Since there are scores of companies that offer Pre-Employment Screening services, some cautionary advice is in order with respect to making a choice. First, an employer should look for a professional partner and not just an information vendor selling data at the lowest price. Second, an employer should apply the same criteria that it would use in selecting any other provider of critical professional services. For example, if an employer were choosing a law firm for legal representation, it would not simply choose the cheapest law firm.

Although cost is always a consideration, the employer would clearly want to know it is selecting a law firm that is competent, experienced and knowledgeable, reputable and reasonably priced. Above all, an employer would want to know that it is dealing with a firm with integrity. The same criteria should be used for selecting any provider of a professional service. A screening service must have the proven ability and knowledge to provide this professional service. A review of the company’s Web site and materials as well as contacting the firm’s current clients for a professional reference should be helpful in establishing the firm’s qualifications.

An employer should verify if a firm has joined the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS). Membership in NAPBS demonstrates a commitment to professionalism and an industry wide code of conduct.