Background Screening 101- Back to School for HR

August 11, 2021 by Verified First

Background Screening 101- Back to School for HR

There’s something unique about back-to-school nostalgia. Whether you’re a parent or not, it’s a time where we often reflect on or aspire for the good old days, wishing “there was a way to know you were in the good old days before you actually left them" Andy Bernard

Saying goodbye to summer, heading back to classes, seeing your friends again, and hitting the books identified a season of change, a time to reset, and endless possibilities for the new year. Whether we knew it or not, these moments set a precedent for our goals and aspirations. In a way, back-to-school time signifies a new beginning. That’s why we’re launching a new blog series: Back to School for HR, where we’ll explore the important parts of every hiring strategy. To kick off, we’re going to explore Background Screening 101 as now is the perfect time to look to new beginnings and revamp your background screening strategy for a better future.

Background Screening 101: Make screening part of your Talent Acquisition strategy.

In today’s competitive hiring market, having a strong talent acquisition (TA) strategy can be the difference between hiring talent and losing them to competitors. While both employers and employees want to secure the position, employers may experience bottlenecks that delay time-to-fill — and now is not the time to keep candidates in limbo.

Since most background checks are run when a hiring decision is being made, having accurate and timely data can improve time-to-fill and move your applicant from a candidate to an employee swiftly making background screening a critical component of your talent acquisition strategy.

According to the 2021 Talent Acquisition Technology Buyer’s Guide, background screening with a third-party provider:

  • Reduces the costs of a bad hire
  • Improves candidate experience and engagement
  • Improves accuracy of hire
  • Improves quality of hires
  • Improves retention of quality employees 

Not to mention, vetting your candidates prior to hire improves workplace safety and minimizes legal ramifications associated with a bad hire. While someone’s past isn’t entirely indicative of their future, background screening assessments can reveal additional information to help you make an informed hiring decision and determine whether the candidate is a good fit for the position or not. 

Screening candidates goes further than just a preliminary background check, though. Consider drug testing and employment/education verifications as well! And it doesn’t stop there! A lot can change in a year. Don’t stop at just vetting your candidates; consider a rescreening process for current employees to maintain the safe workplace you’ve created. 

Background Screening 101: Find a background screening partner.

People are one of the greatest assets an organization has. To protect them and your organization’s mission, recruiting and retaining quality hires is imperative.  

Part of revamping your hiring strategy with a solid background screening process means finding a screening provider. While employers can conduct their own background checks, companies who use a screening provider are three times more likely to track the quality of hire. Sounds pretty good, right? 

While all third-party background screening companies are providers, the key is to find one who is more than just a provider, though; find a partner. The difference between a provider and a partner is that partners are committed to their clients (you!), ensuring that their (your) needs are met and then some

Partners keep you in mind from onboarding to executing. They work to take the best care of their clients, from integration and implementation to change management and client care.

Finding a background screening partner who cares has a significant impact on your talent acquisition strategy. 

P.S. When you screen with Verified First, you’ll see the advantages of our built-in compliance tools, SMS texting and mobile-friendly forms, turnaround time transparency, and one of the finest, 100% U.S. -based client care teams!

Background Screening 101: Don’t wait, integrate. 

As the benefits of HR tech have proven themselves over and over again, the excitement around adoption has increased. However, adopting technology solutions presents another challenge in itself: managing those solutions

According to the 2021 Talent Acquisition Technology Buyer’s Guide, companies use ten or more TA solutions, on average. That’s a lot to manage

On top of that, one of the most forgotten questions when adopting technology is how it will integrate into your current HR ecosystem. Unfortunately, a whopping 31% of companies experience integration pain because they fail to consider integration fully making management of your TA tech stack that much more difficult.

By connecting your solutions, you’ll benefit from:

  • Reduction of manual processes
  • Improved data quality and consistency
  • Strengthened communication between solutions
  • Increase in time and money saved
  • Streamlined hiring

Finding a screening partner is important, but finding one who keeps you in mind through integration is essential. Before integrating your screening solution with your ATS, consider asking: 

  • Does an integration with my current solution already exist?
  • What costs are involved (installation, connector fees, labor)?
  • What features are involved?
  • When will I see a return on investment (ROI)?
  • How will my partner support me through integration?

As we know, integrations are key to your talent acquisition strategy. That’s why it’s important to fully consider integration capabilities and benefits prior to selecting a background screening partner.  

Background Screening 101: Stay compliant.

When screening candidates, it’s important to have a compliant screening strategy set in place to ensure best practices and minimize legal ramifications associated with not complying with screening laws and regulations. 

Aside from creating policies that promote organizational alignment and fair and consistent practices, the two most significant components in the screening process are to:

  • Abide by FCRA regulations.

When your candidate is ready to undergo a background check, you’ll want to ensure they’ve been provided: 

    1. Notification of required assessments contingent on getting the job
    2. Written consent to perform a background check
    3. A copy of the Summary of Consumer Rights
    4. The reporting agency’s name, address, and phone number
  • Provide Adverse Action Notification.

Should your organization decide to move in another direction due to findings from the report, ensure you follow the FCRA's adverse action regulations. Adverse action requires two steps

    1. Pre-adverse notice. This notice includes the consumer report, the Summary of Your Rights, and a letter from the employer to the candidate, explaining that something in the report might negatively affect their employment eligibility status. Candidates have a right to respond in a specific time period.
    2. Notification of adverse action. When moving in another direction, you must provide the adverse employment decision notice stating your decision to proceed without said candidate. Candidates have the right to appeal the employer’s decision if they believe it was unfair.

Staying up to date on compliance can be a challenging feat. However, having a partner on your side makes compliance that much easier. 


As you walk through the store and ponder memories prompted by the aisles of back-to-school supplies, remember the endless possibilities that await in your future. 

Vetting candidates goes a long way, and your choices can directly impact your employees, clients, and company mission. 

To help guide you in this season of change, don’t forget to reference your background screening 101 “back-to-school” checklist: 

  1. Make screening part of your TA strategy.
  2. Find a background screening partner.
  3. Don’t wait, integrate. 
  4. Stay compliant.

Stay tuned for upcoming blogs in this year’s “back-to-school” series; they’ll be posted every other week! In the meantime, though, if you’re interested in partnering with Verified First for your background screening needs, let’s chat!

About Verified First
Verified First is known for delivering streamlined background screening backed by the best client support, and for developing the easiest, fastest HR system integrations, for free. Our client support team is U.S.-based, answers calls in seconds, resulting in hundreds of positive testimonials and a 96% customer satisfaction. Verified First's patent-pending, award-winning integrations include over 100 applicant tracking systems, and provide clients a turn-key experience.

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