What to consider when selecting a pre-employment screening vendor.
Choosing a background screening provider is an important decision that affects your entire organisation, from human resources and security to everyday employee relationships. It is great to have an expert on your side, helping inform important hiring decisions – decisions which affect your organisation’s performance and reputation. So, what important things do you need to consider before you take the plunge?
Does the vendor conduct services themselves or do they outsource to another vendor?
The most important screening elements – the suitability assessment interview and character analysis – cannot be left to chance. This process should be done through one specialist company so that you are provided determination consistency. You may elect to have mundane and routine verification and black-mark database checks outsourced (erroneously called screening), but any potentially adverse results need to be properly analysed by qualified specialists who offer Candidates an opportunity to respond to the information in an impartial, unbiased, objective, truth-telling environment. That’s fair for everyone.
Can the vendor perform international background checks?
The need to screen persons who live outside of Australia for Australian-based employment is becoming increasingly common as the workforce becomes ever more mobile and globalised. Check whether your vendor has experience with one-on-one interviews with foreign nationals and also check if they regularly interview Candidates who are presently overseas.
How is the vendor ranked in the industry?
It is important to gauge a vendor’s reputation and standing relative to their competitors. Knowing the vendor has a track record of providing the services to the Federal Government as well as other leading companies will provide reassurances that they are capable and qualified to assist you too. Ask if they are on a Panel ask if they have ever been ranked in terms of timeliness and accuracy. Ask if they are certified or under contractual obligation to ISO standards. Also, understanding the market share a vendor enjoys will also give an indication of their strength in the market place.
Does the vendor have financial backing and stability?
Consider how long the vendor has served the background screening industry and the extent to which it is active in professional associations. A strong financial backing supports innovation and an ability to adapt to change, whether that occurs in your company, your industry or through legislation.
Does the vendor offer services that the competition does not?
Compare the services available from different vendors to identify any important gaps. Do they only conduct database checks? How do they handle and process anomalies, discrepancies or adverse information? How do they arrive at their conclusion? Do they offer one-on-one screening of character for each Candidate? Beyond individual services, consider the capabilities of each vendor’s qualifications, skills and experience to interview and analyse character. What standards do they use? Do they Quality Assure each assessment? Does the vendor offer procedural fairness and natural justice – if so in what way? Do they use technology to manage their automated screening program efficiently? Do they have the ability to accommodate batch ordering?
Sound privacy and security practices are essential to the well-being of your business. It is critical to select a background screening vendor who employs best-in-class safeguards that ensure information is accessible, reliable and protected. Ask your vendor about the measures it takes to prevent improper access and impermissible use of your data to help ensure your business and your applicant’s information are protected. Does the vendor de-identify information it holds after the result has been done. Are they certified to conduct business with Government with security classifications? Do they offer 3rd Party Auditors to review contract obligations? What is their information destruction policy?
How easy is it to implement services and get started with the vendor?
It is important to understand how a vendor will ensure onboarding is as quick and painless as possible. Your chosen vendor should partner with you throughout the implementation process and explain key considerations prior to making important decisions. If you are using an ATS, HRIS or TMS, it will be important to ascertain the vendor’s experience of performing system integrations.
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