Switching background screening providers is a significant decision that can impact the overall efficiency of your HR operations and the quality of your hires. Whether dissatisfied with your current provider, seeking better technology, or looking for cost savings, transitioning to a new background screening provider needs careful planning and execution.

This guide aims to help HR professionals and recruiters smoothly and efficiently transition to a new background screening provider. We’ll discuss the reasons for changing providers, the steps to take before switching, and how to ensure a seamless transition.

Key Takeaways

  1. Regularly evaluating your background screening provider is crucial for maintaining an effective hiring process.
  2. Signs it’s time to switch providers include poor turnaround times, inaccurate results, lack of compliance updates, and inadequate customer support.
  3. When selecting a new provider, consider factors such as industry expertise, technology integration, customization options, and pricing transparency.
  4. A smooth transition involves careful planning, data migration, staff training, and clear communication with all stakeholders.
  5. Switching providers can lead to improved efficiency, accuracy, and compliance in your background screening process.


In today’s fast-paced recruitment landscape, an efficient background screening process is no longer a luxury; it’s a necessity. Ensuring that your hires are not only qualified but also trustworthy can make or break your organization’s integrity and success. Recent advancements in HR technology have given rise to more robust, accurate, and efficient screening solutions, making improving background checks a critical step in streamlining the hiring process.

With ongoing discussions around automation, data security, and seamless integration, the background screening arena has significantly evolved. As HR professionals, staying ahead of these trends is essential to maintain a competitive edge. This guide is your roadmap to successfully transitioning to a new background screening provider, equipping you with the insights needed to make informed decisions and ensure a smooth changeover.

Reasons to Change Your Background Screening Provider

Switching background screening providers isn’t a decision to be taken lightly, but sometimes it’s necessary to keep your HR processes sharp. Here are some key reasons why you might consider making the move:

  • Outdated Technology: HR technology is evolving fast. If your provider’s software feels clunky or outdated, it’s time to upgrade. Modern platforms offer more accurate results and save you time with faster processing. Who wouldn’t want a system that can streamline your workflow?
  • Poor Customer Service: Nothing is more frustrating than unresponsive customer support, especially when you need quick resolutions during tight hiring timelines. Reliable support that takes your issues seriously isn’t just a perk—it’s a necessity. You deserve a partner who has your back.
  • Compliance Risks: Compliance isn’t optional. Staying current with ever-changing regulations is crucial to avoid legal pitfalls. A new provider can offer up-to-date compliance features that reduce risk and keep you aligned with guidelines from organizations like the EEOC. Compliance shouldn’t be a headache; it should be seamlessly integrated into your screening process.
  • Cost Efficiency: Sometimes, the grass is greener on the other side. New providers may present more attractive pricing models or offer value-added services that make the switch financially worthwhile. Whether it’s budget constraints or the need for a better deal, it’s worth exploring how you can get more bang for your buck. Efficiency and cost savings can go hand-in-hand when you choose the right provider.

By recognizing these signals, you can pinpoint why a change is necessary and how a new background screening provider can better serve your organization, enabling you to make informed decisions for a smoother transition.

Evaluating Potential Background Screening Providers

Switching background screening providers isn’t just about getting a better deal; it’s about finding a partner that aligns with your needs and enhances your HR operations. Here’s how to evaluate potential background screening providers:

  • Identify Your Needs: Before diving into research, you must nail down what you’re looking for. Do you need faster turnaround times for background checks? Is compliance with local, state, and federal regulations your top priority? Perhaps seamless integration with your existing HR software is a non-negotiable. Make a list of must-haves and nice-to-haves to guide your search.
  • Research Providers: Start gathering a list of potential providers. Industry reports from entities like “PBSA” offer valuable insights into the leading providers in the background screening arena. Additionally, peer recommendations and professional networks can give firsthand accounts of performance and reliability. These sources provide a solid starting point for narrowing down your options.
  • Check References and Reviews: Don’t just take the provider’s word for it. Dig into independent reviews from trusted sources and platforms. Reach out to current clients or industry peers who have experience with the provider. Ask about their satisfaction with the service, pain points, and whether the provider meets their expectations in terms of accuracy, speed, and customer support.
  • Request Demos and Quotes: Once you’ve shortlisted a few providers, the next step is to see their platforms in action. Request trials or demos to get a hands-on feel of their user interface and experience. This step is crucial for evaluating how intuitive the system is and how well it integrates with your HR Software. Also, be sure to request detailed quotes. Transparency in pricing can prevent future surprises, allowing you to compare costs and see which provider offers the best value for your money.

Following these steps helps ensure that you choose a background screening provider meticulously aligned with your needs, setting the stage for a smoother transition and more effective hiring processes.

Steps to Take Before Moving to a New Provider

Switching background screening providers is a critical move that requires a meticulous approach. Here’s a streamlined, practical guide on how to get your ducks in a row before you jump ship.

Audit Your Current Screening Program: First things first, you need to know what’s working and what’s not. Conduct an in-depth review of your existing background screening process. Pinpoint inefficiencies, compliance gaps, and any dissatisfaction points. This will help you create a clear list of requirements for your new provider.

Assess Internal Resources and Capabilities: Identify the internal team members who will be involved in the transition. You’ll likely need a blend of IT, legal, and HR expertise to navigate the switch. Make sure everyone understands their roles and responsibilities. Assess whether you need additional temporary resources or external consultants to bolster your team during the transition period.

