The top 13 providers of full-service workplace screening.
If the work of outsourced security and screening service providers seems increasingly critical to HR organizations’ hiring processes, it’s because it is. More than ever, employers face compliance pressures and concerns about their liability.
Under mounting federal and state pressure to screen out illegal aliens and those with questionable backgrounds from their candidate pools, employers are turning to outsourcing more than ever to help them meet regulatory mandates, spot potentially troublesome workers, and minimize their organizations’ exposure. Whether these services are a quick web-portal search or an end-to-end solution that covers many facets of a candidate’s background, screening service providers are harnessing improved technology, easier access of public records, and a maturing network of subcontractors.
For buyers, this means screening results are becoming more accurate, timely, and less costly to generate—a development that is a testament to a dynamic market. At the same time, solutions are becoming more integrated with HRIS and recruitment software so users can easily process and onboard their new employees.
Helping the industry make this goal a reality are the 13 service providers listed here. As the biggest and most progressive vendors in corporate screening, these companies have a bead on what employers want. Of course they’re not the only ones to have a finger on the pulse of the screening market, but this year’s Baker’s Dozen are at the forefront of trends, continually advancing the delivery of screening services. If you are in the market to outsource, you might want to start with this group; but remember, there are many vendors offering a variety of solutions as robust and cost-effective as the ones you’ll find here. Your biggest challenge will be deciding which services are the most appropriate for your particular need.
Methodology: This list was developed by contacting 25 screening providers and requesting the number of employees screened in 2006. We asked how many individuals were searched, not how many different searches were conducted. Respondents were also asked who their top competitors were. Their votes were then tallied to determine the Baker’s Dozen. Providers are not ranked because the number of employees screened by each company cannot be independently verified since not all are public companies and are not required to publicly disclose those numbers. Buyer’s choice designations are awarded to the three providers with the most number of clients who participated in an online HRO Today satisfaction survey and who gave positive ratings of their experience with outsourcing screening services.
* The number of employees screened in 2006 was provided by the vendors.
Accurate Background, Inc.
A provider of tailored solutions, Accurate Background contracts thousands of researchers throughout the U.S. and worldwide to offer a multitude of employment screening products as well as drug testing, compliance, and fingerprinting services. Buyers can choose from one of several web-based applications or the company’s value-added integration solutions, which integrate Accurate Background’s services with a popular ATS (applicant tracking system) to offer comprehensive streamlined workflows. The company also offers Risk Reduction Technology, a patent-pending process that ensures consistent hiring decisions across all parts of an employer organization.
Clients: JC Penney, Washington Mutual, Health Net, Safeco, Microsoft, Boyd Gaming, and Books-A-Million.
Workplace Screening Services: National SSN/address locator; felony/misdemeanor search; federal criminal search; sex offender registry searches; education, employment, personal reference, and professional license verification; vendor management program; consumer credit report; civil searches; fingerprinting; fraud and abuse control information system; motor vehicle report; OFAC search; basic terrorist search; and drug screening.
Most Important Metrics: Accuracy of screens, customer service, timeliness of services, innovative technology in searches.
Acxiom Information Security Services
A wholly owned subsidiary of Acxiom Corporation, Acxiom Information Security Services offers 30 years of experience backed by technology options and a full-service solution. Acxiom provides multi-layer, 100-percent in-person/real-time FCRA-compliant reports, including criminal record checks, credit reports, and driving records. These services are offered in combination with others such as drug testing and employment, education, and professional license verifications. The core components of its solutions are derived from its capabilities in Customer Data Integration (CDI) technology, data, database services, IT outsourcing, consulting and analytics, and privacy management.
Clients: Acxiom currently serves 3,000 corporate clients and supports 10,000 accounts.
Workplace Screening Services: Checks of federal, county, and statewide criminal records; civil and motor vehicle record checks; credit reports; ID verification/social security trace reports; employment, education, and professional license verifications; international checks; national criminal database searches; sexual offender registry checks; media searches; suspected terrorist watch list checks; federal exclusion list searches (OIG/GSA, FACIS, DEA & NPDB databases); drug testing; fingerprinting; I-9 verifications; workers’ compensation checks; UCC filings; tax liens; insurance verifications; secretary of state checks; national corporation, fictitious business name, and bankruptcy checks; applicant scoring services; and adverse action fulfillment services.
