4 Myths that Keep Enterprise Companies from Effective Supplier Diversity

Tammy Cohen, PHR, SHRM-CP
August 11 2016

We’ve had the opportunity to talk to HR representatives from some of the largest companies in the world. Many people expressed concerns about their current background screeners and were interested in learning about other supplier options. However, we found that some HR buyers had a wildly misinformed opinion of small and mid-sized screeners. Supplier diversity myths abound.

Concerns over relying on small and mid-sized businesses tend to leave enterprise companies vulnerable to a smaller vendor market and keep them from building effective supplier diversity portfolios. Some of those concerns, however, are misinformed and unfairly bias enterprises against SMBs. 

Myth: Small and Mid-Sized Businesses Can’t Handle Our Volume

Perhaps a 20-person screening firm can’t handle a million searches per year yet, but given the opportunity to scale, many providers would gladly quadruple their workforce to handle such an increase in business. 

For example, when InfoMart first brought on a particularly large corporate client, we scaled to meet the demands of the contract. We hired additional staff to handle operations, extended operating hours to support all time zones, and simultaneously trained 1,100 client locations to use our software in 8 business days. That company’s investment in supplier diversity paid off for both of us.

Many small and mid-sized screeners would happily spend extra energy and resources to cater to an enterprise company’s needs if given the chance. Partnering with a small- or mid-sized screener, or even simply adding them as a secondary vendor, could give each of your enterprise locations more control over how and when their background check needs are met. 

Myth: SMBs Don’t Offer Enough Legal Protection

The background screening industry attracts complex regulation, and some enterprise corporations may be concerned that a SMB screener will present a compliance risk. Enterprises looking to improve their supplier diversity by contracting with a diverse-owned screening company should know that avoiding compliance risk is one of the main reasons that professional screeners seek membership in and accreditation by our industry association, the Professional Background Screening Association.

Accredited screeners like InfoMart make strict legal compliance a top priority to protect consumers, clients, and our business. Examples of compliance measures taken by experienced screeners can include:

  • PBSA accreditation
  • A full-time compliance department
  • Legal counsel on retainer
  • Continuous software updates that reflect legal changes
  • Reliable client notices

 Myth: SMBs Can’t Integrate Efficiently with Our Chosen Software

Integration is an important facet of the screening vendor-client relationship, but it seems that many enterprises believe only larger providers are capable of integrating with a customer’s ATS/HRIS; this myth that certainly doesn’t apply to all SMBs and shouldn’t impact your supplier diversity decisions if it’s unfounded. Experienced screeners can easily integrate their systems with clients’ platforms to enterprise workflows, customizing their portals, pages, results delivery, and more to specific corporate needs.

Myth: SMBs Can’t Do International Screenings

PBSA has chapters all over the world, and membership in this organization allows screeners, small and large, to network with information retrievers and vendors globally. This allows many SMB screeners to complete criminal histories, drug testing, employment, education, and professional license verification, global watch list checks, and more on applicants around the world.

Caveats of international checks can include high price, long turnaround time, and data sharing concerns, but professional and highly experienced screeners are continuously improving upon these processes by expanding their professional networks.

 4 Significant Benefits of Partnering with SMBs

Sometimes SMB vendors can’t meet all of an enterprise clients’ needs, and you’ll need to improve your supplier diversity in another area, but what they CAN do for your business is often worth deeper consideration. SMBs can provide robust options to your enterprise locations, improve the local economies touched by diversity vendor inclusion, and reinforce your corporation’s commitment to supplier diversity.

About Tammy Cohen

Tammy Cohen, an industry pioneer and expert in identity and employment screening, founded InfoMart 30 years ago. Deemed the “Queen of Screen,” she’s been a force behind industry-leading innovations. She was most recently the first-to-market with a fully compliant sanctions search, as well as a suite of identity services that modernizes talent onboarding. Tammy revolutionized the screening industry when she stepped into the field, developing the first client-facing application and a due diligence criminal search that has since become standard for all background screening companies. Cohen has received national awards and honors for her business and civic involvement, including Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Top 25 Women-Owned Firms in Atlanta, Enterprising Women Magazine’s Enterprising Women of the Year award, the YWCA of Northwest Georgia’s Kathryn Woods Racial Justice Award, and a commendation in the 152nd Congressional Record.

About InfoMart

InfoMart has been revolutionizing the global background and identity screening industry for 30 years, providing businesses the information they need to make informed hiring decisions. They develop innovative technology that modernizes talent onboarding, including a first-to-market biometric identity authentication application and a verified sanctions search. The WBENC-certified company is a founding member of the Professional Background Screening Association, and they have achieved PBSA accreditation in recognition of their consistent business practices and commitment to compliance with the FCRA. The company is dedicated to customer service, speed, and accuracy, and it has been recognized for its success, workplace culture, and corporate citizenship with over 45 industry awards. To Get the Whole Story on InfoMart, please visit, follow @InfoMartUSA, or call (770) 984-2727.

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