Top Benefits of Outsourcing Background Checks - What You Need to Know
Background checks are a vital part of the recruitment process for many companies. They allow employers to screen candidates before hiring, promote a safer workplace, and ensure a company stays legally compliant.
Many companies conduct background checks in-house, however the process can be time-consuming and takes up valuable internal resources that may be better allocated elsewhere. Outsourcing background checks to a third party provider not only speeds up the recruitment process and saves resources, but also benefits companies in many other ways.
In this guide we’ll talk about the benefits of outsourcing employment background checks and what to look for when evaluating a background check provider before you enlist their services.
The benefits of outsourcing employment background checks
Why should your business outsource background checks when they can be conducted in-house? These are just some of the benefits of enlisting a third party provider to process your employment background checks.
Outsourcing background checks to a reputable provider can save your business money by eliminating the need to hire and train in-house staff to conduct the checks. Third party providers process checks at scale on behalf of thousands of employers. This volume allows providers to streamline their processes and invest in bespoke technology that delivers efficiencies far beyond what is capable in-house. As a result, you receive an improved service for a lower budget than if you were to conduct the same level of checks in-house.
More thorough coverage
Most employers conducting background checks in-house are limited in the scope they can provide. Whether this is due to lack of internal resources, expertise, or access to data sources, outsourcing background checks to a reputable provider removes these limitations and allows employers to expand their background screening programme. For example, instead of concentrating on full time payrolled staff, a company may begin to screen temps, contractors, and even suppliers.
Save time and resources
Conducting thorough background checks can be a time-consuming process, especially if it requires verifying information from multiple sources or conducting international checks. This can be an issue for businesses trying to meet tight deadlines or need to make a decision quickly. Without a dedicated team for background checks, staff will often push background checks to a lower priority as they complete other daily tasks.
By outsourcing background checks to an external company, your business can save time and resources. Instead of facing the pressure of trying to meet quick turnaround times, staff can focus on other tasks in the recruitment process. This provides peace of mind knowing that background checks are being handled externally without competing with other important priorities.
More accurate & in-depth background checks
Background check providers often have access to a wide range of resources and databases that aren’t available to most businesses. As a result, their background checks can be more thorough and accurate. This is especially true for global background checks, which are challenging even for niche local providers. Verifile has particular expertise in this domain, being the provider of choice for dozens of other background check providers.
An example of background check providers using such resources and expertise is mitigating risks like degree mills and alibi mills. Because of their specialised expertise in the industry, third party providers can offer a more rigorous and in-depth background check not available for most in-house teams.
Assured legal compliance
Background check companies are familiar and remain up-to-date with relevant laws and regulations and can ensure your company complies with these regulations when conducting checks on job candidates.
This is especially the case for global background checks. Third party providers may have staff who are familiar with local laws and regulations related to background checks in different countries, which can be helpful when conducting checks in countries with different legal frameworks. This not only saves your company time and resources spent understanding different laws, but also offers peace of mind that you are staying compliant in the hands of expert guidance.
Improved hiring process
One of the primary reasons why companies choose to conduct background checks is to mitigate risk by identifying potential issues with job candidates before they’re hired. This helps protect a company’s assets, prevent future complications, and ensure the workplace remains safe.
Outsourcing employment background checks can help streamline your company’s hiring process and allow you to make more informed hiring decisions quicker. Reputable background check providers usually offer seamless integration between your recruitment platform and the background checking platform, making the process even smoother.
Background check companies will have a specific process used to conduct all their checks. This results in a consistent procedure for all job candidates, which can be difficult to achieve when conducting checks in-house with a team that is balancing other tasks and responsibilities.
Consistency also extends to fairness in the recruitment process. Outsourced background check providers treat all candidates the same, while internal teams may have unconscious bias or might be influenced by hiring managers during recruitment.
Improved privacy & confidentiality
Outsourcing employment screening means your company will not be directly handling job candidate’s sensitive personal information. This can help protect their privacy and offer a degree of comfort in anonymity. Background check companies are also often bound by confidentiality agreements, which can protect your company’s reputation and prevent the release of sensitive information.
Flexibility to scale up or down
One of the primary benefits of allowing an external company to conduct your background check is the ability to scale up or down as needed. If your business is going through a surge of recruitment, background checks can easily be managed without burdening in-house staff or being limited by their capacity and workload.
Many background check providers are proficient in conducting global background checks. As a result, your company can tap into a wider pool of potential job candidates as you won’t be limited to only conducting checks in your country. Outsourcing global background checks can also speed up the hiring process, as external providers can conduct these checks while your company is closed for business.
It’s important to note that not all providers are able to conduct proper and efficient global background checks. If this is an important consideration for your business, be sure to ask the provider about their global capabilities before you enlist their services.
