How to Review Your Background Check Provider

Tammy Cohen, PHR, SHRM-CP

February 9 2024

Pre-employment screening is probably a standard part of your business’s hiring process, but is it feeling a little outdated? If your background checks are the same as they were five years ago, it may be time for a change. Whether you run enterprise or small business background checks, see how your current screening service compares to other background check providers. Legislation, processes, services, and technology change regularly. The right background screening vendors keep you informed and adapt with the times. 

It’s helpful to set a reminder to review your background check program each year. This makes you aware of when it’s time to modify your background checks. In some cases, it may push you to change background screening vendors. Regardless, it helps you benefit from the latest advancements in the screening world—saving time, money, and frustration. Use this background check checklist to review your existing screening program or design a new program that protects your business.

FCRA-Compliant Background Checks

Professional background check providers are FCRA-compliant, making them aware of state- and industry-specific laws that affect background screening. When you research background screening vendors, make sure that they have a great compliance team. But also ask – do they go the extra mile? To get an FCRA-compliant background check, add the following to your background check checklist.

Review ban-the-box legislation.
Several states and cities have ban-the-box laws, some of which are industry-specific. Ban-the-box laws prevent employers from asking about criminal history on job applications to promote fair chance hiring. This can impact your business’s hiring process. Be familiar with any laws that apply to your company.
Review salary history legislation.
Some jurisdictions have banned salary history verifications, citing the potential for discrimination. Double-check to see if any of these laws apply to your organization before you screen. Background screening vendors should prevent you from receiving information you cannot use in hiring decisions.
Retain and destroy documentation as necessary.

Hold on to records for as long as required. Then, destroy outdated data to comply with local laws and regulations.

Review your screening documents.

Regularly review your screening procedures and records (like Disclosure and Authorization forms) to ensure they align with all current EEOC guidelines and the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

The Right Employment Screening Services

When people think of employment screening, they often think about a criminal background check first. This is an important step in preventing risky hiring decisions, but background screening vendors have more to offer these days. Does your background check checklist ensure you have modern solutions for the new world of work? Here are some employment screening services to look out for.

    Reconsider your current drug screening policy

    With marijuana laws varying wildly from state to state, many organizations have decided to opt out of marijuana screening. Regulated industries like transportation and healthcare must follow strict drug testing guidelines. However, companies in other industries have relaxed their marijuana drug testing protocols. The right background screening vendors offer drug test programs that suppress cannabis test results as necessary.

    Invest in continuous monitoring.
    A pre-employment background check came back clear – great! But how do you make sure that employee doesn’t develop risky behavior in the future? Continuous criminal monitoring, a simple way to screen post-hire, fills that need. Continuous monitoring taps into nationwide data to automatically notify you of a current employee’s arrest.
    Watch for diploma mills.
    Do your education verifications include a diploma mill check? A diploma mill scan confirms that an applicant received their degree from an accredited institution. It’s vital that your employees have the skills they claim to have, so a quality education verification is a must.
    Look into social media screening.

    The majority of your candidates and employees are online. A social media check is a compliant way to search for inappropriate behavior like racism, sexism, and violence. Checking a candidate’s social media profiles on your own opens you up to legal trouble. If you’re considering social media searches, find a trusted third-party like background screening vendors to ensure you comply.

    Industry- and position-specific services.

    Employers who hire certain positions will have unique employment screening needs. Are you hiring a pilot or a truck driver in the transportation industry? Look for background screening vendors who have a robust suite of MVR screening services. Are you a small business looking for someone to help with finances? Make sure your background check provider will run credit checks. Do you screen all of your employees? Be sure to consider how screening for temporary employees will work. Whatever your unique needs are, you’ll want to work with professionals who will quickly and easily adapt to support you.

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    A Simple Process for Background Checks

    When pre-employment background checks feel like a hassle, employers may wonder if the investment is really worth it. Consider where your background screenings can be made simpler. Knowing your company’s pain points will enable you to choose the best background check vendor for your needs. When using your background check vendor checklist, you’ll want to make sure they…



    If you haven’t already, integrate your background screening program with your ATS. This creates a seamless screening process from beginning to end. Background check providers who offer integrations make screening easier for HR and candidates.


    Optimize for mobile.

    Candidates do everything from their phones. Yes, everything! Make sure your background screening vendor’s technology is optimized for PC, mobile, and any other devices applicants might use to submit their information.


    Implement quickly.

    The best background check providers will make it simple to implement your new background screening program. Look for background check companies who prioritize client support and have the expertise to answer your questions.


    Secure your systems.

    Regular security audits identify vulnerabilities in corporate systems before they become breaches. Conduct regular security audits on your screening systems to ensure there are no bugs or backdoors that could be taken advantage of.


    Go remote.

    Everything is remote these days. Look into remote alternatives to traditional background screening methods to create a positive experience for your candidates.


    Go global.

    Global companies recruit talent from anywhere and everywhere. If you’re hiring globally, look for background check providers who screen globally following local laws and regulations.


    Utilize the latest technology.

    In addition to integrations, look for technology that streamlines background check systems for employers. Consider taking advantage of:

    • Online I-9 verifications. A fully online I-9 and E-Verify process enables employers to quickly hit this important step on their background check checklist. 
    • Fingerprinting. Tap into the FBI fingerprinting database if that’s necessary for the positions for which you’re hiring.
    • Artificial intelligence. AI has a variety of uses. From verifying a candidate’s documentation to matching them with open positions, there are several ways it may improve your hiring process. 

    Check Every Box on Your Background Check Checklist

    Creating a comprehensive program for background checks is integral. When reviewing yours, keep in mind local laws, industry- and job-specific requirements, and federal guidelines. Remember to maintain your candidates’ right to privacy and protect their sensitive information from bad-faith actors. 

    To simplify this process, look for professional and experienced background check providers. Screening experts know the intricacies of the FCRA and the EEOC. They stay up-to-date on relevant legislation in different states, industries, and job roles. The best background check companies also have the technology to create seamless background check systems for employers. This comprehensive background check checklist will help you create a new program from scratch or evaluate a potential screening partner

    While you look for background screening vendors, remember that background checks are necessary to make good hiring decisions. They keep your business secure and help you onboard quickly. A quick, thorough, and compliant screening program is your company’s best defense against risky hiring decisions.

    Luckily, you don’t have to look too far. A pioneer in the background screening industry, InfoMart has been driving innovation for over thirty years. Our fully FCRA-certified team serves businesses of all sizes and industries. Additionally, when employers or candidates need help, our award-winning support team is there every step of the way.

    Ready to learn more about InfoMart’s background checks? Request more info.

    I would love to hear from you and connect; add me on LinkedIn to keep in touch!

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    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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