6 tips for choosing a legitimate background check firm

Your staffing service provides a valuable commodity: people. And just like any other business, you need to ensure your commodity meets certain standards before it heads out your door to your customer.

Performing a background check on your temporary employees gives you peace of mind knowing you’re sending out an employee who is a perfect fit for the job. It also reduces your company’s risk, so if there is a problem with an employee, you can show you completed your due diligence.

While the Internet allows you to perform a general background check by typing a person’s name into a search engine and browsing the results, a third-party background check firm conducts a much more thorough check than you can do on your own.

Many of these companies are legitimate, but there are some that do not provide the value that others do. Here are six tips to help your staffing firm choose a reputable background check firm.

  • Research the firm. Most businesses have a website and are listed in online or telephone directories. Look at the business’s phone number and address and search for it online — it should show up consistently and with the same owners listed.
  • Ask your peers about the business. See if others in the staffing industry have heard of or dealt with the firm. If no one has heard of it, chances are it’s not a legitimate firm. However, even well-known firms can offer poor service, so ask for details on what they’ve heard or about their own experiences.
  • Ensure the firm provides a comprehensive background check. This should include Social Security number validation, identity confirmation and criminal and county court records. Most companies review the past seven years, but you can request a longer review.
  • Avoid checks advertised as “instant.” There is no national database for criminal records, and these firms search online database that are not always accurate or up to date.
  • Make sure you talk to a real person. You want a background check provider that is a business partner, not just a data generator. A legitimate firm will have a knowledgeable employee explain its findings and answer any questions you may have.
  • Check the company’s associations. If it features a logo that says “Better Business Bureau Accredited Business,” clicking the logo should take you to the firm’s BBB report. In addition, legitimate firms are often members of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners. If the firm has worked with staffing firms before, it is an added bonus.