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Six Sigma Team Delivers Three Screening Package Improvements for Major Manufacturer

Implementing a background screening package can be complicated. There are so many details to consider: Should we customize our screening by role type or apply the same package to all candidates? What does the current statistical analysis about our screening results tell us about our program? That’s where the First Advantage team of Six Sigma experts comes in. They work directly with clients, leveraging existing data to identify process improvements and share best practice recommendations.


During the candidate review process, there are three classifications:

  1. Eligible or Meets Criteria (or “clear”)—the client’s criteria regarding the candidate’s background history for a position has been met
  2. Does Not Meet Criteria—the client’s criteria has not been met by a candidate’s background history
  3. Decisional—a client’s criteria regarding the background history of the candidate is in a category to prompt additional attention for the client

In all cases, clients are expected to review the details of the background screening reports, and their adjudication matrix helps assist them in conducting their reviews.

Case Study

The team recently partnered with a major manufacturer that installs products in people’s homes to identify areas for improvement in their current background screening package. Here were their three key recommendations:

Revise your adjudication criteria based on observable trends.

This client’s information showed that in a majority of cases in which a candidate had an adjudication of “decisional”, the ultimate employment decision made by the client was “eligible” for a particular set of criteria; so the team suggested that an adjustment of the adjudication matrix may be warranted.

The team found that the client was spending a significant amount of time waiting on employment history verifications—in a way that was potentially unnecessary. The manufacturer was asking the candidate for additional information about previous roles, and First Advantage was following up to confirm that information, but it ultimately wasn’t factoring in to whether or not the company chose to hire those candidates; they never turned down someone for hire regardless of whether employment details could be verified.

Based on this, the team recommended that the client adjust their adjudication criteria so that they could focus on reviewing other cases that required their attention. This recommendation resulted in approximately 260 hours of time saved per year by the client and more than $60K in billing.

Customize your screening plan by role type.

The same manufacturer client employed a variety of workers—some who worked directly with products in production and some who installed products in customers’ homes. Because of the way their screening packages were set up, the company was reviewing the same criminal history criteria for all employees—but the First Advantage Six Sigma team suggested that they review the relative criteria for each position by role type. While a company might want the most thorough criminal screening and adjudication criteria for employees in roles working directly in customers’ homes, that same level of criminal history may not be as critical for those working in a warehouse.

Centralize your criminal adjudication decisions.

The team found that the manufacturer’s adjudication team was sending the bulk of applicants who were adjudicated as “decisional” to local managers and leaving the hiring decisions up to those individuals. Unfortunately non-centralized decision making can result in inconsistencies across the company in hiring decisions. The team recommend that the manufacturer consider a revision of the current process and to consider centralizing their adjudication decisions.

When working with the First Advantage Six Sigma team, clients share their priorities and pain points, and the team reviews the data and provides the third party insights to help them make more strategic and informed decisions. Sometimes those directly involved in the processes have a hunch that certain actions need to be taken but don’t have the data to back it up. The First Advantage Six Sigma team is able to provide that.

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