November 28th, 2016 | Sterling

Does It Make Sense For You to Outsource Background Checks?

Binders outsource and in house | Sterling

When it comes to background screening, outsourcing is likely to make a lot of sense for most employers While the word “outsourcing” might hold negative connotations for some, it is a great way to ensure your program is following best practices and remaining compliant across a global workforce. In fact, outsourcing your program is a strategic decision, giving you the opportunity to focus on that which you do best, while reducing your administrative and legal burdens, bringing on new staff quicker and focusing on the core values of your business.

Sterling conducted a study in October 2015 of 175 HR professionals in the UK to get a better understanding of topics that are affecting the background screening industry, including anticipated changes in the workforce, screening priorities and concerns, challenges for background checks and best practices for global pre-hire screening. The results of the survey exemplified how companies view and use background screening in their hiring processes across all types of businesses and industries.

Our report revealed many interesting factors about businesses and how they view and perform background screening. It found the following:

  • 6 out of 10 businesses currently conduct background screening
  • Compliance is the main reason employers perform background checks
  • Time and money are the biggest challenges to performing background checks
  • Approximately half of the background checks that are currently run are done in-house
  • Fewer than half of UK companies perform global pre-hire checks

Thorough employee screening not only improves your company’s labour force and cost efficiency, but can make the work environment a safer place to be.

In-House vs Third Party Background Screening Sources

In this global workplace, if your company’s background screening policy requires any type of background check to be performed on a job candidate, it is crucial that no matter where that person has lived, worked or studied, you are using a programme that satisfies your hiring and screening policies. Pre-hire screening policies should be in place regardless of whether the programme is done in-house or it is outsourced. Some businesses were found to do reference interviews, education credentials, employment verification and right to work in-house while outsourcing credit/financial history, directorship search, criminal records and public safety verification. It is more effective for businesses to outsource the entire verification process including verifications. Sterling has a team of certified compliance and privacy professionals who track developments in the legal landscape to ensure that Sterling and its clients remain compliant.

Reasons for Outsourcing Background Screening

There are many great reasons to outsource your background screening efforts. Some of the benefits include:

  • Saving Time – Background screening can be time consuming, complex and could take a toll on human resources departments, as well as take them away from other duties such as recruiting new talent, benefits or payroll.
  • Enhancing Efficiency – In-house screening can be a process. It requires research, paperwork and time. Risks such as clerical errors, corner-cutting or accidental illegal actions could occur if compliance procedures are not followed.
  • Automating Process – Background screening providers can offer an automated turnkey solution, where human resources professionals can access the information they need quickly and easily. Results can be returned much quicker than some in-house checks.
  • Ensuring Compliance – Outsourcing helps ensure regulatory compliance. This is especially important in the global marketplace where there are greater complexities around hiring foreign born workers and workers who have lived and worked abroad.
  • Objective Reporting – A third party screening partner offers a buffer as they do their work without the influence of personal interviews. They report facts which are not influenced by emotional reactions or personal connections.
  • Leveraging Expertise – Background check issues effect every industry. Using a well-established and respected screening provider lets you share in the collective wisdom of risk management programmes that are working for other companies. Expertise is the largest benefit of outsourcing.

What To Look For In a Third Party Provider

It is important to look for the right background screening provider that matches your business’s particular human resources programmes. You need to find a provider who has a global footprint, is dedicated to training and customer service, trustworthy, strives to be 110% compliant and goes above and beyond to offer proactive solutions to improve your background screening program as your business evolves.

Find out more survey results and information on background screening trends by downloading a copy of our report, Background Screening Trends and Best Practices Report 2016.

This publication is for informational purposes only and nothing contained in it should be construed as legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out this information. We encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.