Vendor Screening Services vs Due Diligence

Tammy Cohen, PHR, SHRM-CP
March 24 2017

In an increasingly global world, solely background screening your employees no longer meets the threshold necessary for risk mitigation and protecting your company. It’s become common for companies to outsource work (both for the purposes of finding experts and to expand their workforces) and businesses need to screen the third parties who may have access to their facilities, systems, and confidential information. For this purpose, there are two types of background check solutions: vendor screening services and due diligence. Though the processes complement one another, they are distinctly different, and they guard your company in different ways.

Vendor screening services do not screen the vendor corporate entity itself, but the employees those vendors hire, employees who will have access to your facilities, systems, and confidential information. The process screens individual employees of your contracted vendor. Since you did not select or background screen the employee yourself, a vendor screening program will use your criteria for a background check. Depending on the program you design, the vendor screening services are as lax or as vigorous as you choose, including but not limited to criminal history searches, credit reports, drug testing, and education and employment verifications. For a complete list of potential services for a vendor background check, visit here.

This is different than due diligence, which is a screening of the company as a corporate entity itself. Whereas vendor screening vets the individuals you’ll be working with, due diligence verifies information about the company as a whole. Rather than simply checking Google reviews and moving forward with your relationship, a due diligence report will dig deeper in order to:

  • review the company’s business credit
  • complete an on-site inspection
  • run an incorporation check with the Secretary of State
  • cross reference name, phone, and address
  • check the company’s Dun & Bradstreet report

With our access to the necessary data sources to run a complete report, we can provide this extra information to our clients, creating a comprehensive due diligence report.

In order to mitigate risk, you should perform both an extensive due diligence report and develop the right vendor screening program. A background screening company remains your best source for accurate information for both. Vendor screening programs remain a key factor in the overall safety of your company.

Outsourcing work could mean you are exposing your company to internal threats, for example, people who have access to your facility or your website, which means unscreened individuals could not only harm your employees but your brand. On average, 80% of all businesses run background checks on their employees, which leaves 20% unaccounted for. That means that 1 out of 5 companies you do business with potentially expose your business to dangerous and costly risks. With markets transitioning to value specialization over generalization, the need for vendors rises as the risk remains so high. The necessity for vendor screening services is growing rapidly.

InfoMart collects the necessary due diligence information for every vendor we onboard as a standard business practice alongside our vendor screening procedures.

Without access to the right data sources, the necessary experience to know where to look for information and how to obtain it in a timely manner, or the network of contacts needed to ensure a complete picture, the risks far outweigh any rewards received for compiling the information yourself. Be aware of the differences in nomenclature between the two processes, and consider your best sources for both.

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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