Featured Image - Avoid Buyer’s Remorse – Read the Background Check API Fine Print– Pt 2

Avoid Buyer’s Remorse – Read the Background Check API Fine Print– Pt 2

Date Published: January 20, 2016 | Last Updated:September 15, 2023 | By Accurate Background
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In Part 1 of our blog, we explored common misconceptions and misinformation that exist around background check API technologies.  Truth is, there is not a one size fits all approach for any company when it comes to background screening. Selecting the right vendor takes careful consideration of your requirements  – both from a technology and people standpoint – and what’s needed from your vendor to help meet those needs quickly, seamlessly and within compliance.

In Part 1, we addressed claims around technology fit and support.  What other common claims and false marketing promises should you dig into further? Here are a few:

  • Claim: We Cover All the Relevant Searches: When looking at APIs, you need to look at what is required by your background check policy and compare it to what is being offered by the API. Ask the vendor to prove they can fulfill your most difficult use cases – both today and into the future as you grow. They should be able to service education and employment verifications, driving records, drug testing, professional license verifications, etc. You will want to also making sure you are working with a provider who has internal and external networks. For external networks, they need to demonstrate they have the proper auditing techniques in place to ensure their network can cover the very different requirements for searches in individual regions across the United States, as well as Globally. Many organizations might claim they can accommodate global scalability, but international background check networks cannot be built overnight. Ensuring your provider already has the right network in place for you to scale nationally and internationally is critical to the accuracy, availability, and speed of your results.

What questions should you be asking in the sales cycle?

  1. How broad is your network of partners and vendors? Can you cover all counties in the United States? Who do you partner with for drug testing?
  2. How often do you audit your extended partner/vendor network, especially internationally? Can you share your accuracy rate for results and verified rate for verifications and professional licenses?
  • Claim: We Give You All the Information You Need: It is important to work with a partner who fully understands the regulations and reporting requirements nationwide, as well as globally. The information that is considered usable in a decision based on a background check varies significantly at the global, federal, state and local levels. For example, using a marijuana conviction that is older than two years old in California is not allowed, while other states will allow you to use historic information indefinitely. Similarly, Ban-the-Box regulations have been set in several U.S. states – but not all. Your background checking provider should understand these nuances and only provide you with the information that will help protect you from yourself. Unfortunately, many cut corners and provide you unfiltered information that could land you in hot water when it comes to providing a fair and legal screening process.

 What questions should you be asking in the sales cycle?

  1. Do you run background check results through a QA and Compliance process to ensure what is being reported to me is usable in my decision-making under compliance guidelines?
  2. Are you able to provide me information on what is included in your National Criminal Database offering, as well as how often it is updated?
  • Claim: The Product Will Grow With You: There are many providers out there claiming they can provide background checks globally. While the U.S. largely has the background check process figured out, international background checks are much more complex with nuances based on the country’s culture, language, regulations, and general access points for information. Before you start looking at databases and other offerings in the market that return very little on your investment, look for a partner who understands what can be done in each country and who has built a network of partners that understand the international nuances described above. Your provider should be able to tell you specifically:
    • What is available in each country globally
    • How the searches are conducted (source/data points needed) in each country
    • What limitations there are in each country, and
    • How long the searches take in each country.

What questions should you be asking in the sales cycle?

  1. Do you have a list of recommended “best practice” searches by country?
  2. How are you getting your international background check information? Are you using in-country partners who have been vetted or a single company for all international needs?

Sometimes good marketing is just that – marketing. When it comes down to it, the product doesn’t always work as advertised and you are left with  broken technology and a process that not only slows down hiring, but could also create a legal and reputational backlash.  When it comes to selecting a background check provider, it’s critical you read the fine print and know the facts. We hope this blog provided some questions and tips to help you do exactly that.

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


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