Eight Things You Need To Know About Background Screening Companies

Turnaround times should be no more than 24 to 48 hours, or 2 business days. Reputable companies place a priority on getting their clients the most information as quickly as possible so they can make the best hiring decision. No company wants to lose out on hiring someone because they are waiting on references.

Companies fees vary. Some companies charge considerable less than others because they do not have the same overhead or "umpteen" vice presidents. Larger companies should actually be able to provide screening services for less given economies of scale, but that is not always the case. Ultimately, clients do not care where the company is headquartered, how many offices they have, or how many vice presidents they have. What companies care about is the product: is it accurate, is it timely, and is it reasonably priced.

Client lists: some companies use existing clients as a means of acquiring new clients. They may boast about the number of companies they have as clients as a sign that they are more robust, more successful, perhaps more reputable or are an attractive buy out. Nothing could be further from the truth. Good background screening companies do not advertise their client list. That information is private. Consider having a vendor or supplier announcing their client list for their own financial benefit. Whose interests are they serving?

Criminal record checks and credit reports: checks of this nature are to be part of a larger package, not an item for sale (or re-sale). Beware of companies that sell these searches on their own. They may be in breach of privacy laws or the agreement they have with the supplier of the information.

Office space: beware of companies that advertise multiple offices. Chances are they are "executive" or "virtual" offices, set up solely for the purpose of appearing larger than they really are. Having offices in multiple locations makes no difference in turnaround time or quality of product, or financial sense, and in turn costs you, the client, more than necessary.

De-marketing: some companies drop clients because they do not provide them with enough work. Clients should not be judged on the amount of business they are provided with. Again, whose interests are being served here?

Agreements: some companies require clients to sign an agreement to use their services. The product should stand as a testament of quality and in turn act as a de-facto agreement: why would you use anyone else if the product is to your liking? If you are unhappy with the service, you should be free to move.

Turnover: some companies are constantly hiring. They will tell you they are growing, but is this the truth? Or are they suffering from high turnover? Who are they hiring? If they are suffering from high turnover, which is most likely the case, then who is handling your candidate information? Are some companies growing so fast (or taking on more work than they can handle) that they are having trouble properly staffing their companies, in turn, hiring less than desirable people to fill a need? Whose needs are being served in that case?