How can I improve my company's background screening program?

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In a busy HR department, it’s easy to keep the status quo with existing tech. These are the tools that help you turn candidates into hires, and help keep the recruitment machine ticking over. Demands on HR professionals are such, that there often doesn’t feel like a good time to assess the efficiency of these tools and see if there are ways of improving processes.

However, taking time to re-evaluate systems and their capabilities could be the most valuable thing you can do - assessing whether alternative software can improve the efficiency, productivity and effectiveness of your team and the department as a whole

Why do I need to improve my HR tech?

The world of HR tech is fast-moving. With changes to employment laws, ways of working, and innovation, tech companies are continuously updating software, releasing new products and modifying existing tools to keep up with new demands. As businesses grow and contract, their requirements change, and the tech in place can quickly stop fulfilling the role it once excelled in.

Best practice dictates that tech - across all departments - should be assessed regularly. But when it comes to the kit a business uses for bring people in, ensuring they are the right fit, and kickstart the employee lifecycle, the onus on getting it right is high. 

Most HR professionals and hiring managers know that an effective background screening process plays a crucial role in the success of an organization. This is the kit that ensures that you recruit qualified, trustworthy employees who can contribute positively to your company's growth. A weak or inconsistent screening program, on the other hand, can lead to hiring unqualified candidates or, worse, pose potential risks to your organization's security, reputation, and legal compliance.

With the increasing importance of background checks in the hiring process, it is more important than ever for companies to refine and enhance their screening procedures. This blog post aims to provide valuable strategies for improving your background screening process, from assessing your current system to implementing a multi-layered screening approach. By adopting these best practices, you can create a robust and reliable background screening program that helps you identify top talent and mitigate potential risks.

Review your current screening process

Before implementing any changes, it's essential to understand the current state of your company's background screening process. You can determine the strengths and weaknesses of your current system and the areas that need improvement by conducting a comprehensive assessment of it. When examining your present procedure, take into account the following actions:

Assess the strengths and weaknesses of your existing system:

  • Evaluate the accuracy, speed, and consistency of your background checks.
  • Find any inconsistencies or repetitions in the data you've collected.
  • Analyze the total success of your screening procedure in locating qualified applicants and reducing risks.

Identify areas in need of improvement:

  • Pinpoint any inefficiencies or bottlenecks in your current workflow.
  • Look for areas where the use of technology could improve or streamline the procedure.
  • Examine whether the accuracy, compliance, and customer service requirements of your present background check provider are being met.

Benchmark against industry best practices:

  • Research the background screening practices of other organizations in your industry.
  • Consult industry specialists for guidance or attend conferences and workshops on the best practices for background checks.
  • Check your present procedure against industry norms to find room for improvement.

By conducting a comprehensive review of your current background screening process, you will gain valuable insights into its effectiveness and uncover areas where enhancements can be made. This information will serve as the foundation for the strategies and best practices you implement moving forward.

Streamline your screening workflow

An efficient and well-organized background screening process not only saves time and resources but also reduces the risk of errors and inconsistencies. Streamlining your screening workflow can lead to a more effective and reliable program. Consider the following strategies to optimize your workflow:

Simplify and standardize the screening process:

  • Develop a clear and consistent process that is applied to all candidates.
  • Create standardized templates for inquiries and reports for background checks.
  • Make sure that everyone on the hiring team is familiar with and following the set procedures.

Employ technology to increase efficiency:

  • Utilize applicant tracking systems (ATS) or background check software to manage and automate the screening process.
  • To speed up the applicant authorization procedure, use electronic consent forms.
  • To track and evaluate the effectiveness of your background checking program, use data analytics tools.

Reduce manual tasks and human error:

  • Automate routine tasks, such as data entry and report generation, to minimize the risk of errors and save time.
  • Put quality control measures in place, such as verifying the reports' accuracy and the data gathered twice.
  • By offering training and tools, you can ensure that your HR staff is informed about the technology and background screening process.

By streamlining your background screening workflow, you can increase efficiency, reduce the likelihood of errors, and ultimately improve the overall effectiveness of your program. This will lead to a more reliable and robust background screening process that supports your company's hiring goals and risk mitigation efforts.

Choose the right background check provider

Selecting the right background check provider is a critical component of an effective background screening program. A reliable provider can ensure that you receive accurate, comprehensive, and timely reports, while also helping you maintain compliance with applicable laws and regulations. Consider the following factors when choosing a background check provider:

Considerations for selecting a provider:

  • Evaluate the range of services offered to ensure they align with your organization's needs.
  • Find out if the provider can alter background checks in accordance with the particular demands of your business or job positions.
  • Evaluate the provider's ability to manage the number of background checks that your business needs.

Importance of accuracy and compliance:

  • Ensure that the provider uses multiple sources of information to deliver accurate and up-to-date reports.
  • Make sure the service provider complies with all applicable laws and rules.
  • Inquire about the provider's data security procedures to safeguard private applicant data.

