It’s a Jungle Out There


As we start the new year, it’s a good time to evaluate your pre-employment background-screening program.  It may be time to make some changes yourself. With ban-the-box legislation and regulations knocking on your front door, you MUST make certain that your employee screening practices follow the law.  You must also be sure that the employee screening company you use to provide these services, is knowledgable and compliant when it comes to those laws.

All background check CRA’s promise the same thing.  But which ones actually come through on those promises?
Take a minute and ask yourself these questions about your current background check company.  If you’re not satisfied with the answers, it’s time for a change.

Why isn’t anyone in customer service answering the phone? 
That’s a good way to know you are in trouble.  Whether customer service isn’t picking up or returning calls, it’s a telltale sign you could be using the wrong company.  If you do reach someone by phone and they cannot answer your compliance and screening questions directly or transfer you immediately to someone who can, it’s time to find a new background check company.

Is something missing in the results?  
Some companies will overlook items in their search.  This can lead to hiring a job applicant with a criminal record or a person who isn’t as qualified as they claim to be.  The truth of a job applicants character always comes forth eventually but  “surprises” in a persons criminal history should never happen.  The initial background check should disclose accurate information to make the hiring process successful.

Is the employment screening company compliant? 
This is the most important question you can ask.  If the company you use does not follow the background screening laws and is not FCRA compliant, it could result in you being thrown into a courtroom for negligent hiring.

For example, an employer may want information on things that are illegal to report.  While the company may be able to access things like juvenile records or arrest information that’s more than seven years old, doing so is not legal.  Make sure your consumer reporting agency (background check company) has a compliance department.  Ask your background screening vendor if they are accredited with The National Association of Professional Background Screeners.  Make certain that the management team has the Advanced FCRA Certification to ensure that they are on the cutting edge of legal hiring practices.

If they say no to any (OR ALL) of these questions, you need to rethink your contract with them.  NAPBS Accredidation proves that the background screening company is compliant, abides by proper procedures and follows strict industry standards.

Are you seeing value in the results that are found? 
Know where your money is going when it comes to a screening service.  Understand all the costs involved and how the money you’re spending is being used.  If the company isn’t providing that information to you it might be time to find a better, more resourceful CRA.

Is the turnaround-time taking too long?
On average a clear criminal check should not take more than three days.  Employment and education verification usually takes three to four days.

If you’re not satisfied with these answers, now is the time to start searching for a new employee screening company.  Do not wait until you are hit with a class-action lawsuit.

For MBI Worldwide’s free compliance best practices guide to perform the most efficient background checks, please click here.

Kandi Chapman, President and Founder
MBI Worldwide Background Checks