What Questions Should Employers Be Asking Their Background Screening Provider?

background screening providerWhen employers elect to engage a background screening provider for compliant background checks, there are certain questions they must ask their new vendor.

How do you keep your clients aware of new laws and regulations affecting the background screening industry?
Employment background checks are a very fluid and ever changing industry that can cause countless compliance issues for employers, especially ones that operate in multiple jurisdictions.

There should be a transparency between the background screening vendor and employer in terms of what tools and resources are being used.

First, they must be a member of the only trade association dedicated to the background screening industry, which is the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS). This trade association’s main mission is to promote consistency and best practices when it comes to procuring employment background checks.

Furthermore, NAPBS offers an accreditation to its members that have demonstrated a commitment to:

  • Information security
  • Legal and compliance
  • Client education
  • Researcher and data standards
  • Verification services standards
  • Business practices

What is your reporting policy when it comes to public records?
Unfortunately, not all background screening companies report the same information on a background screening report. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) explicitly states that consumer reporting agencies (CRA), otherwise known as background screening companies, will ensure maximum possible accuracy when reporting public record information.

What does this mean? When reporting criminal records, the background screening company should only report records that have a full name (first, middle, and last) and date of birth match.

Furthermore, employers should only receive records where the subject of the report was actually found guilty of the offense, and not reporting non-convictions (i.e. arrest records, pending cases, dismissed, etc.) Convictions outside of seven years from the disposition date should not be disclosed on the background screening report.

What protections do you have to secure applicant personal identifiable information?
With cyber-attacks occurring more frequently, employers need to understand how the sensitive information of their potential employees is being stored and secured by their background screening vendor.

When procuring a background check, screening companies need to be provided with applicants’ social security numbers, dates of birth, driver’s license numbers, and previous addresses in order to conduct a thorough and compliant background check.

This leaves most to wonder how the personal identifiable information is being stored. For the majority of companies, it would be in their secure cloud server or in a secure physical data center.

In these cases, there are safeguards in place that background screening vendors should implement such as:

  • Cyber Liability Insurance
  • Contingency plan in the event of a breach
  • Penetration testing
  • Data Retention and Destruction Policy

Employers Choice Screening has an ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System that adheres to the best practices when it comes to data security. Quality Management Systems Awareness training sessions are used to communicate this information to both the company’s in-house personnel, as well as any subcontracted personnel performing work for the organization. Our quality objectives as a background screening provider are to establish and maintain a high level of Customer Satisfaction as well as deliver our products on-time to our customers.