Provider's reputation and customer service:

  • Research the provider's reputation within the industry and read reviews from other clients.
  • Ask about the customer service offered by the provider, such as response times and accessibility for consultation or assistance.
  • Search for service providers who provide continuous training, materials, and direction on best practices and regulatory updates.

By carefully evaluating and selecting the right background check provider, you can establish a strong foundation for your company's background screening process. A reliable provider will not only deliver accurate and comprehensive reports but also help you navigate the complexities of compliance, ensuring that your screening program remains effective and legally sound.

Implement a multi-layered screening approach

A comprehensive and thorough background screening program requires a multi-layered approach that covers various aspects of a candidate's history. By combining different types of background checks and verifications, you can gain a more complete picture of each candidate and make well-informed hiring decisions. Consider implementing the following components in your multi-layered screening approach:

Comprehensive background checks:

  • Perform national and local criminal record checks to identify potential risks and protect your organization.
  • Conduct credit history checks for positions that involve financial responsibility or access to sensitive financial information.
  • For applicants with international job or academic experience, use international background checks.

Employment, education, and reference verifications:

  • Verify previous employment, including dates, positions held, and reasons for leaving, to ensure candidates have the necessary experience and a reliable work history.
  • Verify a candidate's educational records, including their degrees, certifications, and licenses.
  • Make contact with the candidate's referrals to learn more about their character, work ethic, and suitability for the position.

Criminal history checks and drug testing:

  • Perform thorough criminal history checks, including searching national, state, and local databases, as well as sex offender registries.
  • Conduct drug testing to promote a safe and healthy work environment, particularly for roles with safety-sensitive responsibilities.
  • To guarantee compliance, familiarize yourself with the laws and rules governing the use of criminal background and drug test data in the hiring process.

By implementing a multi-layered screening approach, you can significantly enhance the effectiveness of your background screening program. This comprehensive strategy will provide you with a more accurate and complete understanding of each candidate, helping you make better hiring decisions and mitigate potential risks to your organization.

Keep up with compliance and legal requirements

Compliance with local, state, and federal regulations is crucial for maintaining a lawful and effective background screening program. Staying informed about the ever-changing legal landscape and implementing the necessary adjustments in your screening process can help protect your company from potential liabilities and lawsuits. Consider the following steps to ensure compliance with legal requirements:

Understand local, state, and federal regulations:

  • Familiarize yourself with laws about fair credit and other relevant laws governing background checks.
  • Stay up-to-date on any changes to regulations, including the equal employment guidelines and state-specific laws and legislation.
  • To get the most recent information and direction on compliance problems, speak with legal authorities or join professional associations.

Review and update your policies and procedures:

  • Regularly review your company's background screening policies to ensure they align with current laws and regulations.
  • To stay in compliance with applicable laws, update your permission forms, disclosure statements, and adverse action policies.
  • To prove your organization's commitment to compliance and reduce possible legal risks, document your policies and procedures.

Train your HR team on compliance best practices:

  • Provide ongoing training and resources to your HR team to ensure they are knowledgeable about the latest compliance requirements and best practices.
  • For updates on legal changes and their effects on your background screening procedure, establish clear communication lines.
  • Promote a compliance-oriented workplace where staff members are aware of the value of abiding by rules and laws.

By proactively keeping up with compliance and legal requirements, you can maintain a background screening program that is both effective and legally sound. This will help safeguard your organization from potential liabilities and ensure that your hiring process remains fair, consistent, and compliant with all applicable laws.

Enhance communication and collaboration

Effective communication and collaboration between various stakeholders involved in the background screening process are essential for its success. By fostering transparency and open lines of communication, you can ensure that all parties are on the same page and working together towards a common goal. Consider the following strategies to improve communication and collaboration within your background screening process:

Improve coordination between HR and hiring managers:

  • Establish clear roles and responsibilities for each party involved in the background screening process.
  • Create a standardized procedure for communicating and discussing the findings of background checks with hiring supervisors.
  • Schedule regular meetings or touch points between HR and hiring managers to discuss ongoing screening activities and address any concerns or issues.

Establish clear lines of communication with candidates:

  • Inform candidates about the background screening process upfront and explain what it entails, including the types of checks being conducted and the expected timeline.
  • Give potential employees a point of contact within your company who can answer any queries or address any worries they may have regarding the application procedure.
  • Make sure to promptly and plainly inform candidates of the results of their background check and any possible problems.

Foster transparency in the screening process:

  • Clearly communicate your company's background screening policies and procedures to all stakeholders, including candidates, HR personnel, and hiring managers.
  • Encourage frank discussion of any issues or worries that might come up during the vetting process and deal with them quickly.
  • Be open and honest about how background check outcomes are used in the recruiting procedure, and make sure that all choices are just and made in accordance with the rules and laws that are relevant.

By enhancing communication and collaboration within your background screening process, you can create a more efficient and seamless experience for all parties involved. This will not only help streamline the process but also contribute to better hiring decisions and a more positive candidate experience.

