The process of looking for a new applicant screening provider can seem like a daunting task. An RFP that fails to clearly address your unique pain points and pose appropriate questions can hamper your evaluation process. The resources found here will help you use the RFP process to your best advantage and streamline, not stall, your search.


Common mistakes when hiring an applicant screening vendor

Employers rely on background screening vendors to help them make informed decisions regarding their employees, producers, representatives, vendors and volunteers. The hiring process is no longer only about finding the most qualified applicant for the position – it also involves managing the risk of workplace violence, employee theft, legal compliance, business reputation and many others. The most critical decision your organization will make – before you hire a single employee – is the background screening vendor you select as your partner.

Whether you are hiring an applicant screening vendor for the first time or you are switching vendors – it isn’t always clear who to select.

Below are some common mistakes that employers make when evaluating a new vendor.

MISTAKE 1: Assuming that bigger is better

This is not always the case – especially when it concerns your background screening vendor. While there are a number of large background screening firms out there today, many of them were created as a result of numerous mergers and acquisitions, an ongoing process that can result in inconsistent service and disjointed communication. Many of these firms are venture-capital based and struggle to provide a consistent level of customer service.

Many of these acquisition-fueled screening vendors also employ a “one-size-fits-all” approach to the screening services that they provide. This approach fails to consider the distinctive needs of your company. A vendor with a stable history of ownership who uses a customized method can be more nimble and cater a screening solution to your company’s specific needs.

MISTAKE 2: Looking soley at price

A purely cost-based focus when choosing an applicant screening vendor will typically leave you disappointed with the quality of information and the level of service they are able to provide. A cheaper solution may save you money in the short term, but it can open the door for long-term costs and other risks associated with non-compliance issues. 

Budget screening vendors also often take shortcuts with your program in order to offer the prices that they do. For example, you may think that you are screening your applicants for criminal records directly at the source, only to find out that your screening vendor is using unreliable and unverified databases.  

It is important to consider the facts versus the risks, as well as the quality and reliability of each vendor’s services – not just the price – when deciding which applicant screening vendor is right for you. 

MISTAKE 3: Relying on referrals from Applicant Tracking Systems

While BIG supports numerous established integrations with all of the major ATS/HRMS systems, these organizations often try to persuade their clients into using vendors with whom they have  marketing agreements or partnerships. ATS vendors use these “partnerships” – which are typically based on sales and marketing rather than client needs – to generate revenue and force their customers to use the generic tools of a vendor who will pay them the most.

At BIG, we utilize an open-architecture philosophy and design for our products and services that provide customized integration opportunities with all leading HR and applicant tracking systems.

Our proprietary ATS Toolbox is a customizable, open-architecture systems design methodology that provides clients with the flexibility to link their choice of best-in-breed human resources software and systems with our applicant screening services and tools.

MISTAKE 4: Not reading the fine print

While instant results on criminal record searches and extensive address histories sound great – be careful of the fine print. Some providers tout these “benefits” while at the same time qualifying them with legal fine print saying they are not FCRA compliant and, sometimes, cannot be used to make employment decisions.

It is important to ensure that any potential vendor is providing FCRA-compliant information that you can safely use to make your hiring decisions. 

MISTAKE 5: Not asking about “outsourcing”

While outsourcing is a perfectly legitimate practice in some industries – screening is not one of them. From both a data security perspective and consistency of service, outsourcing and the screening industry do not mix.

Keeping sensitive Personally Identifiable Information (PII) inside the United States, and inside secure company systems, helps prevent against misuse and potential breach.

At BIG, we do not outsource, offshore or subcontract any portion of our background screening process.

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