within budget constraints and being under pressure to hire faster, can make it hard to make decisions
about how comprehensive your employment screening should be. Although background checks are
necessary and should always be viewed as an investment, there may be an opportunity to reduce cost
and turnaround time by reviewing the background checks you are running across position types at your
The cost of your background check usually correlates with the level of verification needed to complete
all services included in the background check. Naturally, running a criminal search, education verification
and drug test on a new hire is likely going to be more expensive than just running any one of those
checks independently. A common mistake we see employers make when running background checks is
failing to tailor the check to the requirements of the job. Often, employers apply an overarching
standard across an organization when a specific position might not fit the need. For example, a
receptionist at a trucking company might not need the same depth of background check and drug
testing that should be done on their drivers.
Making sure you are only running background checks that are needed for specific role you are hiring for
can help you lower cost and run more in-depth background checks for the positions where it matters
most. Working with a background check provider that is willing to assist in creating background check
packages specific to the roles you are hiring for will help reduce unnecessary searches.
Reduce Turnaround Time
Similar to background check cost, turnaround time typically correlates with the level of verification that is needed to complete the background check.
Conducting background checks by job type can help reduce turnaround time at the same time that you are reducing cost. Review your background check requirements per position and determine what
information is most important to verify and relative to the job requirements. In doing so, you may find
you can eliminate or add criteria which will most certainly adjust your expected turnaround time. In the
example above, if it is decided that you do not need an education or employment verification on
receptionist roles, you will be able to get those positions hired faster without having to go through a
longer verification process.
Don’t Get Carried Away
You get what you pay for. Although cutting cost and turnaround time sounds nice, reducing either one
impacts the quality of your background checks. It is important to take a deep look at each type of role
you are hiring for to establish must-have requirements before cutting any searches. It may be worth
seeing where you can use any cost savings to implement more thorough background checks for other
positions at your organization.