Develop a Transition Plan: A transition plan is your roadmap to success. Outline key milestones, set clear timelines, and assign specific tasks to team members. This is where you detail critical steps such as negotiating contracts, transferring data, and setting up the new system. A well-thought-out plan will help keep the process organized and on track.

Notify Stakeholders: Communication is key. Inform all relevant stakeholders about the impending change as early as possible. This includes hiring managers, current employees, and your current provider. Clear communication can mitigate confusion and ensure everyone knows what to expect. Early notification also allows stakeholders to voice any concerns or suggestions, which can be crucial for a smooth transition.

By following these steps, you can ensure a methodical and organized approach to transitioning to a new background screening provider. This sets the stage for a smoother, more efficient process once you officially make the switch.

Making the Switch

So, you’ve done your homework and chosen a new background screening provider. Now comes the critical phase: the actual switch. Here’s how to ensure everything goes smoothly.

Negotiate and Sign Contracts

Clear communication is key. Make sure to scrutinize the contract, focusing on terms and conditions, service level agreements (SLAs), and confidentiality clauses. Negotiate terms that protect your organization and ensure flexibility should issues arise. Once both parties are satisfied, sign on the dotted line.

Transitioning Data

Data migration is a big deal. You’ll want to ensure all existing background screening data from your current provider is transferred securely to the new one. This involves setting up secure transfer protocols and verifying that data integrity is maintained throughout the process. Don’t skip this step, as poor data quality can lead to compliance issues and process inefficiencies.

Training and Onboarding

Equip your HR team with the knowledge they need to use the new system confidently. Organize comprehensive training sessions covering every aspect of the new platform. This could include webinars, in-person training, and user manuals. The goal is to make the transition as seamless as possible for your team, minimizing disruptions to your workflow.

Testing the System

Finally, conduct pilot tests to ensure everything works as expected. Test various scenarios to confirm that the new system integrates seamlessly with your existing HR software, and address any issues before going live. This is your chance to iron out the wrinkles and make sure the new provider meets all your functional requirements.

By following these steps diligently, moving to a new background screening provider can be a straightforward process. With proper planning and execution, you can pave the way for a more efficient hiring process and better organizational outcomes.

Post-Implementation Review

After making the switch to a new background screening provider, the work isn’t over. It’s crucial to conduct a post-implementation review to ensure the new system is meeting your needs and expectations.

Monitor Performance: Begin by tracking the new provider’s performance against the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) you’ve set during the planning phase. This could include metrics like turnaround time, accuracy of reports, and user satisfaction. Consistently monitor these KPIs to ensure the new provider performs optimally.

Gather Feedback: Your HR team is on the front lines, so their feedback is invaluable. Set up regular check-ins to collect their insights and identify any issues or areas where the new system might be falling short. Extend this feedback loop to hiring managers and other stakeholders who interact with the background screening process.

Continuous Improvement: Transitioning to a new provider is just the start of a long-term relationship. Maintain ongoing communication with your new provider to address any issues promptly and take advantage of updates or new features. Continuous improvement means regularly revisiting your screening processes and making adjustments as necessary to keep them aligned with your organizational goals.

A thorough post-implementation review ensures that the effort you put into switching providers translates into tangible benefits, positioning your organization for smoother, more efficient hiring processes in the future.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What if my new provider fails to meet expectations?

Switching providers involves uncertainties, and there’s always a risk that the new provider may not meet your expectations. To mitigate this, make sure to have a thorough vetting process in place: check references, read reviews, and ask for demos. Also, consider including performance clauses in your contract that outline consequences if service levels are not met. Having contingency plans and maintaining open lines of communication will also help address any issues promptly.

How can I ensure compliance during the transition?

Compliance is crucial during any transition period. Start by making a checklist of all regulatory requirements and ensure that both your current and new providers are compliant with these. Regularly consult legal counsel to double-check compliance requirements. Keep detailed records of all actions taken during the transition to provide a clear audit trail. You can also engage a third-party compliance expert if needed to oversee the transition.

What are the risks involved in changing providers?

Changing providers comes with several risks, including potential data loss during transfer, disruption in the background screening process, and delays in hiring. There’s also the risk that the new provider might not integrate well with your existing HR systems or may offer unsatisfactory service levels. Proper planning, effective communication, and having a robust transition strategy will help mitigate these risks.

How do I manage communication with candidates during the switch?

Clear and transparent communication with candidates is vital during a switch. Inform all candidates about the transition and any potential delays it might cause. Maintain regular updates to keep them informed about the status of their background checks. Make sure your internal team is aligned and has a clear script to answer any questions that candidates might have, ensuring a consistent and professional approach.

By thoroughly addressing these FAQs, you can anticipate and mitigate common concerns, ensuring a more seamless transition to your new background screening provider.


Switching to a new background screening provider doesn’t need to be a daunting task. By following the outlined steps and considerations, you can make informed decisions and ensure a smooth transition. Key takeaways include understanding the reasons for the switch, thoroughly evaluating potential providers, and preparing your team and processes for the change.

Improved efficiency, better compliance, and enhanced technology are attainable goals when you plan and execute the transition meticulously. Remember, it’s not just about the immediate benefits but also about positioning your organization for long-term success in hiring.

Stay proactive, diligent, and open to continuous improvement. With the right background screening partner, you’ll find that the effort pays off in the quality of your hires and the overall effectiveness of your HR operations.