When it comes to evaluating the cost of background check services, people often grapple with certain pervasive myths. Here are four of the most common:
- Basic screenings are sufficient.
- Ongoing monitoring is a pricey extra.
- Online "instant" background checks are perfectly OK.
- Customer service doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things.
It's time to bust these myths for good. Below, we dig a little deeper into each one and separate the truths from the falsehoods regarding background check costs.
1. The cost of not screening thoroughly and properly can be huge.
If you don't screen thoroughly and properly, the cost of a bad hire can and will have a huge impact on your business.
[Source: Breezy HR]
You also need to consider the effect a bad hire can have on the workplace. If you continue to allow "bad eggs" into your business due to insufficient pre-employment screening, you'll end up losing great employees who don't want to deal with a toxic workplace. Productivity will decrease as well. And recruitment will be even harder, since you'll need to contend with negative reviews on important platforms like LinkedIn and Glassdoor. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.
Poor and insufficient background checks can also mean potential compliance issues. If you opt for a background check vendor that doesn't have the legal expertise in compliance and adverse action, you're putting your company at risk. Think costly fines, brand damage, PR headaches, and the potential for negligent hiring and negligent retention lawsuits.
So, remember: if you skimp on the background check process, you might "save" a little up front. But these so-called savings will eventually catch up with your company, resulting in big price tags. And trust us: it's not a matter of "if," but "when."
2. Ongoing monitoring is a lot more cost effective than you might think.
At Good Egg, we often recommend criminal monitoring, MVR monitoring, and social media monitoring to our customers. Why? Because these services provide real-time insights into employee behaviors—behaviors that could have a huge impact on the workplace.
While ongoing monitoring is an "add-on," it's also a budget-friendly complement to any screening package—and it will save your company money in the long run for the same reasons outlined in the previous point.
Here's how it works: Once the main background check product establishes the "baseline" (e.g., MVR checks, social media background checks, and criminal background checks), the ongoing monitoring is a nominal fee, per employee.
For example, with ongoing criminal monitoring . . .
- If a change is identified versus the previous month's monitoring result, a primary source search or validator (e.g., county court, sex offender registry, etc.) will be processed, and all reportable information will be delivered to the client. All validators, and associated pass-through fees, are invoiced at a pre-determined a la carte price.
- If no change is identified, only the monthly monitoring fee will be invoiced for that employee. In other words, no additional charges are applied.
Ongoing monitoring is an excellent and affordable way to help make sure you have a safe and productive workplace. Reach out if you have questions regarding how it works and the associated fees.
3. Remember this adage: you get what you pay for. In other words, say NO to "instant" background checks.
If you spend any time online researching background check products, you'll inevitably encounter low-cost "instant" criminal background checks. Choosing to go this route is problematic.
While a nationwide criminal database does exist, it's worth noting that this "database" is a compilation of information from various sources (such as county and state criminal history repositories, department of correction records, and state sex offender registries).
The problem? No one knows how often this database is updated. Also, because the database is a compilation of data, it's not considered a primary source.
So the caveat remains true when it comes to "instant" national criminal background checks: buyer beware, because you get what you pay for. Sure, the cost is cheap and the results are "instant." But the background check is far from complete, comprehensive, or even compliant—and the potential "cost" you could pay down the road due to a bad hire is quite high (see our first point). Plus, you need to consider the negative impact associated with false positives from instant background checks as well.
4. You can't put a dollar amount on superior customer service.
One mistake many people make is thinking that customer service doesn't matter when it comes to background check products. But the first time they or their candidates/employees have a question, they quickly discover how much customer service does matter—and how frustrating it is when all they have to turn to is a website form or 1-800 call center that loses people in voice mail hell.
At Good Egg, we strive to be the best-reviewed background check company on the planet. This isn't simply some marketing gimmick, either. We KNOW how critical great customer service is to the background check process. Read this article on the surprising connection between customer service and background check turnaround time if you don't believe us.
Here's the thing, though: it's impossible to put a dollar amount on excellent customer service. The only thing we can say is that working with a reputable vendor that provides excellent customer service will cost a little more than the dirt-cheap background check services you find online. But any investment you make up front will pay for itself over the long haul. Not to mention this investment will save you time, spare you endless headaches, and help bolster your workforce as the previous points outlined.