How to Choose A Background Check Service for Small Businesses?

Don’t fall into this trap.

January 25, 2022

Here’s how to pick a “best-fit” provider

Unlike their enterprise counterparts, small businesses are different. They’re motivated differently. They’re  agile, lean, and cost conscious. Often, there’s a single decision-maker wearing multiple hats and short on time. Since their background screening needs generally aren’t as dynamic as enterprise businesses, factors like price and turnaround time frequently guide the decisions.

But if you’re a small business owner or decision-maker, don’t fall into this trap. At a time when hiring quality employees is more important to small businesses than winning new customers, your background check partner can make or break your hiring decisions since they are engaging with applicants and providing data to assist with finding the right talent for the job. The wrong decision can be costly. Knowing this, it’s crucial to look deeper—beyond cost, speed, or even product comparisons—to understand which background screening partner best aligns with the objectives and priorities of your small business.

To help identify a “best-fit” background screener for your small business, here are a few subtle yet sometimes overlooked areas to cover when searching for the right background check service for small businesses.


Key Questions to Ask Your Background Check Provider

How do others in your industry perceive the screening provider?

Knowing if the background screener has a proven track record of providing the services you need to other companies will ensure that it’s equally capable and qualified to assist you. Ask potential partners to provide references from at least two existing clients similar to your company and industry. Your aim in conducting reference checks is to get a feel for what it’s like to work with the partner, especially regarding dispute resolution, problem-solving, and responsiveness. Will they provide your small businesses with knowledgeable, personalized service, or are you signing up for a low-cost program that offers no support when you need it?


Does the background check have financial backing and stable leadership?

Consider how long the provider has served the background check industry and its affiliations with professional associations that help drive background screening legislation. Solid financial backing supports innovation and an ability to adapt to change, whether it occurs in your company, your industry, or through legislation. This is key to a provider’s capacity to stay ahead of change in the industry and seamlessly scale your screening program as your small business grows. Take the time to understand the pedigree of the provider’s leadership team and their history of delivering results. Working with respected industry leaders can do two things for your small business: First, having direct access to cutting-edge hiring and screening best practices and technologies. Second, partnering with recognized industry leaders helps instill trust in your small business from applicants, as well as other potential business partners.


How robust are the provider’s privacy and security policies?

It’s the digital age. Data is everywhere. A single data security breach, no matter how small, can derail your limited hiring resources and hurt your ability to attract top talent. Ensure your selected screening partner has sound data security practices to protect sensitive applicant data. Here are a few questions to ask:

  • Does the provider ensure all its employees receive comprehensive privacy and data security training covering local and global requirements?
  • Does the provider meet international standards like GDPR and ISO Standard 27001:2013?
  • Do the provider’s privacy policies cover regulations in all areas where you operate?

These questions may seem over the top for small businesses with relatively low hiring volumes. Still a provider’s level of commitment to data privacy and security is a direct reflection of how well they understand the industry and how well they can support your business should any issues arise.


Does the provider have an in-house legal and compliance team?

Background screening is a highly regulated industry governed by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and various other state and local laws regarding the use of consumer data in hiring. You will want to make sure screening providers comply with all industry guidelines and regulations. When choosing a background check service for your small business, ensure they stay up to date with changes in legislation and have processes in place to help your small business comply with those same regulations. Ask about the relationships your provider holds with inside and outside counsel, as well as the in-house legal and compliance professionals it employs to review applicable laws and regulations. Inquire about how the provider stays up to date with local and regional legislative changes.


Choosing the right background check service partner

As a stakeholder, it’s well worth your time and effort to better understand potential background screening partners by asking qualitative questions about their qualifications. Don’t fall into the trap that can put your business at risk. Perform this due diligence to find a “best fit” background check partner—one that can help you create a best-in-class hiring process for your small business in minutes, not days.

First Advantage can help. Through a quick and easy small business background checks solution, you can save valuable time and build your team fast. You get the report data you need to make informed decisions, as well as a partner that understands what really matters to your small business—confidence in hiring. With plans as low as $35, you don’t have to break the bank for a dependable, comprehensive, and compliant background check service for your small business.

Get started today, or visit our website to learn more about what sets First Advantage apart.

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