Five “Must-Haves” in a Brilliant Background Screening Service

By Accutrace, Inc.

With all the options available to Talent Acquisition and HR decision makers today when it comes to background screening – How do you know which background screening provider is the best one for your company? Which will fit your unique needs and process? Of course, it’s important the salesperson can answer your questions but does the operations and service delivery team back it up? Is the customer service team helpful in resolving your issues and answering questions? What’s their average turnaround time and how about their ATS integration experience?! So many questions! All these questions are important when you begin looking for a new background screening vendor or supplier.

Whether you’re looking for an alternative provider or to outsource this laborious task for the first time, we’ll help you by outlining some of the traits of a brilliant background screening service below.

Finding the Right Background Screening Provider

Just like your screening package to check the box on your new hire applicant, there are certain considerations you need to check off before onboarding your new background screening provider.

You may just want a standard background check that can consist of drug testing and basic criminal background database check, prioritizing cost containment. Or perhaps you want a deeper dive into a new employee’s background to include professional reference checks, employment verifications, or fingerprinting. A background screening provider should offer a variety of services beyond criminal background checks and drug screening to allow for a fully customized approach. 

Once you’ve determined the level of detail you’re looking to search, thinking about the position and industry your new hire is filling will help dictate the background services you may need. Certain industries require certain services to be included in a new hire screening package and you want to ensure your background screening vendor of choice can support you in adhering to those requirements.

Ok, so now that we have the basics covered, and you’ve considered the industry you are in and services you may need to include, let’s dive into some of the specific. From drug testing to candidate’s experience, and turnaround time, we dive into the 5 “Must-Haves” of a brilliant background screenings company below.

New Hire Drug Testing

Not all tests are created equal.

Drug testing is a common part of new hire screening programs across the board. However, you may not be aware that some industries bring specific drug testing requirements. The best background check providers offer their clients a selection of tests to choose from and should be able to suggest a best practice based on their client’s industry and budget. This allows the customer to customize their package so they can purchase the tests that are most important to them.

Accutrace provides drug testing options that build upon the usual 5 and 10-panel drug screen while supporting industry-specific screenings including the Department of Transportation and Medical Practitioner Drug Screening panels as well.

Medical and Drug Testing Network

But is it convenient for your candidate?

A big consideration in your new hire candidate experience is your background screening vendor’s available network of testing locations. Your potential vendor’s testing network is important because an inconvenient location may delay the new hire from completing the service, leading to slower turnaround times and possible candidate drop off.

Accutrace uses two nationwide testing networks, Quest Diagnostics and Lab Corps, along with the ability to contract with additional locations as needed to accommodate client’s location needs. This nationwide network for physicals, TB tests, lift tests, fit tests and of course, drug testing improves the candidate experience, overall convenience, and ease of use.

Find more information on Accutrace drug testing over on our drug testing services page(internal link).

Instant Background Checks

Hiring a candidate with a criminal record may put your company at risk, compromising the safety of your internal staff as well as your clients and customers. Your background screening vendor should be able to conduct a federal, nationwide, state and local criminal record searches. These searches are done individually or combined based on need, legal requirements, and level of confidence you are looking to obtain.

Types of criminal background checks include:

  • Federal Criminal Search – searches just the federal criminal records database, often focusing largely on more serious offenses.
  • Nationwide Criminal and Sex Offender Database – checks search the databases of over 3,200 counties in the U.S. but it doesn’t search every database.
  • Statewide Criminal Repository – search looks at records in a particular state where the new hire has lived.
  • County Criminal Search – seeks records in a specific county within a particular state.

Most of these searches look back seven years.  Records will be returned regardless of whether the person was found guilty or innocent.

No one database will have all the pertinent information a company might need. This is why Accutrace will frequently combine an Address and Social Security Trace, a 7 Year Criminal County Search Unlimited, and the Nationwide Criminal and Sex Offender Search.

The combination of these three services has become a best practice for criminal background screening reporting. From the address and social security trace, Accutrace can find every address and alias associated with an applicant. From here, Accutrace will run a 7yr County Criminal Search on every address your candidate has lived in the past 7 years, providing a comprehensive report from a primary criminal background source. However, because your applicant may have gotten in trouble while on vacation or while traveling for the holidays – Accutrace finds these incidents by running the nationwide criminal background database, leaving you with a complete picture of your applicants’ criminal history.

Background Screening Turn Around Time

Human resources professionals strive to get new hires on board as quickly as possible after making an offer. This is a vital part of a good candidate experience and delays may lead to a poor first exposure to your company, leading to lost applicants and lowered retention. A top-notch vendor will be able to complete these tasks quickly, depending on the package selected. Reference checks may only take 24 to 48 hours while fingerprinting turnaround times are more in line with 7 to 10 business days. The types of checks a company selects will determine a reasonable turnaround time for your package and factor into setting reasonable candidate expectations.

Background Screening Process Updates and ETAs

Your provider of choice should be able to tell you in advance how long it will take them to fulfill your order. In addition, your provider should keep you in the loop if they anticipate any delays before the turnaround time frame ends. Accutrace provides you with service alerts and ETAs during the processing of your background checks to ensure you and your candidates are never in the dark and expectations are met.

On-Boarding Compliance

Compliance is a critical consideration in the background screening industry. A background screening provider should be well-versed in local, state, and federal regulations and how they affect an organization’s hiring process. A screening provider should offer the latest required disclosure, onboarding, and tax credit forms while upholding FCRA and ADA requirements.

Background Screening Platform Integration

Does your background screening provider offer integration with your current ATS or HRIS systems? They should! Having an all-in-one HR hiring solution will create a streamlined, paperless hiring solution keeping your HR team moving without delay.

Accutrace has experience integrating with a number of ATS and HRIS systems, including ADP, iCIMS, Taleo, 1Staff and others.

Information Technology and Security

Background screening and onboarding require in-depth measures and procedures to protect the information of your candidates. A background screening provider must have a database with full data encryption capabilities to protect information and the information of job candidates.

Accutrace utilizes secure facilities, with redundant data backup, server locations, power supplies, internet connections and more with disaster recovery plans in place. Learn more about our IT and Security here.

Service Package and Process Customization

Each company in every industry is distinct. With some companies, you might be pushed into cookie cutter packages of background screening services, but that might not meet your needs.

Two implications of choosing predetermined background screening packages include the possibility of not complying with the legal obligations of your industry or job position along with the possibility of paying for service you don’t need for every candidate you onboard. This can equate to thousands of wasted dollars per year or legal exposure for your firm.

When selecting a background check vendor, look for a company that will take a consultative approach, discuss your needs, and is flexible enough to customize a package of tests most important to you.

Accutrace Has a Dedicated US-Based Customer Service Team

And perhaps the most important aspect to consider when selecting a new background screening provider is their customer service. After all, what is more important than the relationship you have with your background screening and credentialing vendor.

Customer service is the backbone of any business and a vendor who can offer excellent service is invaluable. You should expect that your provider can respond to your service calls quickly, preferably in the same day. Accutrace provides 24 hours, 7 days a week support for every member. Accutrace assigns each client a dedicated account manager, based here in the US so when a client calls our customer service line, our customer knows the person on the other end like a friend. This is the best way to keep your background screening process running smoothly.

The road to on-boarding employees is sometimes long and arduous, but it doesn’t have to be. Accutrace can make this process seamless and quick.

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