Six Factors to Look for in a Quality Background Screening Provider

What is the most crucial thing a background screening provider can offer? It’s challenging to narrow it down to just one. Although the report is essential, there are more valuable qualities that companies need to consider. The factors that make up a proper background screening provider are compliance, price, quality data, turnaround time, and customer service. With these multiple elements working together, you have a positive experience and confidence in your hiring process. 

It’s crucial to choose a background screening provider that brings real value to your company. 


One reason why a company conducts background checks is to avoid a risky hire. A reputable background screening company makes compliance a priority for you. 

Background check companies should be the expert in federal, state, and local laws on employment screening, including the Fair Credit Reporting Act. They should offer you up-to-date disclosure and authorization forms, along with pre-adverse and adverse action letters.  


The phrase “you get what you pay for” applies to background checks too. Ask yourself if the lowest price is the best option. Although it is necessary to keep your budget in mind, it’s critical to run quality and up-to-date background checks.  

When evaluating for a background screening provider, be sure to compare reports of similar quality. Sometimes less expensive background checks are missing critical data, which can be concerning. Find out if your screening provider is searching through multiple sources of data to compile a complete report on your candidate. Since background screenings are a vital component of hiring, the value they bring to your company should be more important than the cost. 

Quality Data 

Database searches can be a valuable tool when used alongside other background check reports. Keep in mind that database searches are not a comprehensive stand-alone background check report. Quality providers offer other sources to help ensure an in-depth search for records in addition to a database.  

Although there are standard federal regulations, states can have their restrictions on reporting crimes in a database. Some states also restrict case details provided to a database, and some won’t release any information at all to a database. Direct searches are a source of revenue for some state and local governments, so they won’t release information in a database. Using the database search with a county criminal background check is the best way to have an in-depth report on a candidate.  

Turnaround Times 

You want to make sure that the background check has quality reporting and is done in a timely manner. The typical turnaround time for a background check is two to three days. In the United States, there are over 3,000 counties or county-equivalents each with their court record database. The turnaround time to obtain the search results varies from county to county, depending on the technology used. Although some counties have online databases, some still use ledger books or microfilm for storage of court records. Results can take longer in counties that are clerk-assisted. A quality background check provider should keep you apprised of any unexpected delays. 

Customer Service 

Some companies consider customer service one of the most valuable qualities for a background screening provider. Having customer service representatives that are highly trained and qualified to answer your questions are essential qualities. Customer service doesn’t end after a phone call or online chat is over. It’s about the overall experience that you receive from the background check provider. 

At SELECTiON.COM®, our customer support team is all in-house, along with our IT department. Customer support is available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (EST) Monday through Friday, via phone or Chatrax® our online chat system.  

Background check companies should keep you informed on the background screening industry standards. Through monthly newsletters, blog posts, and emails, a background screening company should share essential updates, court closings, background check news, and relevant industry information. The more knowledge you have, then the better your hiring process will be. 

Overall Value 

What is vital for your company’s hiring process? While compliance, price, quality data, and customer service are all crucial components of a background screening program, the most important thing is your partnership with your provider.  

Make sure your overall experience with your background check provider is more valuable than just a report. 

Contact us today to see how SELECTiON.COM® can take your employment background check process to the next level. 

This article gives a general overview of the legal matters. However, it is your responsibility to ensure compliance with all the relevant federal, state, and local laws governing this area. SELECTiON.COM® does not provide legal advice, and we always suggest consulting your own legal counsel for all applicant approval matters.    

Article by SELECTiON.COM®

Founded in 1991, SELECTiON.COM® is one of the Nation’s leading providers of pre-employment background screening services. We offer the largest network of in-house researchers, the fastest turnaround on criminal background checks and drug screening, and unsurpassed customer service. Our web application, FASTRAX Select™, allows employers to verify an applicant’s background check information quickly and accurately from the convenience of a personal computer. Average turnaround time on criminal background searches is 2 business days. Thousands of employers nationwide rely on SELECTiON.COM® to help them make smart hiring decisions.