People don't always know what they don't know, right? This is especially true for background checks. If you've been doing background checks the same way for years, or you "inherited" an existing process, and/or the process doesn't appear to be broken, you might not realize that anything is wrong.
This is why we always encourage people to regularly evaluate their background check processes and to challenge existing assumptions. For example, maybe no one is complaining about the average time-to-hire, but maybe that's because everyone assumes "it is what it is."
Always listen to your gut! If you feel something is "off," chances are you're probably right. Below, you'll find five red flags that you should never ignore.
1. You have questions or concerns about the background check process, but no one to ask.
This is a HUGE red flag. Too often, background check vendors will put a ton of effort into wooing you into a sale. The sales rep will be incredibly attentive throughout the sales process, but once you sign on the dotted line, poof! They disappear. Suddenly, your voice mails and emails go unanswered.
A great background vendor won't treat you as merely one transaction in a long list of transactions. Quality vendors care about building long-term relationships with their customers. They'll make sure you have a dedicated account manager—someone who knows you, your business, and your hiring workflows. This person will not only be responsive, but also proactive, often reaching out to you first to check in and make suggestions.
2. Much of the background check process is still paper-based.
Ugh. It's hard to believe that in the year 2020, some background check processes are still paper-based, but it's true, and that's a big sign that your organization can do better. Paper background checks slow down every step of the process. For example, if your process relies on candidates filling out paper forms, then someone still has to input the information, like name, DOB, and social security numbers, into a computerized system—this takes time and inevitably leads to data entry errors.
Not to mention that more and more candidates, especially those from the Millennial and Gen Z generations, expect to complete things, including background checks, via text or email. So if you're still using paper, imagine what people will think? This leads us to our next red flag.
3. Candidates keep telling you that the background check process is frustrating.
If you're getting regular feedback from job applicants that the system is cumbersome, slow, frustrating, or some other negative adjective, pay attention. (An excellent place to look for honest reviews is Trust Pilot.)
Consider the message you're sending to future employees when you make them go through an inconvenient process. If your organization boasts an employee-first culture, but your background check process is slow and clunky, that won't instill confidence in your new employees, will it?
4. You've been thinking about adding modern screenings, like social media background checks, but your vendor doesn't offer contemporary screening solutions.
If your vendor only offers basic background checks, then you're not getting a complete picture of your candidates. Contemporary screening solutions, like social media background checks, provide deeper insights into each applicant, such as whether the person might be a good culture fit for your organization.
5. You find the whole process inconvenient and cumbersome, even though you can't put your finger on exactly why that is.
If you're always muttering to yourself whenever you have to deal with your background check vendor and/or the process itself, even if you can't articulate exactly why you feel this way, this is a definite red flag. You're not supposed to be constantly annoyed or dreading working with your vendor. In fact, the experience should be just the opposite—the right vendor will make life easier for you and your candidates.
Still questioning your organization's background check process?
If you're still questioning whether your background check process needs an overhaul, consider digging deeper with this background check assessment. Or set up a time to chat with Good Egg. We pride ourselves on delivering modern screening solutions and six-star customer service.