Planning Your Budget for 2019? Now's a Good Time to Evaluate Your Background Screening Program

As you begin planning for next year, now's a good time to carefully consider your current background screening program - not simply in terms of cost, but also in terms of the value it's providing your business.

The value of a background screening program can’t be overstated. Especially when you consider Career Builder's survey which revealed that a bad hire can cost 41% of businesses $25,000, and 24% of businesses reported the cost of a bad hire at over $50,000.

Assuming you're working with a reputable provider that puts a high value on compliance and accuracy, there's little doubt that your current program is contributing to the safety and productivity of your workforce. But the question remains: is it doing enough? Or are there other options out there that could yield an even greater value for your screening dollars?

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Before you decide to stay with your current provider or make the switch, here are some key things to consider:

1. Relationship

Think about the type of relationship you have with your current background check vendor. Do you have an account representative you can call with questions? A person who is not only familiar with your business, but who knows you by name?

Working with a vendor that prioritizes customer service, assigns you a dedicated representative and proactively reaches out with account updates or recommendations is invaluable to your business - and can take the stress out of the hiring process.

2. Customizable Programs

Cookie-cutter background screening programs are a thing of the past (or at least they should be). If you're running the same pre-employment background check on your customer service team as you do on your accounting or senior executive hires, you could be missing valuable information about these new employees that is directly related to their job duties.

Rather than choosing among a few generic screening options, look for a provider who will work with you to customize packages based on each person's role in your organization. This will ensure you don’t miss out on optimal candidates, and it will minimize your exposure to legal risk and all other costs associated with negligent hiring.

3. Depth of Service

A pre-employment background check is an important part of the hiring process, but what happens when the person becomes an active employee with your company? With an individual’s access to proprietary or sensitive information (about your clients, patients, employees) increasing after they join your organization, it’s important to monitor employees continuously throughout their tenure by checking in periodically on changes to their criminal record, motor vehicle report or (for employees in the healthcare and financial services industries) professional license status and sanctions record.

By working with a provider that has comprehensive monitoring and rescreening services, you'll be in a better position to position to add compliant programs to your current  background screening processes.

4. Ease of Use

Paper processes are more time consuming – and will reduce the overall efficiencies of your pre-employment program. If you’re still handling your background screening process on paper, it might be time to look for a vendor that has a fully electronic and easy to use solution. When looking for a paperless program, make sure to consider the user experience – for both you and your applicants.

You may have noticed that something we didn’t include on this list (even in an annual budget article) is program cost or speed of service. There is a good reason for the omission: while cost and turnaround time are always a consideration, they should not be the only decision points when selecting a background screening provider. The safety of your workforce – and your overall compliance – is far too important.

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