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What Makes a Good Background Screening Company?

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Vetting individual employees takes far too much time for one person, and many businesses prefer to use an independent background screening service. Yet with so many companies available, how do you decide which is the best option?

Below are three attributes you should consider when looking for a company that performs background checks:

What Should You Look for When Choosing a Background Screening Company?

If you do a quick online search, you'll find many background check websites that offer a do-it-yourself service. These seem like the perfect option - all you have to do is plug in an applicant's name, and you instantly receive results on any arrests, convictions, sex offenses and even things as seemingly innocuous as marriage records and social network profiles. What's more, these services are often attractively priced. According to Business News Daily, a self-made report can cost as little as $10

Unfortunately, DIY sites can be more trouble than they're worth, and the consequences of bad results can cost your business far more in legal fees. These sites don't have to comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act, so the information they provide doesn't have to be accurate. This means you could end up making a hiring decision based on faulty information - a mistake that could result in a negligent hiring lawsuit.

What's more, DIY sites give you the information, but you're still forced to sort through it yourself. Depending on the applicant, you could be scanning dozens of different reports on a daily basis. Multiply this by the number of applicants you have, and you'll find yourself spending hours searching through people's history. 

A full-service background screening provider like Orange Tree, complies with all local and federal laws. 

1. Do they give you accurate information? 

It's impossible to understate the importance of receiving correct information when performing a background check. Consumer protection and fair employment laws shield applicants from unfairness based on bad screening results. Worst-case scenario, companies that refuse to hire a person based on faulty information face potential discrimination lawsuits. Alternatively, if the background check misleads a business into hiring a criminal, the company could be liable to any harm that person commits to people or property while on the job.

Such legal actions don't always come from individuals. In one instance, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ordered two of the country's largest screening services to pay a combined $13 million for inaccurate reporting. While the people using those services weren't implicated, the action no doubt caused them to question the validity of their recent hires.

2. Are they PBSA Accredited?


You should choose a screening service accredited by an industry organization such as the Professional Background Screening Association to ensure they give you accurate, reliable results.

To become accredited, companies must demonstrate initial and ongoing compliance with the accreditation standard as prepared by the Background Screening Credentialing Council (BSCC).

Orange Tree has been PBSA accredited since 2011. 

3. Do they provide comprehensive background check services? 

Some services only check traditional criminal records like sex offender registries, arrest histories, felony records. This is fine for identifying potentially dangerous hires, but it doesn't filter out people who lie on or embellish their resumes. 

A thorough screening company verifies a person's employment history, education, professional license or certification and references if necessary. This additional information doesn't just ensure an applicant has the skills necessary to fill your company's open position. It also determines whether the candidate fits your company culture.

Interested in a comprehensive background check company that takes the work out of your hands? Schedule a free consultation with Orange Tree today! .