Most Important Metrics: Hit rate/data quality; turnaround time; client retention; and customer service response time.
As the country’s largest payroll provider, ADP is also able to cross sell its screening services to its broad base of existing clients. A comprehensive offering that includes employee screening, hiring, and compliance services, ADP provides three tiers of screening solutions, much like its payroll business, for employers of different sizes: 1 to 49 employees; 50 to 999 employees, and 1,000 or more employees. ADP offers unique solution sets for each tier, including the EasyHire product for small businesses, and more flexible products for larger businesses. These include standardized packages as well as customized products for specific needs.
Clients: ADP provides background screening services to more than 30,000 clients nationwide ranging in size from small businesses to large corporations.
Workplace Screening Services: SSN validation; address verification; criminal court, driving, credit, and workers’ compensation claims records; employment, education, credential, and personal verification; department of health and human services check; government sanctions registry; sex offender registry; adverse action service.
Most Important Metrics: Performance measurements include cycle time, report accuracy, and vendor performance and customer/contact survey data. Efforts are focused on the continual improvement process and sustaining that performance over time.
ChoicePoint WorkPlace Solutions Inc.
Serving organizations of all sizes, ChoicePoint offers highly specialized screening solutions for industries such as retail, financial services, staffing, healthcare, transportation, gaming, and more.
Clients: ChoicePoint services more than half of America’s 100 largest employers.
Workplace Screening Services: Online applicants data capture tools; integration with ATS and HRIS systems; database criminal records and direct, court-access criminal records; electronic fingerprint services; verification of employment and education; terrorist watch list and sanctions checks; drug testing; employment eligibility verifications services (I-9); global background screening; vendor screening ; specialized screening solutions for retail, financial services, transportation, and healthcare; and volunteer and nonprofit screening programs.
Most Important Metrics: Effectiveness—measures the ratio of derogatory information developed; performance—measures cycle time delivery against service level requirements; quality—tracks errors, root cause analysis, and resolution; reliability—reports on system “up time,” unscheduled outages, and adherence to service levels requirements; user satisfaction—measures user feedback on customer service, responsiveness, problem resolution, and the program’s effectiveness against success criteria.
First Advantage Employer Services
First Advantage Employer Services provides a comprehensive suite of employer solutions to numerous Fortune 500 organizations designed to help them reduce the time and cost associated with recruiting, hiring management, screening, and ongoing retention processes. The company focuses on providing integrated, single-source solutions, customizable technology, compliance and managed services, and client support for employers worldwide.
Clients: Not provided.
Workplace Screening Services: Global background verifications; criminal reports; SSN verifications; NationScan national criminal database search; federal criminal records; statewide criminal records; state and federal civil records; education verification; employment verification; international searches; motor vehicle records; professional license verification; Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) checks; terrorist searches; substance abuse testing; and biometric fingerprinting.
Most Important Metrics: Turnaround time; results and reporting quality; system up-time; adherence to service levelagreements; client services responsiveness; client satisfaction; and integrated screening results.
General Information Services, Inc. (GIS)
With more than 41 years of industry experience, General Information Services, Inc. (GIS) has transformed its service offering from pre-employment screenings to total workforce management solution. Utilizing its Pangea People Management system, clients can recruit, screen, hire, and retain. The company offers customized screening and compliance programs for thousands of companies across the globe, ranging from small businesses to Fortune 500 firms.
Clients: GIS serves clients in the retail, insurance, financial services, staffing, healthcare, and transportation industries
Workplace Screening Services: GIS provides the following services to clients: criminal history reports (county, state, and national); court searches; national government watch lists (including those of OFAC, GSA, and most wanted lists); driving records; identity validations; credit history; employment verifications; education verifications; professional license certifications; reference checks; sex offender registries (in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and the territories of Guam, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, including photos for all these areas); international screening and compliance, drug testing and program management; fingerprinting; USA Patriot Act compliance; retail theft database; attending physician statements; life inspections, Employment Eligibility Verifications (EEV); Form I-9 storage and maintenance; state-specific regulatory forms; configurable online application; behavioral assessments; powered achievement interviews; strategic employee onboarding; workforce reporting analytics; automated report grading, and integrated progressive screening, all available via a web-based platform.
