4 min read

Is Now the Time to Evaluate Your Background Screening Program?

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As another year wraps up, companies are busy finalizing fourth-quarter initiatives and planning for the New Year. In addition to organizational performance, your leadership may be reviewing budgets, forecasts, and strategies. They may be analyzing sales and looking into shortfalls.

If you have a Human Resources department, they may be asking what they can do to support organizational growth in the coming year. This may involve evaluating things like employee attrition, workplace safety, rates of hiring, and worker productivity and alignment with organizational values.

Evaluating your background screening program to make sure it’s still aligned with your business needs and best interests should be part of this process, too. In the sections that follow, we’ll take a deeper dive into the reasons that smart business leaders and successful companies regularly assess their background screening process. What will become evident is how these incentives directly affect a business's bottom line.

Efficient Pre-Employment Screenings

Slow pre-employment screenings can add time to the hiring process. They also can cause your most qualified, in-demand applicants to lose interest in a position. A 2017 study by Career Builder found that nearly 2 in 5 employers had lost a job candidate because of their background check process.

A super-tight labor market only underlines the importance of an efficient screening and onboarding process. If your business has grown a lot in this economy, then you’re also in need of filling more positions and may be feeling that pressure even more.

A good background check provider will:

  • ensure that your pre-employment screenings are as fast and easy as possible
  • provide you with only those checks that are necessary (and no more)
  • streamline the process of ordering checks, by providing an online, self-service tool like this one here
  • integrate seamlessly with an Applicant Tracking System to expedite communication with your candidate

Keeping Costs Down

Cutting costs is another compelling reason to evaluate an existing background check program. If you had to terminate even one employee this year after misinformation on their resume, that wrong hire may have cost you up to 24 times the employee’s salary, according to data from the Carrra Group. (The Carrra Group estimated that a poorly chosen CEO can cost a firm $1.4 billion to replace.) A good background screening program will flag and check potential misinformation on a resume, to help ensure you are hiring the right candidates and keeping your costs down.

The Right Background Checks

With background check packages, there are many options, so it’s worth knowing whether you have the right background checks in place— especially if your workforce has diversified. Say, for example, that your company employs mainly truck drivers. You may be used to including a driver history check as part of a pre-built screening process that you use with any applicant.

Lately, though, you’ve begun hiring factory workers whose job is to process and pack merchandise orders. For these positions, a driver history check would be non-essential. Updating and customizing a background check package might save you time and money that you may be losing with a pre-built package.

In short, if you’re using the same background checks for every applicant, you may be purchasing non-essential screenings, wasting money, and slowing down the hiring process. A customized screening package can help reduce these inefficiencies.

Compliance with State and Federal Regulatory Standards

In industries like healthcare and transportation, where state and federal regulations require specific licenses and credentials, staying in compliance with these requirements is crucial to a business’ viability. This isn’t always easy, though, especially when a business has multiple locations in the U.S. Compliance regulations can differ from state to state, after all. The time and effort that go into researching and adhering to these standards can sap precious time away from other critical priorities.

Does your company spend an inordinate amount of time addressing compliance laws in your areas of operation? Have you been fined for non-compliance or had to deal with related legal issues? Have you been the victim of employee fraud? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, it may be worth re-evaluating your existing background check package and consulting a third-party provider with compliance expertise.

Pre-Employment Drug Testing and Workplace Safety

Pre-employment drug testing is another area where evolving state laws differ and can be hard for employers to navigate alone. A case in point: changing marijuana laws that impact which drug tests to use. Seven states and the District of Columbia have enacted protections for job applicants who recreationally use marijuana. Many more states now have laws that protect medical marijuana users.

Maintaining a safe, drug-free work environment that complies with these ever-evolving marijuana laws can create unnecessary stress for busy executives. A reliable third-party provider like Orange Tree can manage and customize various drug screenings by location in compliance with state laws.

Company Reputation and Brand Awareness

If you’ve lost qualified candidates because of a lengthy or clunky background check process, that can adversely impact your reputation. The same 2017 Career Builder survey cited earlier found that more than half of job candidates think less of a company if they had a negative experience with its HR technology. A business’ hiring process is a reflection and first impression of that business, and a fast and easy screening and onboarding process conveys competence.

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