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Avoid Buyer’s Remorse – Read the Background Check API Fine Print

Date Published: January 07, 2016 | Last Updated:September 15, 2023 | By Katie Hartley
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If you are reading this, you officially survived another holiday season. Congratulations!
We hope amongst the hustle, bustle, wrapping and gatherings, your holidays were filled with laughter and good cheer.

We also hope they were free of that “holiday gift letdown.” You know the one (think Ralphie and the bunny suit in the Christmas Story). The gift you thought would be a major hit and instead ended up being a major flop. The batteries lasted five minutes, the pieces fell apart and it didn’t work at all how it was advertised.

Unfortunately, the same problem can apply to background check API  software. Companies allude a product does certain things, but if you read the fine print, it tells a very different story. We receive tale after tale from new customers who have been burned by products that don’t work as claimed.  As such, it’s critical to ask the right questions when assessing what background check technology and company is the right fit for you. Here are some common claims and promises you may hear when assessing background check solutions and questions you should be asking to help shine a spotlight on the fine print:

  • Claim: It’s Just the Technology You Need: Background check technology is not one size fits all. Look for a provider that offers not only flexible, pre-integrated solutions with Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) and Human Capital Management (HCM) systems, but also offers backend fulfillment technology to ensure accuracy, superior turnaround times, and compliant results. Their background check API should also offer:
    • Two-way integrations: Many companies can accept requests through an integrated process, but may not return results. If you are going down the path of having an integration built between your provider and your onboarding system, you want a full cycle, secure integration so that you can place orders and monitor background check results directly from one technology platform. Well thought out and fully developed RESTful APIs are a great tool to ensure this full cycle integration, as well as minimize development time and effort from your organization.
    • Flexible integrations: Many organizations aren’t capturing key background check requirements in their ATS and HCM systems like disclosure and authorization for the background check, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, etc. The integration should be able to dynamically capture any required information not requested in the ATS and/or HCM system. Broad technology capabilities that allow flexibility in how the integration is built; the provider should have their own API as well as be able to support HR-XML standards, configure to a partner’s API, and support multiple integration methods (Web Services, JSON, flat file, etc.)

When in the sales cycle, be sure to ask each vendor:

  1. Do you allow for custom orders, full results, scoring and ranking, and dynamic ordering workflows based on the data we need to collect for each individual to be background checked?
  2. Do you have proven metrics to backup your marketing claims?
  3. How can I ensure you will integrate seamlessly with my current systems to provide a smooth candidate experience?

When in the sales cycle, be sure to ask:

  1. Can you provide customer satisfaction and retention data, as well as references to demonstrate and quantify the level of support?
  2. Can you support expanded hours for candidates and users as well as multiple languages and methods for support (ex. Live Chat, email, and phone)?

From support to technology, we have outlined some of the fine print you need to be aware of and carefully review when selecting a background check API vendor. In Part 2 of this blog, we will look at three other areas where you need to dig into and ask the hard questions before you sign on the dotted line.

Contact us to learn more about our advanced background check API.


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