You look at your computer screen to determine the verification status on your latest hire. The screen reads “complete”. Finally! Yes! The verification process has been completed! Then you discover just how incomplete it truly is.
“Complete – no record.”
What’s worse than an incomplete verification?
Well, maybe knowing that you’re going to have to spend time on this because your background screening provider didn’t do their job, and as a result, you can’t do your job either. Not only are you going to be invoiced for this incomplete work, but now you must pick up the phone and work on completing the verification yourself. Sound familiar? Likely, too familiar.
You should expect your background screening company to complete verifications. You’re paying them to do so because that’s their job. Sure, it’s hard work. Businesses and schools consolidate and close and records are hard to find or are possibly lost altogether. Admittedly, verifying high school records can be a bit more challenging.
The question here is, do you have the right to expect more from your background screening provider?
The answer is a resounding, yes.
To assess the best provider for you, you want to ask about both the success rate and the process used in the verification service.
The success rate is relatively straightforward. What is the percent of time that a record is verified? All vendors can provide this information. Be sure to confirm that the background screener is providing data for all of their clients over a meaningful period of time. The reason for wanting data over a significant period is to glean insight into the vendor’s process. A vendor can be “lucky” over the short term. The long-haul process determines sustainable success, which is why you should be diligent in your vendor evaluation. Over time, a vendor’s process will yield its true capabilities.
So, what process elements should you explore with your background screen providers on its verification offering? Here are some questions for you to ask.
- Do they confirm the accuracy of the contact information provided? Do they do this right away or at a later point?
- Do they have automation with the industry’s key data source providers? E.g., The Work Number, the National Student Clearinghouse, etc.
- When they must contact the primary source directly:
- Do they use their own employees? If outside vendors are used, what process has the background screener contracted with them to follow, if any?
- How many attempts are made?
- On how many different days are attempts made, and are the times of day staggered?
- Are the attempts made during business hours? If an offshore vendor is used, what shift do they provide their service?
- If you’re willing to accept documentation from the candidate, is the process fast and easy for everyone involved?
- Finally, is the work visible to you? Is the work that has been done and scheduled to be done annotated in the background providers portal?
One final tip when exploring this information with your background screening providers: keep asking the question until you know precisely what you’re getting. While this may seem like an obvious approach to take, it’s particularly important in the area of verification services because small details lead to significant differences in performance.
You can and should expect excellent verification services from your background screening provider. Take the time to gather specific information about their process and results. Making this effort will ensure that you can find a background screen provider who does their job so you can do yours.