Quality is everything when it comes to hiring a vendor to conduct your pre-employment background screenings. Accurate information must be obtained from reputable sources and personal information must be protected. Failing in either of these functions can leave your company vulnerable to negligent hiring and legal consequences.

A clear and enforceable security policy can demonstrate your vendor’s dedication to information security and describe how your company and applicant/employee data is protected. Such a policy illustrates how a screener protects sensitive applicant information from being breached, exploited, or misused.

Hiring managers should make sure that background screening vendors have an adequate security policy in place before engaging them for services.

Elements of a Background Screening Vendor’s Security Policy

A reputable background screening vendor will have a current and explicit security policy that covers applicant privacy and details the measures the vendor takes to protect that information. There are several essential items that should be included in the vendor’s security policy.

A background screening vendor’s security policy should include, at a minimum:

    • Established procedures for protecting the privacy of employment candidates.
    • Assurance that all data collected from applicants is transmitted and stored in compliance with
      local, state, and federal laws such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
    • Details covering how applicant information is secured on computer servers and in electronic
      databases.
    • A Disaster Recovery Plan in the event of a natural disaster or electrical outage. A qualified
      vendor will have contingencies in place to ensure applicant data remains secure.
    • Specifics on how long the vendor retains electronic records with sensitive information.
    • Information on how applicant data is securely accessed by your company’s human resources
      staff and management.

A background screening vendor’s security policy should not hinder the service provider from conducting a thorough screening. A comprehensive pre-employment background screening should provide the hiring manager with all the securely obtained and delivered data they need to make an informed decision about an applicant or employee.

Additionally, the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) is the only industry association that offers professional accreditation. NAPBS accreditation supports a screening company’s commitment to excellence, accountability, high professional standards, and continued institutional improvement, and can signal a screener that prioritizes security.

When you engage with an experienced, professional, and accredited background screening provider that maintains a robust security policy, such as InfoMart, you can reduce risk to your company while supporting sound hiring practices.

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