Pre-employment background checks are an essential part of smart, safe hiring practices and are the single most significant thing your organization can do to avoid bad hires and prevent costly workplace incidents that can harm your workforce and damage your business reputation.

But they take time. And in today’s fast-paced, competitive marketplace, it’s easy to feel like you can’t afford to slow down in order to complete a background check.

Background checks are always worth the time and money it takes to complete them; it’s a small price to pay for onboarding safe, qualified individuals who can be a real asset to your company. Since speed is a real concern, here are a few things you can do to ensure that your background check process is as quick and efficient as possible.

Go with a Pro

Professional, accredited screening agencies run thorough, accurate, reliable background checks as fast as possible. They have developed tools and resources to get the info you need efficiently; these agencies are selling speed along with their other competencies, so it’s in their best interests to move the process along. Ask about turnaround times when hiring an agency and make sure you understand your role in expediting the process.

Go Digital

Paper slows you down, as do multiple, redundant systems. Full-service screening firms offer ATS integrations, online data collection portals for you and the candidates, and other tools that streamline the process, eliminate bottlenecks, and make instigating and tracking a background check virtually seamless. When candidates can enter their personal information using their own device at their convenience, the collection process is smoother and goes faster. When you can initiate a background check within your ATS with a single, that gets things moving and conserves resources.

Go on Auto

Whenever you can, eliminate manual data entry. Data entry is slow and error prone. Automate everything you can, from authorizations and disclosures to filing, storing, and even destroying data. Automation is fast, but it also helps you keep solid records of every action you take, which is important in the world of background check compliance.

Go Early

Submit background checks reports early in the morning to give courts and other repositories all day to collect the info.

Go Smart

Be aware of the following circumstances that can slow down a background check:

  • Missing authorizations. Your screening agency can’t legally move forward with a check without a signed authorization from the applicant.
  • Missing info. Work with your provider to ensure that candidates provide their full name, SSN, birth date, and any other required info to avoid delays.
  • Misspelling and other errors in the data will slow down the search.
  • Time delays. Holidays, weekends, and other events will add time to the process.
  • Non-digital records. When the background search provider needs to access physical records in order to complete the search, the process will be slower than a fully digital search. Some schools and local courts are still paper based and accessing them will take more time.
  • Global searches. Worldwide background checks take longer to complete than domestic searches. Time zone differences, lack of digital records, cultural norms, and language barriers are just a few of the challenges that make international records slower to collect.

Work with your provider to do all you can to speed up your process. Never skip the check.