Since conducting a background check search is such a vital part of today’s hiring processes, why wouldn’t there be some kind of database containing all of the information companies need to complete these searches? The short answer: there just isn’t. Unless an organization has knowledge regarding the inner workings of a criminal background check search, they will need to find a reputable pre-employment screening provider to get the job done.

Contrary to popular opinion, there is no such thing as a “one size fits all” approach to a background screening search. There are too many components that go into the hiring process for this to be effective. Thankfully, there are guidelines which can help in the development of customized search packages that can fill your organization’s needs.

Here are 5 tips that need to be considered when making these decisions:

  1. Compliance. Companies will want to make sure they are in compliance with FCRA and EEOC laws at all times in the hiring process. A reputable background screening company should have policies and procedures in place to protect their clients and maintain legal compliance. In addition, you should always consult your own legal counsel.
  2. The position you are hiring for. The overall comprehensiveness of a background check search needs to match the criteria of the position. For example, a company’ package choice might differ between an executive versus a front desk position. Some questions that hiring administrators can ask themselves are: Does this position carry financial responsibility? Are there security issues involved in this position? Does this position have access to customers and their information, or employees and their private information? The answers to these questions should determine the extent of the search.
  3. Be consistent. If your organization is hiring several individuals for the same position, (i.e. customer service reps), choose the same background check search package for each candidate.
  4. Thoroughness. Some search options are available that might not necessarily have to do directly with the position a company is hiring for. However, these options can provide you with valuable information and, therefore, make the background check search more thorough. For example, companies might want to run a Motor Vehicle Record search (MVR) on an applicant even if their position has nothing to do with driving. MVR’s can be very valuable in uncovering an individual’s criminal history. An applicant may have, for instance, a history of drunk driving offenses. This information can bring to light an applicant’s tendencies with regards to a potential lack of responsibility, poor life choices, and overall reliability issues, among other critical character traits.
  5. Budget. Budgets are always a concern. However, a background check search can be quite inexpensive: a basic background screening can range from $17 to $32, depending on the amount of searches ordered. When compared to the potential costs of a bad hire, the cost of doing a background check search is priceless.