What to Look for in a Vendor Background Check Policy

Tammy Cohen, PHR, SHRM-CP
September 13 2016
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 vendor background check policy can demonstrate their dedication to information and describe how your company 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 vendor background check policy will have current and explicit security procedures 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 vendor background check 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 Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA) is the only industry association that offers professional accreditation. PBSA 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.

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. To learn more about Tammy, visit

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.

Pin It on Pinterest