Continuously monitor and update your screening process

To maintain a high-performing background screening program, it's essential to regularly monitor and update your process in response to changes in industry practices, legal requirements, and your organization's needs. Continuous improvement ensures that your program remains effective, efficient, and compliant over time. Consider the following steps to monitor and update your screening process:

Regularly review and analyze screening results:

  • Evaluate the overall effectiveness of your background screening process in identifying qualified candidates and mitigating potential risks.
  • Recognize any trends or patterns in the data that might point to areas in need of development or possible screening-related problems.
  • Track key performance indicators (KPIs) using data analytics tools to learn more about your program's efficacy and efficiency.

Identify trends and areas for improvement:

  • Stay informed about the latest developments and best practices in the background screening industry.
  • To stay compliant, keep an eye on changes to law requirements and update your procedure as necessary.
  • To find out where your process could be streamlined or improved, get input from your HR team, hiring managers, and applicants.

Adjust your process based on industry changes and new regulations:

  • Continuously review and update your background screening policies and procedures to align with current best practices and legal requirements.
  • Implement new technologies or tools that can enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of your screening process.
  • Adjust your screening process as needed to accommodate changes in your organization's needs, such as expanding into new markets or hiring for new types of roles.

By actively monitoring and updating your background screening process, you can ensure that it remains effective, efficient, and compliant over time. This ongoing commitment to improvement will contribute to better hiring decisions, risk mitigation, and overall success for your organization.


An effective background screening program is essential for any organization looking to make informed hiring decisions, mitigate potential risks, and maintain a safe and productive workplace. Enhancing your background screening process requires a comprehensive approach, including reviewing your current system, streamlining the workflow, selecting the right background check provider, implementing a multi-layered screening approach, staying up-to-date on compliance and legal requirements, fostering communication and collaboration, and continuously monitoring and updating your process.

By implementing these best practices, you can create a robust, efficient, and legally compliant background screening program that helps you identify top talent and supports your organization's long-term success. With a strong foundation in place, your company will be better equipped to navigate the complexities of the hiring process and make well-informed decisions that contribute to a thriving workplace.

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What background check do I need?

This depends on the industry and type of role you are recruiting for. To determine whether you need reference checks, identity checks, bankruptcy checks, civil background checks, credit checks for employment or any of the other background checks we offer, chat to our team of dedicated account managers.

Why should employers check the background of potential employees?

Many industries have compliance-related employment check requirements. And even if your industry doesn’t, remember that your staff have access to assets and data that must be protected. When you employ a new staff member you need to be certain that they have the best interests of your business at heart. Carrying out comprehensive background checking helps mitigate risk and ensures a safer hiring decision.

How long do background checks take?

Again, this depends on the type of checks you need. Simple identity checks can be carried out in as little as a few hours but a worldwide criminal background check for instance might take several weeks. A simple pre-employment check package takes around a week. Our account managers are specialists and can provide detailed information into which checks you need and how long they will take.

Can you do a background check online?

All Veremark checks are carried out online and digitally. This eliminates the need to collect, store and manage paper documents and information making the process faster, more efficient and ensures complete safety of candidate data and documents.

What are the benefits of a background check?

In a competitive marketplace, making the right hiring decisions is key to the success of your company. Employment background checks enables you to understand more about your candidates before making crucial decisions which can have either beneficial or catastrophic effects on your business.

What does a background check show?

Background checks not only provide useful insights into a candidate’s work history, skills and education, but they can also offer richer detail into someone’s personality and character traits. This gives you a huge advantage when considering who to hire. Background checking also ensures that candidates are legally allowed to carry out certain roles, failed criminal and credit checks could prevent them from working with vulnerable people or in a financial function.

Transform your hiring process

Request a discovery session with one of our background screening experts today.

Is it Time to Re-evaluate your Background Screening Program?

As the economy settles into a new normal and growth resumes, there will be a demand for talent across business functions and industry verticals. As companies realign their organizations to new workplace models, human resources (HR) departments will play a critical role in defining the new normal. The pressure on HR teams has never been more significant - to attract top talent and limit attrition while also ensuring that staffing plans align with the organization’s objectives and culture. For the talent-hiring team, this means ensuring candidates are who they say they are, and have the relevant credentials. Hiring the wrong individuals can lead to increased employee turnover and significant financial implications.

It is estimated that a bad hire can cost an organization five times an employees' annual salary when expenses like advertising, hiring process, loss of productivity and training costs are factored in.

To ensure efficiency and accuracy in hiring, it may be time for HR teams to reevaluate their background screening program to ensure that their process, policy and partners meet the requirements of the new workplace.

In this report, we discuss:

- Navigating the evolving hiring landscape

- Evolving background screening to meet the needs of the new workforce

- Rethinking hiring priorities, processes and technology

- Veremark: Flexible Background Checks for Evolving Hiring Needs and Seamless Experiences

Get your own copy!