Integrating Background Checks With Your ATS: Steps to Prepare

February 25, 2019 Accurate Background


Most organizations are motivated to integrate background checks with their ATS for the level of convenience and efficiency it provides to both the recruiter and candidate. Integrated background checks allow the ATS to serve as a central, convenient location for recruiters to retrieve candidate information, place orders to their background check company, and access the status and results of candidate background checks.. The process can also be less repetitive for the candidate, as the information they’ve already provided through the ATS can be captured, collected, and verified by the background check provider. Additionally, the process of integrating your ATS and background checks can eliminate duplicate data entry, reduce the chance of data differing between two separate systems, and speed up the hiring process.

Although integrating your applicant tracking software and background checks seems like an obvious choice, it can feel like a daunting task for HR professionals to take on. Knowing what to expect ahead of time can go a long way toward a smooth ATS background check integration experience.

Ready to Integrate?

1. Know and Discuss Your Current Process

Understanding your current process and the information you want collected on your candidate is important not only to your integration needs, but the ATS you ultimately choose to go with. Many ATS’ provide a standard set of fields of information that can be fed to and from a background check company. These fields may or may not be customizable, depending on the ATS. Consider what an ATS’ standard solution offers and if there is room for customization based on the information you are looking to collect.

Analyzing your needs and current process will be an essential part of the integration process between you and your background check company. This effort should include an initial discovery session to discuss your existing procedures for conducting background checks and discussions around how to streamline your integration. 

2. Choose Your Order Method

The method you use to collect candidate information for the background check can influence your turnaround time, compliance risk, and more. Identifying which method works best for your organization serves as a critical step in your integration process. Here are the two order methods you can typically choose from in collecting candidate information for the background check: 

One-Pass – Your ATS collects everything needed for the background check, including candidate compliance documents. 


  • Information collected by the ATS is automatically passed to the background check company, eliminating the need for the candidate to enter additional information after the job application process. The lack of the additional step or “pass” keeps the process centralized within your ATS.


  • Some Applicant Tracking Systems have limitations on what information can pass over to your background check provider and what they can receive back. 
  • If you choose this method, your organization will ultimately be responsible for delivering compliance documents such as Disclosure and Authorization forms, Summary of Rights, and jurisdictional notices, potentially increasing your exposure to risk associated with legal obligations.

Two-Pass - The candidate receives a request from the background screening company to enter the remaining information not passed from the ATS.


  • This process allows the background check company to ensure all applicable compliance forms are delivered correctly to the candidate, including special jurisdiction forms based on where they live and the location of the job, ultimately decreasing risk of falling out of line with hiring regulations.
  • Certain information can still be passed over from the ATS making the process easier by requiring less information for the candidate to provide.


  • This method can add time to your turnaround process, as it is dependent on the candidate submitting additional information to complete the background check.

Ultimately, the method you choose will come down to organizational preference. Typically, Accurate Background promotes the two-pass method as posing the least amount of risk to an employer. Be sure to talk about these options with your background check provider and your ATS to determine best fit based on ATS capabilities and your organization’s goals.

3. Take Advantage of Experience

You shouldn’t be in it alone. Working with a background check team experienced in performing applicant tracking software and background check integrations, and that has close relationships with the major ATS providers, will allow for a smooth experience for you and your candidates. Experience allows them to guide you on the most efficient and compliant routes that work with the ATS you choose to go with.

*The information provided above is strictly for educational purposes. It is not intended to be legal advice, either expressed or implied. Accurate Background recommends that you consult with your legal counsel regarding all employment regulations. 

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