As any background check provider worth a second look will tell you, a quality background check takes time, persistence, and ingenuity. A screening process is only comprehensive, after all, if it approaches a background check like a series of important steps (verifications) rather than a giant box to be checked off all at once.
Time is Money
When time is money, how to do you conduct a quality background check on potential employees without spending a lifetime doing it? Unfortunately, any given background check isn’t held up for the same reason as the one before. It can be due to any number of things, from missing data to unresponsive parties. But there are a few areas that deserve special attention:
- Criminal Searches: there’s a vast difference between instant criminal databases and a search of county-level criminal records. The first difference is that instantly accessible databases are typically incomplete and non-compliant with the FCRA. They may seem faster, but they won’t do you any favors in the long run. Many employers are opting for thoroughness in the form of investigations into state repositories, national locator databases, and sex offender registries. In other words, employers are casting a wider net and thereby adding to the turnaround time of any given background check.
- Digital versus Physical: some legal jurisdictions are paper-logged, meaning they’ve yet to digitize their records. This will mean that a background check is held up by a court clerk needing to sift through paper records.
- Lack of Digital Integration: again, in place of digitization of information, screening providers are forced to utilize court runners to retrieve information for background checks, which opens the doors wide for variables like inclement weather and construction to impede an investigation.
Speeding Things Up
In light of these possible impediments, there are things you, the employer, can do to help speed up the process. The first is to be choosey when it comes to selecting a screening provider. Don’t be swayed based solely on price. Consider whether the provider has leveraged technology to make their services innovative and integrated with the different courthouses and repositories.
How do they address or guarantee their turnaround time? What are the actual methods they use to deliver? Rather than just relying on words, investigate how they do it and consider the savings their services represent to you, factoring in your potential loss of productivity as you try to do background checks on your own.