More and more employers are choosing to undertake at least some background screening on the people applying for jobs with their organisation. This could be as simple as ringing up a previous employer for a chat, but other employers dig a lot deeper. Checking everything from academic qualifications to vetting a social media profile takes both time an expertise, so it’s perhaps no surprise that many employers choose to subcontract this process out. But how do you work out which companies are reputable and will deliver what they promise? Recommendation from friends in the business world are always the best way to source trusted suppliers, but if you are coming at the process with no recommendations and no experience, here are some key aspects to consider when choosing which screening organisation to go with.
Small business owners are busy people, and you should be looking for a company which has a range of contact options; email, phone, or web form. Look at how quickly they respond to enquiries – you don’t want to keep an applicant hanging for weeks while you wait for the screeners to get back to you. The same can be said for your applicants, if they are going to be dealing directly with the screeners. Is there a range of options for them too, and can the screener offer services such as online DBS checks and identity verification to make life easier for your prospective employees?
A good screening company makes it easy to deal with them. They are polite and friendly and have a “can-do” attitude. Look at testimonials from other clients, and Google the name of the company to see what pops up online. Sites like Trustpilot are also useful for reviews but remember that it’s usually the people who are very happy, or very unhappy with the service, who take the time to comment. Don’t be embarrassed to pick up the phone and call a company named as a client and ask about their experience.
Every business is different, and a decent screening company will be able to offer a bespoke package for your company and situation. Be wary of companies who offer a range of fixed packages and try to shoehorn your company into one of them, irrespective of what you actually need. Many will offer additional extras such as special websites for your applicants or a named account manager, so take time to think about which of these would actually be worth the money to you.
Accreditation and Professional Memberships
The main industry body is the Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA) and a good starting point is looking for companies who are members of the Association. This should guarantee a minimum standard of service and professionalism, but it’s probably just one of the factors you should look at when making your decision. Organisations which are not part of the PBSA but are instead members of a related organisation may be equally reputable.