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3 Steps to Choosing the Best Screening Provider

How long does a background check take?

Your business recognizes the importance of accurate pre-employment screening, and you want to do this right. How do you choose the best background check company?

If you are looking for a provider in Buffalo, NY, start by following these three steps.

1. Ask If the Company Is NAPBS Certified

Between shifting regulations, privacy concerns, equal opportunity hiring and due diligence, you don’t want to put your organization at risk because your screening service wasn’t top notch. The National Association of Professional Background Screeners or NAPBS is the official accrediting agency for the background check industry. To receive the NAPBS seal of approval, providers must undergo a rigorous audit, with an independent third party, every five years. By checking for accreditation, you can help to guarantee you are working with a reputable company.

2. Learn More About Their Products

Types of screening

Although people use the phrase broadly, background checks may include many different services ranging from criminal record searches to credit reports to drug testing. Some providers offer basic, standard and premium packages along with add-ons, while others customize packages based on your specific requirements. Ultimately, you want your screening to be comprehensive, but you don’t want to pay for things you don’t need.


Package deals may run anywhere from $25 to $100, and individual screenings or add-ons may vary from $10 to $75. Some providers require annual contracts as well as additional monthly fees and/or set-up charges. Be wary of any services that seem unusually cheap, as this could indicate they are taking shortcuts and therefore delivering questionable results.

Turnaround time

If a background check takes too long your organization could miss out on a top candidate, so ask about reporting times. Advances in technology have improved turnaround rates, but most standard searches still take between 24 to 48 hours. Academic verifications, reference checks and international searches usually take longer.

Online portals

Once the background check is complete, you want to be able to easily view, read and understand the results. Today, most providers have online platforms. Before you sign up, request a demo and do some research. Is the portal available 24/7? Does the system provide real-time reporting? Can you view the results on a mobile device? Is the platform customizable? Can you integrate the results with your ATS to improve efficiency? Does the system supply self-service portals for candidates, electronic consent forms and e-mail capabilities so you can go paperless?

3. Evaluate Customer Service.

What if something goes wrong? What if you don’t understand a result? Can you talk to someone on the phone or through email? These are good questions to address before you choose a provider. Most companies have customer service available during regular business hours, and some offer extended coverage during weekends and evenings.

Are You Ready to Partner with an Accredited Background Screening Firm in WNY?

Since 1997, Metrodata Services has provided relentless investigative services along with industry leading technology. We are NAPBS accredited and have a 99.25% client retention rate. Contact us today to learn how we can assist you with all your background check needs.

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