Thu. Jul 18th, 2024

Selecting a background check vendor to handle all your screening needs is a big decision. These firms, also known as consumer reporting agencies or CRAs, can provide a variety of services that add value to every step of the process. When choosing your background check partner, look for the following: 

FCRA Compliance

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) regulates consumer reporting agencies, the information they collect, and how that information can be used. FCRA compliant background checks are required, but remaining FCRA compliant is complicated. Professional CRAs stay on top of FCRA regulations and keep their clients fully compliant, from online consent forms to adverse action notices and everything in between. 


Turnaround time is a key metric for background checks. Slow turnarounds can mean losing great talent. Reputable CRAs can provide results within 24 to 72 hours, depending upon the specific searches required. They’ll also provide real-time status updates and have the ability to resolve disputes efficiently. 

ATS Integrations

Many background screening agencies provide ATS integrations that blend seamlessly with their clients’ existing tracking programs to provide a smooth, efficient process that eliminates the need to juggle the same information on multiple platforms. ATS integrations improve the client’s experience and the user’s experience. Data only needs to be entered one time, eliminating time-wasting, error-prone duplicate entries, and all parties are able to see exactly where the process stands in real-time. 


You should expect your CRA to offer a comprehensive selection of background search products that include the following:

  • Criminal records search across all jurisdictions, both state and federal
  • Address histories
  • SSN traces
  • I-9 and E-Verify
  • Motor Vehicle Reports
  • Drug testing
  • Credit checks
  • Education verification
  • Employment verification
  • International screening services
  • Post-hire services such as rescreening, drug testing, MVRs, worker’s comp searches, and more


Good communication is essential. Your background check partner must provide timely communication about FCRA compliance, accurate information about candidate checks in process, and honest recommendations for future projects. Reports need to be easy to read and easy to access, and customer service reps need to be readily available to provide professional assistance when required. Your vendor needs to be invested in the relationship. 

The Bottom Line

Informed hiring decisions start with a solid background check that fills in the gaps between resumes, interviews, and applications. Choose a background screening agency with experience, industry knowledge, and a dedication to providing superior service.

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