain, being caught in it sounds
negative and undesirable. Then a person finally picks up, saving you from your
misery, but has no idea how to help you once you tell them your problem. And
what happens next? Your transferred and end up back on hold. Oh, good, now we’re in Margaritaville!
(Breathe, Kevin, breathe.)
Smaller pre-employment screening companies generally place more emphasis on
customer service because they usually have to work harder to get clients. Every
client matters to them and they work hard to ensure they give them the attention
they need. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked HR reps what their pain points
are with their screening company and they cite poor customer service or lack of
attention. You want a reputable and FCRA compliant company but also remember to
choose one that will be communicative and accessible. Look for ones who offer
dedicated account reps or teams.
2. How old is that platform? Is it DOS?
Make sure your background check provider uses a platform that is
modern and robust. There are some platforms out there that seriously look like
they were programmed on a Commodore 64. (Frogger, anyone?) Most screening
providers have upgraded to better ones but there are still some holdouts. Most
of us are pretty computer savvy and used to a certain level of sophistication
when accessing a website. I mean, if you’re used to a small batch craft beer or
an 18 year Glenlivet you’re not going to want a Hamm’s or a Dewar’s. (Happy
Hour later, anyone?)
Be sure to get a demo of the provider’s platform before you
sign up as well. Look at the process for entering in an applicant, how you are
getting results, how you are notified of completed searches, and what kind of
reports you can download. You will be happy later.
3. Consider adding Electronic I-9 to your screening system.
A newer service a lot of screening companies are offering is
Electronic I-9. This is a service where you can house all your employee I-9
forms online and get rid of a ton of paperwork. And, if you’re going to do it,
why not keep them on the same platform as you keep your background checks? They
are even able to tell you when an employee’s work VISA is set to expire and you
can submit directly to E-Verify from the system.
4. Look for a provider who can integrate with your ATS.
Not all companies use applicant tracking systems. But those
who do rely on them heavily. A lot of background check platforms are able to integrate
directly within your ATS. It generally comes with a programming fee but if you’re
willing to shell out some extra money it can make your applicant tracking more
seamless. If you aren’t up for spending the extra dough make sure the
platform your potential screening provider uses is simple yet robust (and
modern…see #2). You want something that’s simple to enter your applicants in
and simple to retrieve results.
I can’t help you with health insurance, 401ks, the company
handbook, or those two people in accounting who hate each other. But hopefully
these small tidbits on choosing a pre-employment screening company can give you some food for thought. Contact me if you want
to know more. Now, seriously, who’s in for Happy Hour later?