3 ways to order a background check
Placing an order for a background check is a simple process with Perfect Fit Background Checks. We offer three ways to order a check, each with their own pros and cons. By the end of this post, you’ll be able to decide which method is best for you and your business.
Spoiler alert: we recommend either the second or third option to ensure you’re staying FCRA-compliant.
The Direct Order
Doing it old-school.
This is the traditional order method, where you manually collect the necessary personal information from your candidate and submit that information to us to initiate an order. When using the direct order method, you are responsible for researching and understanding local regulations, as well as presenting the correct authorization and disclosure forms to the candidate.
With this method, the order process starts immediately upon submission. While order processing speed is the same regardless of submission method, the other two methods first require action from your candidate which adds another step to the process.
Because we have the candidate’s details at the time of submission, we are able to share the projected fees incurred by counties, states, or other data sources before you submit the order.
Compliance Question Marks
When you manually submit an order, you are responsible for gathering and maintaining all of the necessary paperwork to stay FCRA-compliant. Some states and cities have special requirements, so this can get tricky for companies that hire in more than one geographic area or that hire remote employees. With our other two methods, we handle geographic requirements and forms on your behalf.
Ease of Use
This method is the most time consuming because you have to collect candidate info, the paperwork mentioned above, and you have to input the information yourself.
When you’re manually inputting the candidate’s information, you’re more likely to make an error transcribing that information than if the candidate is inputting their own info (more on this path below).
The Order by Invitation
The most popular option that ensures you’re staying FCRA-compliant.
Want us to handle all the FCRA-compliance forms and collect the needed information directly from the candidate? Then we recommend an order by invitation. All you need is the candidate’s name and email address, and we’ll handle it from there. We’ll send the candidate a link to view and sign the authorization and disclosure forms, and collect their personal information directly from them.
Staying FCRA-compliant is no trivial matter, and this method takes out the guesswork. When the candidate shares their information with us, we’ll use that info to:
- determine which authorization and disclosure forms are needed,
- present forms to the candidate,
- collect their electronic signatures,
- and store those documents in your customer portal.
Ease of Use
You don’t have to bother researching and collecting the necessary authorization and disclosure forms, and you also don’t have to input all of the candidate info, you only need their name and email address.
The candidate is less likely to have a typo when inputting their own personal information.
When you use this method, we are unable to quote the anticipated search fees at the time you initiate the order.
Fees are based on the specific candidate’s information, which isn’t collected until after the order is initiated and the candidate completes the invitation.
The most common search with a variable fee is the County Criminal search. Only about 12% of counties charge fees currently, and the fees are mostly modest. There are outliers though, such as the handful of counties/burroughs in New York that charge a $95 fee. This can be surprising when your business isn’t based in or near New York, but you are screening a candidate who has lived there within the last seven years.
There could be a potential delay with this method because it requires action from the candidate for the order to be started. We recommend that you communicate expectations with your candidate upfront, so they are expecting the invitation. Otherwise, all orders are processed at the same speed once we have the needed information.
Tip: In addition to email, you have the option to send the invitation by text which sees a faster average response time compared to email.
HR Software Integration Link
Want to initiate an order without even having to log in to the platform? This option is for you.
This option is very similar to the Order by Invitation method above, but with this order, you don’t even need to log into your Perfect Fit portal. You simply share your standard invitation link with your candidate by email or text. Of all the ways to order a background check, this is the most hands-off.
Typically folks will use this method when they have a workflow already designed in another platform, such as an Applicant Tracking System. You can just add the instructions and the invitation link into an email template at the appropriate stage of the hiring process.
This method has all of the pros and cons of the Order by Invitation method above, except it has the added bonus of requiring even less time as you don’t even need to log in and input the candidate’s name and email – it’s built into your process outside of our platform.
The best ways to order a background check will depend on your preference & experience.
If you’re familiar with FCRA regulations and comfortable managing that process manually, you may find the Direct Order to be a good fit. However, most customers find compliance management to be the paramount feature consideration and thus use the Order by Invitation method.
If you’re new to background checks, or need a refresher on FCRA requirements check out our intro to background checks and our guide to running legal and compliant FCRA background checks.
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