Most Important Metrics: GIS focuses on turnaround times, robust reporting, full customization and integration capabilities, and customer care.
Focused solely on employment screening, HireRight serves organizations of all sizes. An on-demand solution, the company’s Enterprise offering can be a stand-alone or an integrated package that fits with a user’s existing recruitment solution. The company has partnered with vendors such as Oracle, PeopleSoft, Taleo, Deploy Solutions, VirtualEdge, PeopleAdmin, and Vurv to codevelop pre-built, pre-integrated employment screening solutions. With worldwide headquarters in Irvine, CA, and supported by offices and affiliates around the globe, HireRight reaches more than 200 countries and territories with more than 50 service offerings.
Clients: HireRight serves more than 50 of the Fortune 500.
Workplace Screening Services: Background screening, drug screening, international screening, extended workforce screening, electronic I-9, and online employment applications.
Most Important Metrics: Customer satisfaction, turnaround time, first-time quality, and uptime.
IntelliCorp Records, Inc.
IntelliCorp is a nationwide provider of background checks and employment and volunteer screening. Since 1996, the company has worked with court systems and other reporting agencies throughout the U.S. to build a unified data center. IntelliCorp has built one of the most comprehensive data repositories of criminal records and other public information that allows instant access to billions of public records that can be used in recruiting decisions. In addition, IntelliCorp has formed strategic partnerships with several industry leaders to make other employment-screening programs and professional services available to a broader customer base.
Clients: Client base includes large, medium, and small companies, in addition to a large portion of the nonprofit and military sectors. Markets served include banking/finance, healthcare, hospitality, insurance, manufacturing, medical, retail, staffing, tenant screening, transportation, and volunteer organizations. IntelliCorp also has a Service Partner division, which serves the wholesale data market.
Workplace Screening Services: Adjudication (scoring); batch processing; client-specific customized solutions; dedicated account management; integration options; and 24/7 secure system access to run and view reports. Additionally, end-to-end screening products and bundled package options include criminal searches (criminal SuperSearch, statewide criminal searches, inmate records, arrest records, single-county criminal searches, nationwide sex offender registry, federal criminal records); bankruptcies/liens/judgments; civil searches; credit reports; DOT employment verification; drug testing; education verification; employment verification; evictions history; former last name criminal searches; international searches; medical fraud and abuse; motor vehicle reports; practitioner’s databank; professional licensing; SSN verification/address history; and terrorist database.
Most Important Metrics: Hit ratios (instant, vendor, and in-house); turnaround times; report accuracy; quality assurance programs (internal and external) to measure accuracy of data entry; correctness of results reported to the identifier level; completeness of results (monitoring that all cases, charges, and sentence details have been reported); FCRA compliance; consistency of reporting; website performance; quality rating (vendor and in-house); client/user satisfaction; and strict privacy and security policies.
Kroll is a global risk consulting company with more than 30 years of experience. An operating unit of professional services firm Marsh & McLennan, it has offices in more than 60 cities in the U.S. and abroad. Background screening is just one component of the company’s services, which also include investigations, identity fraud, and corporate advisory services.
Clients: Ryder, eBay, Bank of America, American Express, Credit Suisse, Yahoo!, HCA, Burger King, Hasbro, and GE. Kroll currently serves a global clientele of more than 12,000 companies, government entities, financial institutions, healthcare providers, educational institutions, and nonprofit organizations.
Workplace Screening Services: Domestic and international background screening; substance abuse testing; physical exams; vendor screening; form I-9 services; and identity theft fraud solutions.
Most Important Metrics: Information quality (less than one in 500 reports is amended, usually because of court/source error); and focus on compliance (more than half of Kroll clients operate in highly regulated industries such as healthcare, life sciences, education, and transportation).
