Pre-Employ Blog

Large Service Providers and Slow Background Checks

Posted by Bob Mather on September 27, 2017

In our latest blog post, we discussed how slow background checks can result from having a service provider that's too small. This is a common problem encountered by large organizations with large hiring funnels that need to move quickly. But what about the smaller businesses that have lower demands but still experience slow background checks?

One of the most likely causes in this case would be the fact that the background check service provider is actually too large. A mismatch between the needs of the client and the provider can create a situation where services are not being delivered in a timely manner.

How is That Possible?

Just as a large organization with a high demand for services can overwhelm a small service provider, a smaller organization that's a client of a large service provider can get lost in the shuffle and pushed down the ladder in favor of the provider's preferred clients.

Generally speaking, large background check service providers that are capable of providing high-volume services tend to favor large, institutional clients that can fill their funnel and keep them profitable. From a financial perspective, the unfortunate truth is that it's much more cost-effective to service one big client than dozens of smaller ones.

Additionally, from the account manager's side of the equation, they have likely been assigned dozens of clients. For them, their priority is to attend to the needs of their largest accounts first, since those generate the most profit and (possibly) commission for them. Smaller clients are pushed to the back of the line, and the end result is a slow turnaround of background checks to them.


What's the Solution?

The best way to avoid becoming a small fish in a big pond - and receiving slow background checks as a result - is by doing a comprehensive vendor evaluation and insisting on clearly defined service level agreements (SLAs).

The vendor selection process is one of the most important aspects of avoiding slowdown in the background check process. Unfortunately, it's also often the most neglected phase of the process and can cause frustration for HR professionals down the road.

If background checks are an essential element of your hiring process, make sure to have as many criteria clearly specified in writing before beginning the vendor selection. Also, ensure that you're asking the right questions, including:

  • Number of clients they have
  • Average size of their clients
  • Approximate turnaround times for background checks

Finally, get an SLA in place to hold the service provider accountable for their turnaround times. Be wary of any service provider who's not willing to commit to critical requirements in writing, and learn as much as you can about their process before committing.

Want More Information on How to Mitigate Slow Background Checks?

Check out our new white paper, 5 Common Problems that Cause Slow Background Checks (and How to Solve Them).

Download the White Paper

Topics: Background Checks, Service Level Agreements