Language proficiency & cultural awareness
Many background check companies hire staff proficient in multiple languages to make it easier to conduct checks in countries where English is not the primary language. Some will also have staff who are familiar with local cultures and customs, which can be helpful when conducting checks in countries with different cultural norms. This eases the difficulty of conducting global background checks.
Access to innovative technologies
Reputable background check companies will have integrations and access to innovative technologies that improve the efficiency and accuracy of the background check process. This includes new technologies like artificial intelligence, which most in-house teams may be unfamiliar with.
What to look out for when evaluating a background check provider
Now that you are clear on the benefits of outsourcing employment background checks, you may be ready to seek out a provider.
Firstly it’s important to note that employment screening providers differ greatly in their approach to background checks and the level and quality of their services. There are no industry norms governing providers and not all employment screening providers will offer the same core service. This is why it’s important to find the right provider for your requirements.
We recommend that you consider the following when evaluating background check providers to ensure you are getting the service you need.
Be sure to seek out a provider with a good reputation in the industry. A background check company’s reputation can be determined through simple research such as reading reviews and speaking to other companies who have used that provider’s services. Don’t be afraid to ask a potential provider for references from other companies and follow up on these references to get a sense of the provider’s reliability and effectiveness.
Customer & candidate support
An often overlooked aspect of outsourcing background checks is the level of customer & candidate support a third party provider offers.
As an employer, you want to know you can reach out with questions and concerns and receive a prompt response from a representative that’s dedicated to supporting you throughout the
process. This is especially important if you don’t have an in-house legal team that can consult you on compliance. You may be relying on the provider to shape your screening programme, so outstanding customer support is essential.
From a candidate’s perspective, being supported throughout the employment screening process helps promote a positive first impression of the employer. Some providers offer an excellent candidate support experience, with dedicated teams and even a VIP service for very senior roles. Others only offer automated services with limited communication with candidates.
If this is an important aspect for you, be sure to check with a potential provider on the level of customer & candidate support they offer.
Look for a background check company that has a track record of experience. This ensures that they are familiar with the process, experts in legal compliance, and can handle checks quickly and efficiently. Experience is especially important when conducting global background checks, as you want the provider to be familiar with local laws and regulations.
It’s worth considering how quickly a provider can complete background checks, especially if you are trying to fill positions quickly. You don’t want to outsource background checks to a company that takes longer than it would for your business to complete the checks in-house.
It’s important to be mindful here that some providers may guarantee artificially fast turnaround times. This may be an indication that some elements of the screenings, such as references, may be closed off as ‘Unable to confirm’. This happens automatically after a few failed attempts by the provider and mostly when using an automated approach to referencing. This kind of result negates the point of outsourcing as you have to follow up on the checks yourself, lengthening the process even more.
Be sure that the background check provider you are evaluating is familiar with and compliant with relevant laws and regulations, such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act in the US or GDPR in Europe. You can determine this by seeing if their website mentions complying with industry regulations. This usually means that compliance is an important priority for that company.
Many businesses hesitate to outsource background checks to a third party provider as they’re concerned about privacy issues. It’s therefore important to choose a provider that has solid data security measures in place to protect job candidates’ personal information. Don’t be afraid to ask providers how they collect, share, use, and protect customer data before you enlist their services.
To get the most out of your outsourced employment background checks, choose a provider that is able to tailor their services to meet your company’s specific needs. This not only is valuable for your business but a sign of a quality background check company that is focused on providing the best service to their customers.
Services & integration
All providers are different, so it’s worth looking into what types of background checks a provider offers, how they are conducted, and whether these meet your company’s needs. You should also determine whether the provider’s background check process can easily be integrated with your company’s HR systems and processes.
If your business is likely to require global background checks, be sure that the provider has the appropriate experience and capabilities to conduct accurate, thorough, and compliant checks internationally.
Some providers offer online portals or automated status updates that can make outsourcing employment background checks more efficient and easier to manage. This also tends to be a sign of a reputable company that has long-term experience in the industry.
You may now feel that it’s right for your business to outsource background checks to a reputable provider. So where to from here?
There are different types of employment screening providers ready to help, from small local providers to global services with their own bespoke technology ensuring the most thorough checks. Some providers offer a fully managed outsourced service while others offer a platform only. Be sure to consider your recruitment needs when researching providers to find the right fit for your business.
If you have enough expertise in-house, you may only require an automated background check provider to conduct the checks on your behalf. However, if you’re looking to rely on the provider to shape your employment screening programme and offer compliance advice and consultancy, then you will be better off with a more premium service that can cater to your needs.
At Verifile, we have a team of highly-qualified experts ready to guide you through the employment screening process no matter where you are in the world. Get in touch with our team now to see how we can cater our services to your unique needs.