LexisNexis Screening Solutions
LexisNexis Screening Solutions authenticates the identities and verifies the backgrounds of both individuals and businesses. With more than 20 years of experience providing critical business decision-making data, LexisNexis offers intelligence and analytics that organizations need for managing their risks in hiring and retaining talent or tenants. The company has developed proprietary technology to reduce turnaround times. Data can be delivered directly via XML-based integration or by batching technology. LexisNexis uses matching logic to verify applicant identities, criminal and credit records, as well as education and work history—all while coordinating reports with drug or fingerprint screening results. LexisNexis provides solutions to all sizes of organizations and can tailor reports, billing, and orders based on the unique needs of each business.
Clients: LexisNexis provides background checks to more than 7,000 companies worldwide, including nonprofit organizations, government, wholesale, manufacturing, transportation, hospitality, retail, gaming, property management, and financial
Workplace Screening Services: Individual applicant background checks includes identity verification; criminal, credit, or driving records; work, professional license, or educational history verification; government watch lists (OFAC, FDA debarment, OIG, etc.); eviction and bankruptcy results; and fingerprint or drug screening reports. Business background checks include business structure; legal history; credit history; and media exposure. Data sharing via system integration or applicant tracking system is also available as are international search capabilities (currently providing screening in 119 countries).
Most Important Metrics: turnaround time and customer satisfaction.
Sterling Testing Systems, Inc.
Sterling Testing Systems, Inc. is a privately held, ISO-certified organization with thousands of customers in diverse industries. Consulting customers and sharing “best practices” are critical parts of Sterling’s strategy. Services include background checks, drug testing, and other key verification and assessment services for Fortune 500 and other companies utilizing the latest technology to maximize efficiencies in the screening process. Founded in 1975, the company said it maintains a 99 percent client retention rate.
Clients: A&P; Daimler Chrysler; Echostar; Laboratory Corporation of America; Bed, Bath & Beyond; Kaplan Higher Education; Staples.
Workplace Screening Services: Criminal history searches; credit reports; drug testing; employment verification and references; education verification; department of motor vehicle record searches; professional license verification; sexual offender searches; online employment applications; terrorist watch lists; healthcare checks; tenant screening; I-9 processing; legal compliance; targeted tax credits; and electronic fingerprinting.
Most Important Metrics: Accuracy and thoroughness—the first critical factors in measuring relationship success with any client are the accuracy and thoroughness of the services provided; turnaround time—turnaround times are posted on each order as well as in customizable reports, allowing clients to monitor service commitments; online customer satisfaction survey—enables clients to provide feedback regarding their experiences at any time.
Following its acquisition by Equifax, TALX now has direct access to more individual records than any other screening providers. The St. Louis-based company operates as an independent unit of Atlanta-based Equifax. Through its The Work Number business, TALX provides employment and income verification to more than 1,500 customers and more than half of the Fortune 500 companies. It also boasts government agencies as well as customers in all 50 states.
Clients: Bank of America, Chase Manhattan, Citigroup, Countrywide Financial, National City, and Wachovia.
Workplace Screening Services: Employment and income verification and work history summary. Authorized users can confirm a person’s current and past employment or income in one of two ways: online instantly (database access to 159 million records from more than 1,750 employers) or researched by agents.
Most Important Metrics: Speed of delivery (TALX is the only provider of instant employment and income verification for 30 percent of the U.S. employed workforce. For employment information not immediately available, TALX agents will research employment in less than two days on average); authenticity (TALX employment screening is an employer-direct service. Source of data is the HR/payroll department of the candidate); and labor savings (recruiters save up to 48 hours finding information online).
USIS is an information and security services company serving HR, insurance, government agencies, and national security markets. Headquartered in Falls Church, VA, USIS offers background screening and risk management solutions for the transportation, healthcare, financial, gaming, and retail industries. Intelligence gathered by seasoned professionals is the core competency of the company, which claims to be the largest supplier of background investigations to the federal government. In addition, USIS provides risk management solutions and security and related professional services for institutions, commercial businesses, and the U.S. government. USIS is a leading supplier of program administration experts to federal agencies and U.S. interests worldwide.
Clients: Not provided.
Workplace Screening Services: Criminal history reports; motor vehicle reports; verifications; drug and alcohol testing; and searches of proprietary databases such as the DAC Employment History File and the USMA National Theft Database.
Most Important Metrics: N/A.